An application by the Summer Village of Rochon Sands to annex 184 hectares (454 acres) from the County of Stettler will stretch into the fourth calendar year of the process after a public hearing in Stettler on Sept. 22 by the provincial Municipal Government Board (MGB).
Members of the MGB rescheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 9 and a merit hearing for May 30 to June 3 after the county urged that the public hearing last week be rescheduled until after the municipal affairs minster presents a report on the sustainability of municipalities
“We are pleased that the MGB is moving along and it has scheduled a merit hearing for next summer and this will allow people who will be in the area, to attend the hearing,’ said Rochon Sands Mayor Wayne Miller.
To conclude the hearing at the Ramada Inn on Sept. 22, the MGB reset the dates for further hearings and deadlines for the summer village and the county to file submissions and to share requested information.
However, the county isn’t too eager to surrender this land to the summer village.
“We can’t support this application,” said Reeve Earl Marshall.
While the prime goal to annex land is to provide more land for future development, most of the land in the current annexation application is already developed, he said.
“It has nothing to do with growth.”
With 145 properties affected, just two property owners (1.3 per cent) were opposed to the application, stated the report, while 114 supported ((78.6 per cent) and 31 properties (20.1 per cent) filed no responses.
A key consideration and recurring theme in the annexation application recognizes that affected owners of the developed lots within the annexation area associate themselves more with Rochon Sands than with the County of Stettler and most are very active in the summer village, states the report.
One administrative municipality, with an emphasis to provide service to lake property owners, will be better able to serve the needs of residents and property owners with the Summer Village of Rochon Sands including the proposed annexation area.
Rochon Sands has applied to annex 454.406 acres of land that would include:
• NE 19-40-20-W4 (15.4 acres).
• SE 19-40-20-W4 ((173.65 acres).
• NW 20-40-20-W4 (212,79 acres).
• SW 20-40-20-W4 (160 acres – entire section).
• SE 24=40-21-W4 (.096 acres).
The plots included in this application are unique in that they are accessible only through the village.
“The Summer Village of Rochon Sands only wants to complete the ‘community’ of Rochon Sands,” states the document.
“With this, the summer village has no desire to annex any more land farther to the west or south because those plots will not have that same functional relationship as the ones included in this annexation application.”