RM of Lumsden - they may need to make exemptions

·4 min read

Dog Kennel Application

Council reviewed a discretionary use development application for a dog kennel. The RM sent a notification to the surrounding area and received one response. The response to the council raised concern about the noise a kennel could create and how sound carries in the valley. The applicant proposed hours from 7 am to 7 pm.

The Reeve recalled a previous application for a kennel was denied due to similar concerns around the noise a kennel could create. Council discussed concerns around potential traffic. Councillor Lanford said he has lived near a kennel and noted there were two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening that are very noisy, but the time in between is quiet.

Council passed a motion denying the application.

Agricultural Subdivisions

Councillor Jordison spoke to agricultural subdivisions as he said that agricultural subdivisions are a growing problem as the council continues to approve 10-acre subdivisions. He noted the density is increasing, directing the council’s attention to a map to demonstrate how this is occurring.

He suggested rezoning the areas to Country Residential 1 to bring the areas into compliance for appropriate use for the land. Adding, some people are using the ag exemption in ways not intended. He suggested rezoning is a way for the RM to move forward with the RM growing. He acknowledged that it would be complicated, and they may need to make exemptions.

Councillor Jeremy Andrew noted the draw for people to move to the RM is that people can put up a mechanics shop, working on agricultural equipment while living there. Andrew didn’t want the council to be putting up extra barriers to development.

Reeve Farago responded, “all the power to them let them do it but let’s zone the property so that they have to put up the building under commercial or under CR1 and it’s an accessory building. Under ag it’s deemed an agricultural building and the taxation is different on it as well.”

Jordison finished the discussion acknowledging Andrew’s comments while recognizing rezoning would be adding another step and another process with subdivision. Still, he said, for future councils and generations, it is a step they should take.

Council passed a motion, 4 in favour (Farago, Schlosser, Jordison, Langford) 3 opposed (Andrew, Garbutt and Neuls) for Administration to review the suggestion bringing their findings back later.

Administrator’s Report

CAO Monica Merkosky reported the office is up to 70% capacity as several people have returned to work from the office. Merkosky noted that vaccines have been quickly rolling out and are hopeful they will reopen the office as soon as possible.

The CAO met with the Deer Valley Hamlet Board at their request. The Hamlet Board had questions on the sale of a titled tax property at Deer Valley. Reeve Farago asked that the council be briefed before the Deer Valley Board comes to the council with additional questions.

Reeve Farago said now that the RM owns the properties, they have a year to advertise them. Councillor Langford noted that the public is already aware of the properties. He said he had been approached being asked what price the RM will be selling them. He speculated that people envision purchasing them for the back taxes, which is legally what the RM can do.

Merkosky reported the Regina Beach Relations Committee needs to be rescheduled, adding she is preparing the road lease. Reeve Farago said the RM wouldn’t go ahead with the road lease unless they arrive at an agreement.

Speed Limit Bylaw

Council passed the first and second reading of a speed bylaw near the Minerva Ridge Subdivision. The bylaw would reduce speed limits to 60 kms per hour on township road 194 leading to the subdivision, and speed limits would be 40 km/r on the internal roadways. The third reading of the bylaw was delayed to allow for community input.

Additions to the Agenda

The Reeve asked the CAO what the process was to make additions to the agenda. The CAO responded that officially a councillor could request an addition before the agenda goes out on the Friday prior to the meeting. However, if an item comes up during the Reeve and Councillor Forum, the item can be discussed but no decision is made until it is added to the next meeting agenda.

The Reeve added that he wouldn’t do RM business through texts or emails unless it is an emergency, as it isn’t the proper way to conduct the RM’s business.

The next meeting of council is on June 3rd at 1 pm.

Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times

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