Bylaws intended for auto-recycling business dropped on technicality

A Stettler auto recycler, planning to relocate just south of town near the rail line, will have to try it again after the municipal elections as the rezoning bylaws that would enable him to go ahead were dropped as a result of a regulatory technicality.

With a tied vote of 3-3 at its regular meeting Sept. 7, county council defeated land-use and zoning bylaws that would have allowed the auto-recycling business to operate along Highway 56 on the northern gateway of the Town of Stettler.

These bylaws would have established a direct-control district and rezoned a 10-acre parcel of land on the east side of Highway 56 one-half mile north of the Town of Stettler to accommodate East Central Auto Recyclers, owned and operated by James Nibourg.

Councillor Vic Carey, who supported the bylaws in their second reading in July, was absent from the recent meeting as councillors Joe Gendre, Wayne Nixon and Dave Grover voted in favour of third and final reading to the bylaws.

However, with three votes for and Reeve Earl Marshall and Councillors Les Stulberg and Blake Chapman voting against, the bylaw was lost on a tie vote.

“It’s probably the biggest disservice to a business owner that our council has ever done,” councilor Gendre told the Independent after the meeting.

“I’m all for business in the county,” said councilor Grover, as Councilor Nixon echoed these comments.

During the public hearing on the bylaws on July 7, the Town of Stettler council and several neighbouring property owners also opposed the bylaws.

County Reeve Marshall and Councillors Stulberg and Chapman opposed the bylaws since the business at that location would not conform with the inter-municipal development plan that the town and county adopted last year.

Since the land is located within the inter-municipal development plan for the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler, the application also requires review by the town.

“The town advised that should the county give third reading (adopt the bylaw), the town would appeal it the Alberta Municipal Government Board,” said Johan van der Bank, director of planning and development.

Although the proposed bylaws were defeated by county council, the applicant can apply again to rezone the land with new faces on council after municipal elections in October.

“He can reapply for the same application after 90 days or if he changes some aspects of the application, he can make it sooner,” said van der Bank.

After the bylaws were defeated, the applicant is still considering further options.

“We at East Central Auto Recycling are very disappointed with the decision of County of Stettler council on Sept. 7,” Nibourg said in a statement in response to a query by the Independent.

“The failure of third (final) reading came as quite a surprise.”

“The fact that a tie vote means that the decision is automatically turned down does come as a decision that is hard to take.

“We do understand that some councillors have taken issue with this project for one reason or another over the past 14 months,” Nibourg said.

“We do feel, however, that we made every effort to satisfy any concerns that were brought to us.”

“We also feel in this current economy that government should do everything possible to encourage business of all kinds, especially one that is green with recycling at its main goal.”

“We are not saying business at any cost but if you have a local person with strong ties and involvement in the betterment of our community (not a large multi-national with bottomless pocket and not heart tied to the community), our local government councilors should put their vote where the heart lies,” Nibourg stressed.

“We still feel the Stettler area is a great place to do business and raise a family but at this time we are going to weigh our options to see what the next step will be for our business.”

Nibourg had selected this site since the business requires railway access and it is located in a prominent highway location where effective screening of the stockpiling yard from highway traffic and a high-quality exterior finishing of the facility are a high priority.

Just Posted

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Stettler Board of Trade asks, gets $34,000 budget increase from town

Museum gets same funding as previous year, didn’t ask for increase

Donalda’s Curtis Cassidy win’s $26,230 at NFR

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston bucked off

World Champion Saddle Bronc rider, Zeke Thurston of Big Valley consistent at NFR

Donalda’s Curtis Cassidy third overall and wins $15,653

Local cowboys Zeke Thurston and Curtis Cassidy have solid night at NFR

Big Valley’s Thurston has wild ride. Donalda’s Cassidy ranked number one steer wrestler in world

Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971

Adrian Pearce, now a married father of two, received the small present from his highschool sweetheart

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Missing B.C. man might be headed to Alberta

Jeremy Bauer, 40, was last seen on Dec. 6

Most Read