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Willow Creek MD re-zones land east of Fort Macleod for gravel pit

MD of Willow Creek council re-zoned 16 acres east of Fort Macleod on May 8 to be used for a gravel pit.
Council convened a public hearing on the application to re-zone land at NW and NE-14-8-25-4 from rural general to rural industrial.
Before the public hearing was convened, Reeve Henry Van Hierden declared a conflict of interest because he is the applicant and sat as a ratepayer.
Coun. Ian Sundquist also declared a conflict of interest, because he owns a gravel pit, and left the meeting.
Deputy Reeve Neil Wilson then assumed the chair and convened the public hearing.
No one attended the hearing in person, but the MD of Willow Creek did receive comments from the provincial government’s historical resources management branch, Alberta Health Services, and the Oldman Watershed Council.
Historical Resources said a permit was required to insure nothing historical was on the land.
Alberta Health Services stressed the development cannot have a negative impact on noise and air quality.
The Oldman Watershed Council said it did not appear there was a direct impact on the river or riparian areas, but wanted to insure any ground water was not affected by the development.
Van Hierden responded there is very little groundwater, pointing to three attempted deep wells that came up powder dry.
Van Hierden also explained First Nations representatives have already done a walkover of the land, and found nothing significant.
MD of Willow Creek manager of planning and development services Gail Gibeau noted the Historical Resources permit and watershed concerns can be addressed at the development permit stage of the process.
Wilson then closed the public hearing, and council passed the final two readings of the by-law to re-zone the land.

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