Town and county updating plan

ommitted to work together and build the future, the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler continue to draft an updated municipal development plan which coincides with the town’s plan to annex a small part of he county.

Committed to work together and build the future, the County of Stettler and the Town of Stettler continue to draft an updated municipal development plan which coincides with the town’s plan to annex a small part of he county.

At its regular meeting Sept. 9, county council received a draft plan that is scheduled to be adopted this winter.

Council also confirmed a meeting for town and county planning commissions with the consultant Sept. 28 to discuss commercial and industrial design guidelines.

“Town and county staff have developed the draft Inter-municipal Development Plan (IDP) based on the memorandum of understanding that was signed in March 2009,” said Johan van der Bank, director of planning and development.

Both the county and town plan to co-host a joint open house in late October followed by a public hearing in December.

Currently the draft plan has been referred to government agencies for review and comment by Sept. 25.

Last spring, the town and county signed a memorandum of understanding for the town to annex six quarter sections to meet the town’s growth needs, including

• Four quarter sections to the west of the town along Highway 12, being Section 1-39-20-W4M:

• One quarter section west of Tower Road, being the SE 7-39-19-W4M around the Emerson subdivision;

• One quarter section to the south of the town along and to the east of Highway 56, being the SW 31-38-19- W4M.

The plan aims to outline “a framework for cooperatively moving forward with growth, long-range planning and areas of common planning interest, annexation of land in the short term and long term, economic development servicing and transportation, preserving natural capital, and other matters of joint interest for the Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler.”

Recognizing how the decisions of one municipality may affect the other, the draft plan establishes policies within the plan area to provide direction in future decision-making.

“This framework of policies ensures cooperation in moving forward which protecting the autonomy of each municipality and providing equality of growth opportunities,” the draft plan said.

Goals of the plan focus on steps to:

• Promote the quality of life for residents in each municipality.

• Identify areas that provide for the growth and development of each municipality and for annexing lands by the town.

• Identify and foster opportunities for working together, for example the provision of coordinated infrastructure and natural areas across municipal boundaries and establish design guidelines for mixed business development in the gateway locations.

• Provide a framework for consistent decision-making, inter-municipal communications, joint review of planning matters and the resolution of

disagreements that is effective and efficient while meeting statutory requirements.