Diversified agriculture bylaw gets second reading

Council gave second reading of the Diversified Agriculture Amendments to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17 (Bylaw 1597/22). This bylaw proposes updates to the County’s Land Use Bylaw to support agribusiness and agritourism.

The proposed bylaw balances the needs of agribusiness and agritourism operators with those of the public and reflects regulatory best practices.

A public hearing was held on June 14, and members of the public were invited to share their input. Administration listened to the public’s feedback and reflected that input in the proposed bylaw that received second reading. If approved, the bylaw would result in the following changes to the Land Use Bylaw:

  • Create a Diversified Agriculture use and an Event Venue use so these types of activities are regulated in the Land Use Bylaw.
    • Diversified Agriculture includes value-added agricultural processing and retail sales of agricultural products. It allows for commercial experiences and events related to farming or farm life. It does not include events that are not primarily agricultural in nature, such as weddings, retreats, ceremonies, and corporate events.
    • Event Venue means the primary intended use is to hold events. It includes the use of facilities to enable entertainment, public assembly, and/or the preparation of food and beverage services.
  • Include Diversified Agriculture within the Agriculture (AG) district as a permitted use; Event Venue would not be an allowed use in the AG district.
  • Create a new Agriculture 2 (AG2) district that allows for more intensive agricultural uses.
    • Diversified Agriculture would be a permitted use meaning once approved, it cannot be appealed by adjacent landowners.
    • Event Venues would be a discretionary use meaning, once approved, adjacent landowners would be notified and could appeal the decision.

Upcoming public hearing

The updated Diversified Agriculture Amendments to Land Use Bylaw 1385/17 (Bylaw 1597/22) will go to a public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. in Sturgeon County Council Chambers (9613 100 St. in Morinville). The public hearing is an opportunity for members of the public to provide their input on the proposed bylaw. 

Details of the public hearing will be shared on the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review webpage and our events page.

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