The result was net zero: the County of Stettler Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) approved a subdivision application that removed one title from a parcel but kept the total number of titles on the land at three. The decision was made at the Oct. 25 regular MPC meeting.
The MPC is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. James Nibourg.
Board members heard a report from County of Stettler Director of Planning and Development Craig Teal on a subdivision application from Greg and Karen Hayden for a parcel of land described as Lot 3 and Lot 4, Block 1, Plan 212 0944 in the SW 21-40-20-W4M, which was currently zoned agriculture.
Teal stated during discussion the parcel in question is located within the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) and both Bar W Ranch and the Summer Village of White Sands are located just north of the property in question.
Readers should note IDPs are agreements where multiple municipalities agree on how development should proceed in a certain area and may have different rules than other areas of those municipalities.
During discussion it was revealed the purpose of the application was to merge a previously subdivided parcel back into the quarter section then subdivide a different part of the quarter. Teal noted this same subject site was the topic of discussion about how many parcels are allowed in a quarter section in this area given the restrictions of the Buffalo Lake IDP.
Teal went on to explain an exception was made for this parcel: it has three private titles rather than the standard two. He then stated this was largely due to the fact the parcel in question is located within the limited development area of the IDP.
“The subject property abuts RR 20-4 to the west,” stated the staff memo. “The terrain of the property can be described as rolling pasture land with some treed areas. The proposed 17.89 acre parcel contains an existing dwelling with an attached garage. An open discharge system exists on the proposed parcel. The remainder of the SW 21 is used as pasture. One abandoned well is located within the southwest region of the proposed remnant parcel.
“[The application’s purpose is] to consider a subdivision application proposing to subdivide one (roughly)17.89 acre parcel from a previously subdivided quarter section and to consolidate one five-acre parcel (Lot 4) with the remainder parcel (remainder of Lot 3).
“As the nature of the application is to maintain three lots on the quarter section, administration finds the proposed multi-lot subdivision to be acceptable due to the context and nature of the application,” added the staff memo.
Teal further clarified that the existing title in the southwest corner was to be merged with the quarter and a new parcel created; he pointed out the parcel originally had three titles and if the application was approved it would still have three titles.
Teal noted agencies were contacted for comment and there were no concerns. As well, he noted the county’s rural development fund (RDF) applied to this subdivision due to the number of acres involved and required a fee of about $15,140.
Coun. Justin Stevens asked if the parcel to be removed also had RDF monies applied to it. Teal answered no because the old parcel was only five acres in size.
Coun. Paul McKay asked why the parcel was oddly shaped; the proposed parcel was roughly square but with the east side pointing out. Teal answered that area contains the open discharge.
Chair Nibourg asked if the County of Stettler, by approving this, would face concerns from neighbouring municipalities. Teal responded this application was sent to neighbouring municipalities who had more than 21 days to comment and no municipalities sent in any comments at all.
Board members approved the subdivision application as it was presented.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Nov 10, 2023 at 11:09