By Kevin J Sabo
For the Independent
A proposed subdivision to be built on the property directly west of the Agricultural grounds took another step forward during the Town of Stettler’s April 6th council meeting, where a public hearing was held.
While no members of the public took the opportunity to speak at the hearing, three letters were received by the Town, each in opposition to the development and the necessitated bylaw change.
Currently, the property of the proposed site is classified as a public space, however, the owners of the property are wanting to reclassify the property as a residential zone in order to build the subdivision.
There has been some comment on social media against the decision, however only the three letters opposed made it to the hearing.
Concerns outlined in the three letters followed similar themes.
There was concern about what the removal of the green space would do for water drainage in the area.
Two of the three letters questioned the removal of the tress in the area. Noise was also an issue with the three letters. With some of the houses in the proposed development backing onto the Agricultural Society, there was concern that someone would buy a house there, then complain about the noise when an event is held at the grounds, something which already happens with other already established residences in the area.
One final objection stated in a letter was a question as to whether the community as a whole needed more residential lots.
The author, doing his own research, stated in the letter that there were already around 20 viable construction lots available in the community, and stated that Stettler was not exactly growing.
Part of his concern was that these lots would be prepped, and then sit vacant.
According to Leann Graham, Stettler’s director of planning and development, “Significant stormwater improvements” have been made in the area.
As for arguments about the trees, “A lot of them are at the end of their lifecycle.”
The owner of the property has also agreed to save any trees they can, and plant new ones in more appropriate areas of the subdivision.
One solution to help cut down noise would be the creation of a berm running between the Agricultural Society property and the new subdivision.
Also, adding further distance between the Ag. Society and the subdivision would be the placement of a back alley. The owner of the property of the proposed development has also agreed to work with the Society to minimize confrontation.
Ultimately, despite the three letters of opposition, council moved forward with the second reading of the bylaw which would rezone the land.
The third reading will not be held until the owner of the property has met the conditions of the subdivision.
Councilor Gord Lawlor didn’t see much choice but in allowing the second reading.
“It’s private property,” said Lawlor.
“(The letter writers) did bring up some valid concerns.”
Coun. Al Campbell made the motion to proceed with second reading, in a unanimously carried vote.