Alberta BioBord’s proposed site sees initial re-zoning by Stettler County April 14

·5 min read

The first planning step in Alberta BioBord’s proposed medium density fibreboard (MDF) plant was taken at Stettler County’s regular council meeting April 14, as first reading was passed for the rezoning of the property from agriculture to industrial land.

Jacinta Donovan, director of planning services, presented councillors with a memo about Bylaw 1659-21 proposing to rezone part of NW 9-39-19 W4 from the agricultural district to the industrial district.

The portion of land is the same parcel identified by Alberta BioBord which is planning to build an MDF and fuel pellet facility once the property is re-zoned and purchased.

Alberta BioBord spokesperson George Clark confirmed to the ECA Review April 16 the parcel in question is the same one his company is looking at. He noted the parcel is about half a mile from the Town of Stettler’s boundary and both municipalities approved an amendment to their Intermunicipal Development Plan to allow for the rezoning.

The parcel of land is adjacent Hwy. #56 to the west and Twp Road #392 to the north. Clark said the proposed access to the site will be from the township road.

Councillors unanimously approved first reading and set the public hearing for May 12 at the county office.

Increased fees

Councillors decided to table Bylaw 1638-20 – Fee Schedule to their next regular meeting.

The bylaw had already passed first reading and been publicly advertised. There were a number of proposed changes to the fees bylaw which sets out what the county charges for certain services.

Some of the council discussion centered on things like the cost of building approaches and installing signs, and Coun. Dave Grover stated he felt some signs, like “Children playing,” are public safety issues and residents shouldn’t have to pay directly for those.

Rick Green, director of operations, noted suggested changes to the fees bylaw stem from discussions council had in 2020 and mostly came about from a tight budget.

Readers should note the fees include many different services such as Ag Service Board fees, not just public works.

Councillors moved into closed session for just over an hour at that point in the meeting, and after coming back into the regular meeting passed a motion to table the fees bylaw to their next meeting.

Aggregate issues

Councillors unanimously approved second and third reading of the revised Bylaw 1655-21 – Community Aggregate Payment Levy Bylaw after it had already passed first reading.

The staff memo given to councillors noted these changes address some issues the county is having with the aggregate industry.

“Issues have been identified with noncompliance in reporting Community Aggregate Payment (CAP) levy shipments,” stated the memo.

Changes included more detailed definitions, more defined timelines, a late reporting surcharge and a late payment penalty ranging up to $5,000.

Coun. James Nibourg asked if any submissions came in from the public after these changes were publicly advertised.

Andrew Brysiuk, manager of municipal services, stated one person called and asked about possibly appearing as a delegation but it was past deadline, so they stated they might send in an email, but no email was ever received.

Coun. Cheri Neitz stated she’d been contacted by someone wishing to send an email on this issue, but Brysiuk stated no email was received.

Nibourg said he just wanted to point out the public could comment on these changes.

“I just wanted to make that very, very clear,” said Nibourg.

Councillors unanimously passed second and third reading of the Community Aggregate Payment Levy Bylaw.

Rules for RV’s

Councillors passed first reading of Bylaw 1658-21, an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), which would allow for “...the temporary use of recreational vehicles within the various land use districts through a temporary development permit,” stated Donovan’s memo to council, which stated the RV could be occupied for up to 21 consecutive days.

Donovan stated this proposed change would apply anywhere in the County of Stettler.

She noted the bylaw also proposes fines for violations of the rules, and the county was also proposing a tagging system that would allow county staff to monitor how long an RV could stay.

Councillors approved a public hearing for this bylaw on May 12.

Hotel rooms

Councillors passed first reading of Bylaw 1657-21 after a presentation by Donovan.

“Bylaw 1657-21 would provide for an amendment to section 108.3 of the LUB, as amended to include motel, hotel, and special dwelling unit types as discretionary uses within the recreational facility land use district,” stated Donovan’s memo to council.

She noted that each hotel or motel unit is considered as a development unit in The Buffalo Lake Inter-Municipal Development Plan (IDP) and the Buffalo Lake South Shore IDP.

The public hearing for this bylaw was set for May 12.

Gadsby business

Councillors approved first reading of Bylaw 1656-21 Amend Land Use Bylaw (LUB), which proposes to merge the county’s LUB with the former Hamlet of Gadsby’s LUB.

A staff memo included in the agenda stated the village LUB aligned reasonably well with the county’s, and they recommended about two dozen tweaks in this new bylaw.

Staff stated information packages were mailed out to all property owners and no comments were received.

Councillors passed first reading of the bylaw and set a public hearing for May 12.

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review