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Willow Creek MD council defeats Orton rezoning to stop new subdivision

MD of Willow Creek council defeated a by-law May 14 that would have rezoned land near Orton east of Fort Macleod.
The decision came after a brief discussion on an application by Jeff Wolff to rezone about 120 acres on the east side of Orton at SE-9-25-4 from rural general to rural hamlet designation.
Council passed first reading at its April 23 meeting, then tabled the final two readings to its May 14 meeting.
Planner Mike Burla said it was time for council to consider the merits of information provided at the public hearing that began on March 12 but was recessed until April 23 for more information before it was closed.
Reeve Neil Wilson cautioned no further information was to be taken on by council after the public hearing closed, then called for discussion.
Coun. Maryanne Sandberg was concerned about the number of acreages on the Orton channel, a groundwater aquifer, and the creation of more septic fields and the impact they would have.
Wilson said those concerns could be addressed through the development process.
Sandberg also asked about who will ultimately look after items such as the roads and drainage.
“What are the implications to us in the future?” Sandberg asked.
Coun. Henry Van Hierden moved second reading, and Sandberg requested a recorded vote.
The motion was defeated with Van Hierden and Coun. Ian Sundquist voting in favour, and Wilson, Sandberg and councillors Glen Alm, Earl Hemmaway and John Kroetsch voting against the motion.
Burla advised council that, by defeating the motion to rezone, the item cannot come back to council for a year.

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