Sturgeon County Council Recap | April 12, 2022
Sturgeon County Council Recap | April 12, 2022
Here are the highlights from the April 12, 2022, Sturgeon County Council Meeting:
Changes to Council Meeting Dates
The April 26 and May 10, 2022, Regular Council Meetings have been cancelled and meeting dates scheduled for April 22, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. and May 3, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. The meeting dates were changed to enable some members of Council and Administration to attend the Canadian Hydrogen Convention (April 26-28, Edmonton) and the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association (ACCPA) Conference (May 9-11, Canmore).
Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force Final Recommendations
After hearing a presentation from the Chair of the Agribusiness Agritourism Review Task Force, Council accepted the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force Recommendations Report as information. Administration will bring forward an implementation strategy for the recommendations at the May 3, 2022, Regular Council Meeting for Council consideration. This includes proposed amendments to the Land Use Bylaw, which will be presented for consideration of first reading and scheduling of a Public Hearing. The Public Hearing will be the opportunity for members of the public to provide input on the proposed bylaw amendments.
Supplementary Assessment Bylaw
Council approved the Supplementary Assessment Bylaw 1586/22, which allows the County to levy taxes on properties that completed construction and/or projects that became operational during 2022. There are approximately 40 residential properties that would be affected as well as some non-residential, linear, and Designated Industrial properties.
County borrowing limits adjusted
Council gave second and third reading of the Short-Term Debt Borrowing Bylaw 1583/22, which increases the County’s short-term credit facility from $6 million to $25 million. This will provide the County with additional financing flexibility in the use of debt as a short-term financing solution.
Fees and Charges amended for the Broadband Initiative
Council approved Bylaw 1595/22 – Amendment to the 2022 Fees and Charges Bylaw to establish fees and charges related to the Sturgeon Broadband Fibre Network. The change will allow the County to prepare quotes for property owners in the Extended Service Area who wish to have broadband conduit and fibre installed on their property. Property owners can use the Broadband Availability Map to see the construction route and determine if their property is part of the Core Service Area or the Extended Service Area. More information can be found on the County website at sturgeoncounty.ca/GetConnected. Administration is also in the process of arranging public information sessions for residents to learn more about the project.
Youth Advisory Committee Bylaw receives first reading
After giving first reading of Bylaw 1588/22 Sturgeon County is one step closer to establishing a Youth Advisory Committee. Once established, the committee will provide the youth perspective on a variety of topics in the community. The bylaw will come forward to a future meeting for consideration of second and third readings. Further information regarding the proposed composition of the committee, timing of recruitment of members, and convening of the Committee will be provided at that time.
Council approves over $300,000 in grants to local groups
Council approved grants to various groups as recommended by the Calahoo-Villeneuve Sand and Gravel Advisory Committee and the Community Services Advisory Board:
Open Space Plan update and recommendations
After hearing a presentation from Administration, Council approved the 2022 Open Space Plan (OSP) Review and Update as an appendix to the 2016 Open Space Plan (2016). Council also adopted the four recommendations as policies for implementation over the next five years, which include prioritizing protection of the natural environment and diversity of open spaces.
Road construction contract awards:
Sturgeon County Position on Alberta Provincial Policing Proposal
Council endorsed the Rural Municipalities of Alberta’s advocacy position in continued support of the RCMP for policing in Alberta, and that proposed new monies for an Alberta Provincial Police Service instead be invested in underfunded policing and critical services within the province.
County passes bylaw to regulate data processing facilities
Council gave second and third reading of Bylaw 1570/22 – Amendments to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17 – Data Processing Facility Regulations. The bylaw will help mitigate potential concerns with data processing facilities, such as noise levels and frequency, as well as the aesthetics of any proposed development. Council noted the passing of the bylaw is not approval of any existing or proposed data processing facilities. Municipal regulations are in addition to provincial regulations enforced by the Alberta Utilities Commission and the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Council gives first reading of two land redistricting applications
Bylaw 1581/22 – Amendment to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17 in response to an application from Stratotech Raceway, an existing racetrack located in Sturgeon Industrial Park, to redistrict Lot 1 Plan 002 4376 to Direct Control District 21. A Stop Order is currently in effect on the property prohibiting the use of such for a “recreation, outdoor motorized vehicle facility” as it does not conform to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17. Council gave first reading of the bylaw to allow for the proposed redistricting to proceed to a Public Hearing to receive feedback from affected parties.
Bylaw 1584/22 – Redistricting of Highland Ridge in response to an application for a proposed redistricting of a portion of land known as “Highland Ridge” located on the far east side of Sturgeon Valley. The redistricting would change the land from R2 – Country Estate Residential to AG – Agriculture. Despite being zoned to facilitate development in accordance with the R2 – Country Estate Residential district, the land has remained undeveloped and continues to be used for agricultural purposes. Council gave first reading of the bylaw in order to proceed to a Public Hearing to receive feedback from affected parties.
First reading for Accessory Dwelling Units
Council gave first reading of Bylaw 1587/22 - Amendment to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17 - Accessory Dwelling Units which proposes to replace the entirety of the suite regulations of the Land Use Bylaw with streamlined and simplified regulations that combine Secondary, Garage, and Garden Suites and Secondary Dwellings together in a unified definition of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). To ensure no current landowner rights are lost, the proposal includes the AG-Major and AG-Minor and will allow two units on all agricultural parcels greater than four hectares in size compared to the current regulations which only allows three dwellings. A Public Hearing will be held to allow for the public to provide input on the proposed amendments.
Public Hearing for Meadowview Golf & Country Club proposal
Sturgeon County held a Public Hearing for Bylaw 1571/22, which proposes to redistrict a parcel of land directly across from the existing Meadowview Golf & Country Club (also zoned as REC – Recreational) to enable future development that would complement their other development. The concept plan suggests potential future phases of development that could include a driving range, mini-golf, batting cages, go-karting, and a camping area for up to 60 recreational vehicles. Administration will be summarizing public feedback provided during the Public Hearing, and the bylaw will be brought forward at a later date for Council’s consideration.
County moving ahead with the Clean Energy Improvement Program
Following a Public Hearing held earlier in the meeting, Council gave second and third reading of Bylaw 1562/21 - Clean Energy Improvement Program Tax Bylaw. This bylaw allows the County to provide financing to residential and commercial property owners to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for up to 100 per cent of project costs. This type of financing ties the loan to the property, not the property owner – if the property is sold, the owed amount can be repaid, or the new owner assumes repayment. The County will be launching the residential program first, to be followed by the non-residential program. Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC) will provide technical support throughout the development of the program and lead core implementation tasks, including application and payment processing, website management, participant and contractor customer service, contractor onboarding, and marketing and engagement.
Next Council Meeting
The next Sturgeon County Council meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on April 22, 2022.
Future agendas and past meeting minutes can be found online.