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Town gets support for zoning changes in south Fort Macleod

Town council moved forward with plans to develop land in the south part of Fort Macleod.
Council gave second and third readings June 24 to a by-law that rezones land for residential and industrial development.
Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce supported the rezoning.
“We agree that these changes are necessary and will be good for business here in Fort Macleod,” Chamber president Andrew Beusekom wrote in a letter to council.
“To us, the benefits of the proposed industrial rezoning are obvious. The development and improvement of the south end of town will be integral in attracting new businesses and keeping our community vibrant.”
Beusekom also noted residential lot options will assist with a housing shortage that impacts Fort Macleod businesses.
“We commend you all for the research and through that has gone into this land use by-law amendment,” Beusekom added. “We believe this is evidence of your collective forward-thinking and strategic planning to improve our local economy.”
“Thank you for working together to accomplish such things in our community and for your continued efforts to move us forward.”
Prior to giving second and third readings to By-law No. 1893 council held a public hearing.
Town of Fort Macleod development officer Keli Sandford outlined the purpose of the by-law.
By-law No. 1893 was developed to enact the following changes:

  • A portion of Lot 1 Block 2 Plan 0513590, Lots 10-18, Block 303, Lots 10-18 Block 307, Lots 15-17 Block 311, Lots 21-26 Block 312, and Lots 28-36 Block 313 Plan 92B zoned residential, from agriculture.
  • Lots 1-9 Bock 314, Lots 10-18 Block 315, Lots 24-27 Block 316 and Lots 28-36 Block 317 Plan 92B zoned residential, from residential manufactured home.
  • A portion of Lot 1 Block 2 Plan 0513590 zoned industrial general, from agriculture.
  • A portion of Lot 1 Black 2 Plan 0513590 zoned public and institutional, from agriculture.
  • Lots 14-18 Block 66 Plan 92B zoned public and institutional, from residential.
  • Lots 19-23 Block 316 Plan 92B zoned residential multi unit, from residential manufactured home.

The property is all within the southwest half of Section 12, Township 9, Range 26 W4M.
“These are mainly on Eighth and Ninth streets between First and Seventh avenues,” Sandford said.
A green space area would separate residential lots from industrial.
Council gave first reading to By-law No. 1893 in May. The by-law was advertised in advance of the public hearing last week.
Angie O’Connor, who chairs the Fort Macleod Housing Committee, attended the hearing to speak in favour of the by-law.
“We appreciate the opportunity that the town is giving to have the multi unit residential on that piece of land to be ready if there is an opportunity for family and social housing,” O’Connor said.
“We realize that this may not be the best option or the only option but we want to make sure the town has an option going forward so we appreciate you doing this.”
Coun. Werner Dressler wondered what, if any, impact the zoning changes would have on property values.
“Zoning has very little impact on what land is worth,” said Gavin Scott, a planner with the Oldman River Regional Services Commission.
Dressler then asked if the zoning changes would effect taxes on existing property, and was assured there would not be any effect.
“I just wanted to make that very clear,” said Dressler, who has been questioned by residents in that area.
Council then proceeded with second and third readings to finalize By-law No. 1893.

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