Wheatland County council discussed four ongoing development permit applications during the March 12 meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission.

Development Permit 2022-002, first on the discussion, requested a time extension for the application which first became active March 30, 2022, with a completion deadline of March 30, 2024. 

This request aimed to extend the deadline for the development of the 13.3 megawatt solar facility until Sept. 30, 2025, allowing an additional 18 months to complete the project. 

The proposal was originally submitted for a 13.3 megawatt facility, covering 72 acres across the 160 acre subject parcel. 

Development activities were being completed in parallel with a funding application to the Government of Canada, which required partnership with an Indigenous partner. 

In February 2023, the Indigenous partner initially negotiated with and who had been accepted by the federal government, opted to not continue with the partnership. This caused a requirement for a new Indigenous partnership to be established, resulting in significant delays to the project. 

The Wheatland County Schedule of Fees stipulates a development extension may be granted one time only. This is the first time the proponent of the application has requested an extension, and they have reported confidence in their ability to complete the project by a September 2025 deadline.

Development Permit 2023-121 is an application for a biosolids all-weather stockpile, which is a component of the Willow Biomass and Marginal Lands Pilot Project. 

The stockpile is located on a 160-acre parcel which is leased from a Hutterite Colony. This same colony owns the lands adjacent to the parcel on all sides. The stockpile site is surrounded by willow tree plantations. 

A stockpile is defined as a discretionary use in the Agriculture General District, and requires the approval of the Municipal Planning Commission. 

Biosolids as an intended use are to aid in the improvement of soil quality for the purposes of agricultural use. 

Development Permit 2023-179 was to address two noncompliant structures located on the subject lands detailed in the report submitted to the Municipal Planning Commission. 

The buildings were identified due to a complaint the county received, stating they were moved to the property without permits and had the potential to be used as dwellings or cabins. 

The landowner advised the Municipal Planning Commission the structures would be used as accessory buildings only, providing family and friends with additional space to congregate. 

No septic or running water is planned to see installation within the structures, nor are they planned to be utilized as temporary, or permanent dwellings.

The two structures in question required variances in order to allow them to remain in their respective locations, as were reported in the development permit application.

Development Permit 2024-300 was to allow for six backyard hens and a coop to be allowed on a residential parcel within the Hamlet of Carseland. 

The structures proposed in the development permit application are compliant with local minimum size parameters listed in the bylaw. Additionally, a fully enclosed bin will be on site for the storage of manure until it is combined with household compost.

No concerns were reported by neighbours to the applicant regarding the development application.

The Municipal Planning Commission voted to approve all applications presented.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 27, 2024 at 12:06

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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