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Notification error forces Fort Macleod council to rescind by-law to rezone river valley land

A clerical error sent a by-law to rezone land in the river valley to allow a gravel pit back to the drawing board.
Fort Macleod council learned last week the MD of Willow Creek was not notified of the by-law as an adjacent municipality that could be affected.
“The circulation to the MD of Willow Creek was missed,” said Spencer Croil, a planner with the Oldman River Regional Services Commission. “That’s definitely as much my issue as it is anybody else’s. I would just like to have that made clear.”
“Definitely with apologies to the applicants, the best course of action at this point in terms of potential issues with not meeting the process requirements of the MGA (Municipal Government Act), my recommendation would be this by-law be repealed.”
Croil told council that would require giving the by-law a new number, giving it first reading, and then holding a public hearing before considering second and third reading.
The McNab family is seeking to have land north of the Oldman River adjacent to Highway 811 rezoned to direct control, from river valley.
The zoning change would allow the McNabs to use 75 acres for gravel extraction and crushing.
Council gave By-law 1831 first reading on Sept. 28, and second reading on Oct. 12 following a public hearing.
The mistake in notification means the process must begin anew.
Croil told council it is possible the MD of Willow Creek could state the zoning change has “potential undue impact to their municipality.”
“That would be grounds for challenging the validity of the by-law,” Croil said.
Croil recommended council rescind first and second reading of by-law 1831, which council did.
There would be no change to the by-law itself, with the exception of a new number being assigned.
In response to a question from Mayor Rene Gendre, Croil said all the information submitted by the applicants, as well as people at the public hearing, would have to be resubmitted.
Gendre asked whether the applicants would receive financial compensation for any costs they incurred in the initial process, since an administrative error was made.
“All this information would have to be reintroduced,” Gendre said. “If it has to be reintroduced there would be costs involved.”
Gendre was referring to the involvement of experts hired by the applicants.
Acting chief administrative officer Jill Henderson said she would have to consult with Alberta Municipal Affairs.
“I would appreciate it,” Gendre said. “Some of these costs are considerable.”
The McNabs requested 87 acres be rezoned, with plans to mine gravel from about 75 acres with the rest of the land serving as a buffer.
Gravel will be hauled from the pit north on Highway 811 and east on Highway 519 continuing on to Lethbridge.
The McNabs plan to mine about 10 acres each year over a period of seven to eight years.
Excavation of gravel will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, with no mining or crushing after hours or on weekends and holidays.
The McNabs plan to crush 15 to 20 days each year.
Crushing will take place near the cutbank at the north end of the property to make use of a natural barrier to limit dust and noise. Vegetation surrounding the property will also serve as barriers.
A water truck will be used to control dust.
The McNabs would be required by Alberta Environment to put money in trust to ensure the approved reclamation plan is followed.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Calvin Crawford Says:

    I feel that it is time that we took a stand at how many gravel pit operations are really needed around Fort Macleod. With the big one just south of town and others off by highway 811 and highway 2, one is owned by McNally but the other one I do not know who owns it.
    So why do we need another one. To me it is a waste of land that could be utilized for cattle grazing or some other farming practice.

  2. Linda Says:

    Does anyone else find it ironic the Gendre would question costs when he has cost the Town close to $200,000.00