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Basements banned at Gull Lake subdivision Birch Bay

New basements will be prohibited in the Gull Lake subdivision of Birch Bay because of flooding and drainage problems.

Lacombe County council voted to amend its Land Use Bylaw on Thursday to prohibit below-grade developments, such as basements. Crawl spaces, footings and pilings will still be allowed.

First developed for summer cabins, over the years the subdivision has been developed with larger year-round homes, some of which have basements.

The basements exacerbated drainage problems and led to flooding on adjacent lots, which has led to numerous complaints to the county.

The basement ban does not affect existing basements. It applies to homes only in Birch Bay subdivision, and not the yet-undeveloped area west of the access road.

Coun. Rod McDermand questioned why the basement ban only applied to one subdivision when there is potential for similar problems in other areas near lakes in the county.

He wants to see the county take a look at other areas as well.

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