Sea can approved by Bashaw town council for local business

Bashaw town councillors approved a local business owner’s request to replace sheds with a sea can shipping container storage unit. The decision was made after a public hearing held during the Oct. 24 regular meeting of council.

Mayor Rob McDonald opened the public hearing to consider a bylaw to amend the town’s land use bylaw.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller presented councillors with a land use bylaw (LUB) amendment which accommodated Doug and Mary Jane Heck’s request to place a 40 foot sea can on a commercial property in town.

During the discussion Fuller noted the application in question involved the Home Hardware business located in downtown Bashaw.

“Currently they have two sheds placed on the rear property line and would like to replace them with an 8 foot by 40 foot sea can,” stated Fuller’s memo to council.

“The previous two sheds were too small to require a development permit or were placed prior to the current bylaw.”

Fuller elaborated on the fact the sea can would be placed on the property line.

“In the central commercial district the rear setback requirement is six metres and the LUB amendment proposes to eliminate the setback,” stated Fuller’s memo. “A variance cannot be granted, due to the amount of variance, and (the LUB) obligates applicants to meet setback requirements within the district for accessory buildings over 10 square metres.”

The CAO noted the advantage to placing the sea can on the property line was flexibility for the property owner.

She noted some disadvantages existed as well, including runoff, melting snow landing on another property, access issues if the site in question doesn’t have an adjacent road and possible encroachment if there’s an overhang, which in this case there wouldn’t be.

Fuller did point out in her memo however that the Heck’s request is commonly found in some commercial and industrial districts. Issues such as runoff and melting snow can also be addressed by agreement and firefighting concerns could be addressed through the Alberta Building Code.

As the amendment had to be done through a bylaw Fuller noted the Heck’s request was publicly advertised for two weeks in the ECA Review newspaper and the town didn’t receive any submissions from the public.

Mayor McDonald asked if any member of the public present at the hearing wished to comment on the bylaw and no one responded. He closed the public hearing.

Councillors then debated the request.

Coun. Bryan Gust stated he had no concerns about the application and moved second reading which passed unanimously. Councillors then unanimously passed third reading which approved the amendment to the LUB.

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