Town passes first reading for highway commercial district amendment

Town of Strathmore council approved first reading for Land Use Bylaw Amendment 24-01, during the Feb. 21 regular meeting of council.

The bylaw amendment is in regards to 1016 Westridge Road, which would allow for a potential child care service to open in the highway commercial district.

Staff believe childcare services are not currently a listed use in the highway commercial district because some industrial type land uses exist in the same land use designation.

Kate Bakun, planner with the Town of Strathmore, explained to council during her presentation of the proposed bylaw amendment that childcare service is not currently a listed use under the highway commercial district zone in Strathmore.

According to administration as was presented before council via the public agenda package, the establishment of childcare facilities may lead to a new business opening and increased economic activity in the local community.

“As 1016 Westridge Road is adjacent to a residential community with two low-density residential district, and three high density residential district land uses, we think the location is appropriate,” said Bakun. “The potential childcare service will feature a spacious open area, the land lot measures 0.4 hectares, with a portion of it available for the creation of a private playground.”

It was also indicated, should the childcare service be permitted to be developed, one parking space would be necessary to have available per staff member of the business, as per the land use bylaw.

Bakun added the provision of more options for childcare services may assist to meet the needs of more local families within the town.

Via the public agenda, town administration detailed the bylaw amendment would adhere to the town’s social sustainability goals by providing a supportive environment for families, promoting equal opportunities for parents, and establishing foundations for early childhood development.

Environmentally, increased access to childcare options in Strathmore may allow for parents to commute shorter distances to access such services, leading to a reduction in overall traffic congestion, and associated environmental impacts.

A motion put forward by Coun. Denise Peterson to approve first reading of the proposed bylaw amendment was passed unanimously by council.

In accordance with Section 692(1) of the Municipal Government Act, prior to giving second and third readings to a proposed bylaw, council must hold a public hearing with respect to the proposed bylaw.

A public hearing to address Bylaw Amendment 24-01 has been scheduled by council to be held on March 20, in council chambers.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times