County and town residents support regional growth

Strong positive partnerships between the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler highlight an updated draft inter-municipal development plan (IDP) that was presented at an open house Oct. 26 at Stettler Community Hall.

That’s the plan - Reeve Earl Marshall (left) and Mayor Dick Richards discussing the main points of the Inter-municipal Development Plan during the open house on Monday

Strong positive partnerships between the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler highlight an updated draft inter-municipal development plan (IDP) that was presented at an open house Oct. 26 at Stettler Community Hall.

“Continual positive communication between the town and the county is the most effective way to maximize the benefits of the plan,” states the draft IDP, based on the memorandum of understanding that was signed in March 2009 in which the town plans to annex six quarter sections of land in agreement with the county.

About 20 residents attended the open house, with just a couple of people asking questions about the plan that sets direction for the next 10 years. The IDP outlines policies to address long-term servicing, infrastructure development, development constraints, preserving natural areas and other planning issues.

“For the lack of concerns, it looks like we’ve got it right that we have drafted an IDP that is workable for the town and county,” said county Reeve Earl Marshall.

“It’s obviously a plan that will not satisfy everyone but it’s a plan that the town and county can work together and move forward,” said town Mayor Dick Richards.

After reviewing all comments, each council plans to present the IDP bylaw for first reading in November followed by a public hearing to proceed to adopt the IDP and accompanying bylaw this winter.

With growing popularity for residential acreages as an alternative to the town’s higher-density subdivisions, the county growth area provides opportunity for lower-density residential development without imposing incompatible land uses on or fragmenting the designated growth area of the town.

Unless otherwise agreed upon by the town and county, residential development in the designated county growth area will be country residential lots to a maximum of one acre, although larger lots may be considered.

To provide common design standard for corridors along Highway 12 and Highway 56, joint design guidelines regulate mixed business development at the highway gateways within the IDP area.

To permit growth, the town and county ensure infrastructure and land uses along their common boundary are coordinated and both municipalities will work with Alberta Transportation to realign Highway 12 and Highway 56.

To protect parks and natural habitat, the town and county seek to preserve all environmental components of Red Willow Creek and its floodplain, including Shuckburgh’s Slough drainage channel.

For agriculture, confined feeding operations will be limited to locating no closer than one mile from the town’s existing boundaries and adjacent to residential developments in the IDP area.

To file comments or for more information, phone Johan van der Bank at 403-742-4441 or email vanderBbank@stettlercounty.ca or Leann Bateman by phone at 403-742-8305 or email lbateman@stettler.net.

Copies of the draft IDP are available on the websites at www.stettlercounty.ca or www.stettler.net.

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