Stettler County

Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan mediation process moving forward

County of Stettler and the Summer Villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands move towards public consultation

The County of Stettler, the Summer Village of Rochon Sands and Summer Village of White Sands have mutually agreed to move towards public consultation with the idea of replacing the Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan.

The County of Stettler has developed and presented an Area Structure Plan (ASP) to the mediation committee, which outlines future use of County of Stettler lands, and has presented options for what the Summer Villages could institute to replace the Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan (BLSSIDP).

An ASP is a detailed document which proposes a sequence of development for an area, the future land uses, the density of population, the general location of transportation and public utilities.

The proposed ASP would guide the County of Stettler’s future development along the south shore of Buffalo Lake.

It would release all three members from the Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan. The BLSSIDP was scheduled to be reviewed in 2018.

All three municipalities would continue to be guided by the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan (BLIDP) of which all are current members. Intermunicipal Development Plans tend to be cumbersome and onerous to regularly review and update with all parties, noted a release.

“The County of Stettler continues to invest, trust in and follow the BLSSIDP mediation process alongside our municipal neighbors at the Summer Village of White Sands and the Summer Village of Rochon Sands,” said Larry Clarke, Reeve, County of Stettler.

“We believe we are all responsible, as municipal leaders, to foster the future development of the south shore of Buffalo Lake. Recreation in Alberta is at a premium, especially in the midst of the current COVID pandemic. So many families are looking to recreate safely within our provincial borders, and our goal is to provide for safe, responsible, sequential development which will allow and support access for all,” said Clarke.

“We look forward to obtaining feedback on our draft Area Structure Plan to determine how we may best move forward.”

Lorne Thurston, mayor of the Summer Village of White Sands, said, “The Summer Village of White Sands is moving ahead with the mediation and is waiting for the frame work for public consultation to be completed for White Sands to present to their ratepayers.”

Dan Hiller, mayor, Summer Village of Rochon Sands, added, “After a productive mediation process the Summer Village of Rochon Sands is eager to proceed with our surrounding municipalities in developing Area Structure Plans (ASP) that will ensure a prosperous future for all people.”

Next steps include:

– The County of Stettler proceeding towards developing a comprehensive public participation plan and input gathering process for County landowners and residents to review and revise the County’s proposed Area Structure Plan.

– Sharing the ASP with the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan partners, including Lacombe County and Camrose County.

– Sharing ASP with County of Stettler South Shore Community Association executives and commercial lake developments to obtain initial input in order to develop a public consultation plan

– Consultations will help inform and further prepare presentation materials for the public

– The Summer Village of Rochon Sands will develop an independent but complementary public consultation process with residents and landowners of the Summer Village of Rochon Sands.

• The Summer Village of White Sands will develop an independent but complementary public consultation process with residents and landowners of the Summer Village of White Sands.

The Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan mediation committee meets again March 11 and 12, 2021. Next steps for the mediation committee include:

• Sharing feedback on initial public consultations

• Developing a communications framework and establishing joint messaging

• Developing complementary public consultation plans to provide residents with an opportunity to provide detailed input

In 2020, the Councils of the County of Stettler, the Summer Villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands engaged in mediation, Stage 4 of the dispute resolution process as outlined in the BLSSIDP.

Mediation was recessed on Sept. 25th, 2020 to allow all parties to appropriately review current plans, look towards the future and allow time for a consultant for the County of Stettler to complete an Area Structure Plan, which was reviewed by the mediation committee in January 2021.

Opportunities will be provided for the general public to provide feedback to their respective municipal councils in the weeks following the scheduled March mediations.