Second reading for Rotary Park rezone passed by council April 9, 2021 @ 3:00pm

A public hearing for Rezoning Bylaw 2139-21 was held at Town Council on April 6, 2021. The proposed development is for privately owned land at Rotary Park.

Leann Graham, Director of Planning and Development, reported that The Town of Stettler was proposing to rezone the area from public use to R2 (residential general). The proposed rezoning was circulated to adjacent landowners and advertised on March 25 and April 1, 2021 and the proposed rezoning is in accordance with Stettler Municipal Development Plan adopted in 2013 and identifies this land as mixed use residential.

There were three written letters of submission opposed to the rezoning and no verbal oppositions were made at the public meeting. The concerns expressed in the letters were related to drainage, stormwater management, potential noise issues, more residential lots, removal of sheltered green space, removal of trees in the area and the impact on the Stettler Ag Society fairgrounds.

Councillor Cheryl Barros inquired about the concerns in the letter with respect to drainage.

“Typically in a rezoning application, we would not be looking at that level of detail, however, as the subdivision comes forward, there will be conditions for all detail including stormwater. In this particular area there has been significant stormwater improvements over the years. The conditions of subdivision would be entering into a development agreement with the Town of Stettler and then we would be talking about all levels of services including stormwater management.” Leann Graham, Director of Planning & Development

Councillor Gord Lawlor inquired as to the concerns specific to the Ag Society and if there was a way to enter into purchase agreements with landowners specific to the potential noise factors.

Graham said that the development is a private development not Town of Stettler owned land so they do not have have control over the conditions of a land purchase agreement for a private enterprise developer. The private land is owned by local business owner, Tracey Peters.

Councillor Scott Pfeiffer asked Peters if there was any talk about burms and trees to prevent the noise and the dust and everything else.

“I spoke to Dwayne Martin [Ag Society] yesterday personally on the phone, and we had a discussion about the Ag Society letter. He said that basically they want to be good neighbours to us and we wanted to be good neighbours to them and that we would both be very interested in a burm foundation, trees or something that was a natural deviation to noise and dust. Olds College has a very similar situation where they show cattle and it worked out very nicely there. - Tracey Peters

The development plan shows that houses would back onto the Ag Society and it would all be back yards and then the burm, and the current plan includes a back alley on both sides. Mayor Nolls asked Peters about the concerns of losing trees and greenspace and if there was a plan to keep a large portion of trees where possible.

“We would like to keep as many as possible, but a lot of the trees are the end of their life cycle but we will endeavour to save as many as possible. Our current plan is to put back as many as possible into the plan, save as many as possible and we are even looking into someone that would harvesting the trees for the lumber and then it can come back into our community as a project so that we would be giving back the wood. Knowing its a contentious point for people that see the greenspace and say it’s lovely, it is and we don’t want a development that’s ugly.” - Tracey Peters

The second reading was passed by Council, and the recommendation is the third reading is held until such time that a development agreement be entered into as part of the subdivision condition. The Town is running a rezoning and subdivision applications concurrently with the subdivision to be presented to Council on April 20, 2021.

Jody Craig, Reporter