Crowsnest council postpones development bylaw

·3 min read

After receiving recommendations during the Dec. 8 public hearing, Crowsnest Pass council decided to delay third reading for 1059-2020 municipal development plan bylaw.

The Municipal Government Act requires Alberta municipalities adopt a comprehensive, long-term land-use plan and development framework. The municipal development plan will help guide decision-making for the next 20 years.

First reading for the MDP bylaw was held Nov. 10. The plan had been distributed to stakeholders for input and received minor amendments in wording and specific regulations for land development around pipelines.

The public hearing also brought feedback from resident Fred Bradley.

Mr. Bradley suggested the unique history of Crowsnest Pass should be highlighted more throughout the MDP, especially in the vision and value statement. Adding a heritage and historic sites section, he said, should also be a consideration.

Plans to eventually twin Highway 3 was another point Mr. Bradley thought the MDP needed to address, especially since a significant number of historic buildings in Frank would be demolished during construction.

“When you take out a whole quarter of the residential and commercial area of Frank with this highway, there’s not much left in Frank to reach the statement [in the MDP] ‘Frank will maintain a strong identity and sense of place going forward,’ ” Mr. Bradley said.

Mr. Bradley encouraged council to pressure the provincial government to instead work to relocate the railway south of the highway, which would keep the important historic area of Frank intact.

Council passed second reading of the MDP bylaw but decided to postpone third reading to the new year in order to fully consider Mr. Bradley’s suggestions.

The MDP and draft bylaw, as well as the complete list of recommendations, can be accessed in the Dec. 8 agenda package online at http://bit.ly/CNP_Dec8.

Riversdale Resources

Alisdair Gibbons, executive vice-president for Riversdale Resources, attended the meeting virtually to present the final 2020 update on the proposed Grassy Mountain mine.

The project is now nearing the final stages of the joint review panel public hearing, with Riversdale’s subsidiary Benga Mining scheduled to give its closing statement Dec. 15 and other participant statements set for Jan. 8.

Benga will then have until Jan. 15 to make a final response.

The final decision from the federal government is not expected to be made until the end of 2021.

Mr. Gibbons also gave an update on the proposed train load-out in Blairmore.

The plan is to construct a berm between the load-out and Highway 3 and mounds within the rail loop. Sculpting and planting trees and vegetation on the berm and mounds will be done to minimize the load-out’s visual impact.

Mayor Blair Painter was a little skeptical about the planned berm.

“We’re going to need some more work done on this berming and sculpturing to fill the requests of our residents,” he said.

“Their comments are that they don’t want to see this operation, so I think we’re going to have to be a little more creative and hide these equipment and rail and the load-out from view of the passerbys and those who still live in the community.”

Nominations and a cellphone

Changes to Alberta municipal elections were then discussed.

Nominations for municipal candidates can now be submitted as early as Jan. 1. The nomination period will go until noon on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. The extended period gives candidates additional time for financial matters, since contributions cannot be accepted or expenses incurred until nominations are submitted.

Council also clarified the council remuneration policy to state that only the mayor is allocated a municipal cellphone and compensated for its use. The practice has been in place since 2016, but the clarification now specifies cell remuneration is provided only to the mayor.

Next meeting

The next regular council meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at the MDM Community Centre in Bellevue. Agendas are available on the municipality’s website at https://bit.ly/CNPagenda.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze