Sturgeon County Council Recap: Feb. 27, 2024

Here are the highlights from Sturgeon County Council’s regular meeting on February 27, 2024. 

Mayor Hnatiw proclaimed February 28 as Pink Shirt Day, a day celebrated nationally to promote kindness and inclusivity, and further anti-bullying efforts. Deputy Mayor Deanna Stang proclaimed March 8 as International Women’s Day, which is celebrated across the world to recognize the progress made to achieve gender equality, and acknowledge areas where work is still needed. 

Public Hearing | Lane Closure in Alcomdale 

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 1646/23 to close a portion of lane located on land owned by the Alcomdale Community League. The undeveloped lane – located within Block 3, Plan 866 CG – runs through land that has historically been used for recreational purposes. Closing this lane would bring land title and road plan registrations into alignment with the property’s use since the 1940s; the road allowance would be sold to the property owner at a cost of $1. Council will consider the presentations and submissions at the public hearing and will make a decision at a future Council meeting. 

Public Hearing | Amendment to Public Open Space and Environmental Preservation Districts 

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 1647/24 to amend the POS – Public Open Space district to provide greater clarity between that and the REC – Recreational district. This clarification is in response to a growing number of applications related to recreational activities and public concerns regarding the number of uses considered in the REC – Recreational district. View a listing of the proposed changes. Council will consider the presentations and submissions at the public hearing and will make a decision at a future Council meeting. 

Land Use Roundtable Discussion 

Administration provided Council with several options to further involve the public in land use discussions and decisions. This came in response to Council’s direction at its October 10, 2023, meeting requesting Administration provide information and options about establishing a Land Use Advisory Committee. After considering the options presented – which included a committee, focus groups or surveys, task forces and roundtable discussions – Council endorsed roundtable discussions. These are small group engagements on specific land use matters of interest to the community. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about different topics and offer their input. Information about these roundtable discussions will be shared using a variety of channels, including the County website, social media, newspaper ads and road signs. 

Land Use Matters

Land Use Bylaw Housekeeping and Clarity Updates 

Council passed Bylaw 1632/23 to update the Land Use Bylaw in response to public, Council and developer input. The proposed changes include minor updates for clarity and efficiency, and to help the County provide good customer service. Proposed updates are expected to reduce development appeals by 70 per cent. 

Amendments include the following: 

  • Adding clearer explanations for certain words used in the definitions section of the Land Use Bylaw. 
  • Changing site grading from a permitted use to a discretionary use on an interim basis while Administration reviews site grading policy and regulations. This means adjacent landowners are notified of proposed developments and have an opportunity to provide feedback. 
  • Requiring new event venue operators to live onsite and attend every commercial event. This rule would not affect existing developments that have already been approved; this is considered being “legally non-conforming.” However, if these legally non-confirming operations were expanded/changed, then this new rule would apply to them. 
  • Providing clarity about when a proposed development is referred to Canadian Forces Base Edmonton for input. 
  • Giving the development authority the ability to approve increased variance requests and make minor changes to issued permits supporting plans. 

Resource Extraction Redistricting

Council did not support Bylaw 1637/23, which proposed to redistrict 21012 Victoria Trail from AG – Agriculture district to RE – Resource Extraction district to operate a silica sand resource extraction operation.  

Redistricting for Relocation of Business on Adjacent Land 

Council gave first reading of Bylaw 1645/24 to redistrict approximately 15.2 hectares (37.7 acres) of land at SW-27-57-25-4 from AG- Agriculture District to I3 – Medium Industrial Unserviced district and IR – Industrial Reserve District to I3 – Medium Industrial Unserviced district. This would support the relocation of Eco-Flex, a local manufacturing company, which is currently operating on an adjacent parcel. A public hearing will be scheduled to allow landowners to provide their feedback before Council considers the proposed bylaw further. Details of the public hearing will be posted on the public notices page on the Sturgeon County website, on social media, in local newspapers and road signs. 

Redistricting for Expansion of Trucking Business 

Council gave first reading of Bylaw 1649/24 to redistrict a portion of land at 55013 Highway 825 [SW-5-55-22-4 (Lot A, Plan 4595NY)] adjacent to the Sturgeon Industrial Park from AG – Agriculture district to I4 – Medium Industrial Serviced district to expand an existing trucking business. It also waived the amendment base fee of $5,000. A public hearing will be scheduled to allow landowners to provide their feedback before Council considers the proposed bylaw further.  Details of the public hearing will be posted on the public notices page on the Sturgeon County website, on social media, in local newspapers and road signs. Council also gave first reading of Bylaw 1650/24, which adds the parcel of land to the Sturgeon Industrial Park Off-Site Levy Area.  

Subregional Negotiating Committee Member Appointments 

Council appointed Mayor Alanna Hnatiw, Deputy Mayor Deanna Stang and Councillor Kristin Toms to the Intermunicipal Negotiating Task Force (INTF) and Sturgeon County – Town of Legal Intermunicipal Committee. The INTF considers matters related to negotiations between Sturgeon County and neighbouring municipalities. The Intermunicipal Committee will soon discuss a funding request from the Town of Legal seeking funds from Sturgeon County for arena and curling rink upgrades. 

Documentation of Heritage Sites 

Council directed Administration to prepare a list of sites with historical significance on provincial and federal inventories within Sturgeon County. 

Next Council Meeting 

The next Sturgeon County Council meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on March 12, 2024. Future agendas and past meeting minutes can be found online

Fast facts about land use bylaw amendments and public hearings 

View our webpage about land use planning and community engagement. 

  • At Sturgeon County, before Council gets public feedback on a proposed land use bylaw amendment, it gives the proposed bylaw first reading. This does not mean Council supports the bylaw; this allows the proposed bylaw to go to the next stage of the bylaw process, which is gathering public input. 
  • Public hearings, along with other public notices, are promoted on the public notices page on the Sturgeon County website as well as in local newspapers, on social media, and on road signs in accordance with the Public Notification Bylaw
  • Public hearings are open to any members of the public to view or provide input. 
    • Viewing the public hearing: You can view the hearing in-person or via livestream at sturgeoncounty.ca/CouncilMeetings 
    • Making a written submission: you can provide a written submission by email up to the close of the public hearing. 
    • Speaking at the public hearing: you can provide a statement at the public hearing in person or via videoconference. You are encouraged to pre-register to speak in-person at the public hearing. If you wish to speak via videoconference, you must register at least 24 hours prior to the opening of the public hearing. Register by contacting Legislative Services at 780-939-8277. 
  • When considering public input, Council considers how and to what degree the person is impacted by the proposed amendment. 

#SturgeonCounty offices will be operating with reduced hours May 17, to accommodate a staff training event. Offices will re-open from 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Fire Advisory: Due to dry conditions and a lack of precipitation, a fire advisory is now in effect for Sturgeon County as of April 3. 

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