South Shore plan adopted for Buffalo Lake growth

Residents around Buffalo Lake have commended municipal officials for an updated Buffalo Lake South Shore Inter-municipal Development Plan

Residents around Buffalo Lake have commended municipal officials for an updated Buffalo Lake South Shore Inter-municipal Development Plan that promotes small lots near the lakeshore.

After a joint public hearing in May, the County of Stettler adopted the plan at its monthly meeting in July with one community group specially thanking the committee and Johan van der Bank, director of planning and development for the county.

“He’s done a superb job to keep the doors open and communicating with us,” said Corinne Cruickshank, speaking for Kath Rothwell, president of Scenic Sands Community Association.

“They’ve definitely worked with us.”

Many of about 35 residents at the hearing expressed support for the plan that supplements the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan that was adopted in 2010 by the County of Stettler, Summer Village of Rochon Sands and the Summer Village of White Sands to guide future growth within the Buffalo Lake South Shore growth node.

“I’m really pleased with participation,” said van der Bank, who noted that concerns were addressed along the process.

He further said that the summer villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands are set to adopt the plan by the end of August.

To further support this, the county has set other priorities for the lake under its new strategic plan.

With plans to develop a trial system by June 2014, the county has set December 2018 to follow up projects for the Buffalo Lake inter-municipal development plan, shoreline management plan, stormwater master plan, investigate highway improvements, regional water servicing business plan, regional sanitary servicing plan, and a plan for trails, parks and marina.

Alberta Transportation recommends improvements to highways 835 and 601, although no funding or plans have been set, the planning director explained.

“The planning committee will endeavour to determine which road upgrades and improvements will be provincially funded and what grant funding opportunities may be available and a trigger point for road upgrades so that off-site levies can be charged,” van der Bank said.

With the current pace of growth steady, he further said the plan requires water and sanitary services would be communal, economical and viable.

Buffalo Lake south shore has potential to develop 2,377 new residential lots on the south, although an annual average of 12 lots have been developed in the last 35 years.

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