Northern Sunrise County defeats motion to allow Temporary Camp Districts

At its regular council meeting on Feb. 14, Northern Sunrise County held a public hearing to help collect information to consider before proceeding to amending a Land-Use Bylaw to include the addition of Temporary Camp Districts.

“Any changes to the County’s land-use bylaw requires a public hearing as per the Municipal Government Act,” says Reeve Corinna Williams. “The only person in attendance was the applicant who asked that this district be added into the land-use bylaw.”

The request to add the Temporary Camp Districts was made by an applicant working in the oil and gas industry, who told council the company was struggling to find contractors and subcontractors in the region. The applicant felt the solution was to hire outside the area and provide housing on a temporary camp site.

“Council had concerns about this being a district within the county and prefers that work camps are located in the green zone (forestry area) over lands within the white zone (agricultural, residential),” says Williams.

“With adding it as a district, that means that applications for this could have occurred anywhere within the county. People live in the county for a specific lifestyle, and a work camp located next door is not what council wanted to see.”

Council chose to move the proposal to the regular agenda, where the bylaw amendments were defeated. This means the Temporary Camp District addition will not be included in the county’s Land-Use Bylaw.

“Administration will look for alternative ways that could see Temporary Work Camps be allowed and bring it back to council for discussion,” says Williams, adding there are a number of facilities in the area that could accommodate workers.

“There is a large RV park located right by the county office that could be used to provide accommodation for their staff, including a few cabins and RVs stored indoors for winter living,” Williams says.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News