Councillors consider rural businesses

Red Deer County councillors were divided this week over the question of how large home-based businesses could be before they should be steered towards industrial parks.

Red Deer County councillors were divided this week over the question of how large home-based businesses could be before they should be steered towards industrial parks.

A pair of businesses, a masonry operation and a foam insulation company, came before the county’s municipal planning commission to seek development permits to operate out of rural residential properties. Both were approved by narrow 4-3 votes after some debate.

Stonework Masonry and Stucco was applying for a home business permit for a site about six km west of the city on Hwy 11A. The location was previously approved for an oilfield services business but the owners want to use it for the masonry business. The county sent letters to neighbours and one was concerned about water use and the size of the business in a residential setting.

Brenda Hoskin, a consultant for the company, told the planning commission that the company planned to store four light trucks inside an existing storage building and there would be 40 to 60 pallets of cultured stone stored outside.

The business would generate less traffic than the oilfield service firm, which ran three large gravel trucks out of the site without any neighbour complaints for seven years. The smaller trucks would also generate less noise, said Hoskin.

But concerns about the size of the business were raised by Councillor George Gehrke, who noted the business is at the upper limit of what the bylaw allows for home-based businesses. That limits any future growth, he added.

Councillor Reimar Poth said council must look at all applications with a eye to how the entire county could be affected.

“I think this is precedent setting,” he said. If the commission approves this business, it must approve others of the same size.

Councillor David Hoar said home occupation permits are issued as a way to incubate small businesses until they have reached a size that they can move to industrial or commercial areas. However, the masonry business is already established and shouldn’t be located on a residential property.

The other four councillors had a different take. Jim Lougheed said he likely would not have supported the application if there hadn’t been a previous business operating on the site without complaint.

Councillor Wood said the business would have less impact than its predecessor. Also, the home-based development permit is for five years and if there are problems with the operation growing, it can be reviewed again.

“It may or may not expand, we don’t know that.”

Similar issues arose with an application by Foamco Industries Inc., a polyurethane foam insulation business that wanted to locate to a rural property five km southwest of Springbrook.

Carolyn Nienhuis, who owns the business with husband Jim, said the business had been in Edgar Industrial Park since 2002. But the oilpatch slowdown led them to sell their bays and they wanted to operate the business from a shop on property where their daughter lives with her husband.

Councillor Poth maintained the business is better suited to a commercial or industrial location and voted against along with Gehrke and Mayor Earl Kinsella.

Councillor David Hoar voted in favour, saying he wanted to see the business get back on their feet so maybe they could move back into an industrial park later.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

UPDATED: Red Deer air quality risk rated high

Poor air quality and reduced visibility

Ponoka liquor store robbed

One suspect charged so far

Women’s Outreach looking for school supplies for low income Central Albertans

With the back-to-school season upon us, Women’s Outreach is looking to the… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfires

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of… Continue reading

As service refusals make headlines, experts say businesses usually in the wrong

Two Canadian businesses that recently made headlines for refusing customers have learned… Continue reading

Irregular asylum claims increased in July after two months of decline

OTTAWA — The number of irregular border crossers in Canada went up… Continue reading

Knocking down statues no way to address a troubled history, McKenna says

OTTAWA — The minister responsible for Parks Canada says tearing down statues… Continue reading

Turning on Trump doesn’t buy credibility for black Americans

WASHINGTON — For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side,… Continue reading

Senior Chinese monk accused of sexual misconduct quits post

BEIJING — One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from… Continue reading

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was… Continue reading

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

GENOA, Italy — Italian emergency workers pulled two more bodies out of… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month