Thursday, March 10, 2016

Camp Gladstone rezoning request denied

Josh Davis

At their regular meeting held Tuesday afternoon March 8 Council for the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 discussed Bylaw 1265-15, which was intended to rezone the land use designation of a quarter section of land in MD Division 3 from “Agriculture – A” to “Rural Recreation 1 – RR1”. The intended purpose of the redesignation was to allow the site to be used as a youth camp, specifically Heartland Community Church’s Camp Gladstone youth camp. The Bylaw was defeated 4-1 at second reading..

Prior to second reading council discussed the issue,  Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos said “Looking at our value statement, our mission statement, and our community values, it’s too bad we don’t have some way besides a bylaw amendment to create something else, if this doesn’t work. It’s too bad we can’t give a temporary permit to just try this out, but we don’t have that option.”

“Does this development proposal not have to come forward to the Planning Commission for approval in terms of its activities, and all the conditions that attach?” asked Reeve Brian Hammond. “We’re not accepting the whole range, or any range, of activities here. We’re simply saying that we’re rezoning this property.”

“But once this change happens then there are other developments that are permitted,” said Councillor Yagos.

Director of Development and Community Services Roland Milligan stated, for clarification, that following rezoning land could be used for other purposes. Milligan then clarified that any development permit would go to the Municipal Planning Commission for scrutiny, that it would be discretionary use, and that it would be circulated to adjacent landowners.

Councillor Gary Marchuk said he believed personally that the application would have no negative effect on the MD. “However, when I ran for this position I said that I’d vote along the same lines as the majority of the ratepayers, without regards towards my personal feelings. The overwhelming majority of ratepayers in this instance of this particular application that have written, texted, phoned, have been against this application.” As a result of this Councillor Marchuk said he felt obligated to vote against the bylaw.

Councillor Fred Schoening spoke out against the re-designation of agricultural land, calling it “fragmentation in inappropriate places.”

Councillor Yagos  motioned for second reading of the bylaw.  Only Reeve Brian Hammond voted in favour of it, and the bylaw was defeated.

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