Appeal to halt colony denied

An appeal by Ronald and Shelley Streit of Stettler has failed to halt the construction of farm dwellings for a new Hutterite colony

An appeal by Ronald and Shelley Streit of Stettler has failed to halt the construction of farm dwellings for a new Hutterite colony east of Stettler.

“I don’t know why the county would want a colony that close to town,” Ron Streit said.

Streit said he liked living where there wasn’t “a lot of people” and he wasn’t pleased that 32 families would be moving in within a half-mile of his farm.

The appeal, respecting the approval of development permit 12106, for the development of clustered farm dwellings by the Whitesand Hutterian Bretheran on the east half of 12-39-19-W4 was denied by the County of Stettler Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB).

SDAB chairman Bill Shaw listed reasons for the decision:

— The development site is properly zoned and is deemed suitable for the proposed development.

— The proposed site is also in agricultural production, as are the surrounding lands.

— There wasn’t factual evidence that the value of nearby residences would be negatively affected.

— The site is located outside an area in which the county would register objections to the development or expansion of a confined feeding operation (CFO).

“This affects the town of Stettler too — it should have some say — when the hog barns come, they will be smelled in town,” Streit said.

JohanVanderbank, county director of planning and development, said in an earlier interview the approval of CFOs is not under county jurisdiction, but rather under NRCB (Natural Resources Conservation Board) rule.

The SDAB decided the development of the clustered farm dwellings be approved subject to nine conditions.

Among the conditions, the applicant must receive approval from the NRCB for the operation of a confined feeding operation and manure storage facilities before development occurs.

In that process, area residents are expected to have the opportunity for input and to voice concerns.

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