LACOMBE COUNTY — A three-year effort to develop an industrial park east of Lacombe got a boost Thursday.
County council approved first reading of a bylaw to rezone 279 acres four km east of the town from agricultural land to industrial to make way for the IronRail Industrial Park. A public hearing was set for June 10 at the county office.
The 39-lot industrial park just south of Hwy 12 would be built in several phases. Lots would range in size from four acres to just over 12.
The project is being developed by Arclan Holdings Ltd. and was first proposed in spring 2007. A public hearing held in May raised a number of issues and third reading was delayed until they could be addressed.
Among the issues stalling the project were neighbouring landowner concerns about the visual impact of the development. Arclan has since agreed to plant mature trees on neighbours’ properties to screen the proposed industrial park.
Alberta Transportation was concerned about the location of an intersection, which has since been moved to improve sight lines and road safety.
The length of time it took to meet all of the necessary transportation guidelines meant a two-year time limit on passing third reading passed in May last year.
That means a new bylaw had to be created.
The delay also left the developer on the hook for an additional $9,000 in county costs, on top of $12,000 already paid in the initial application.
Consultant Robert Westcott requested council waive the additional fees, arguing the time limit was exceeded by issues out of the control of the developer.
Councillor Rod McDermand agreed, saying a developer should not be penalized because provincial government departments move so slowly.
Council voted to waive the $9,000.