Red Deer County is laying the groundwork to cede a strip of lakefront property to the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay.
Located next to the Jarvis Bay Provincial Park along the southeast shore of Sylvan Lake, the summer village has asked for control of the parcel, which it wants to maintain as a public park, county legislative services manager Nancy Lougheed told county council on Tuesday.
While there was an objection from Councillor Don Nesbitt, council passed a bylaw that would change the parcel zoning to environmental reserve.
The new designation would put tight limits on how it can be used, said Lougheed.
While his concerns over protecting the land from development were answered, Nesbitt said that if the summer village wants to own the land, it should have to pay for it.
Under the pending change, the land can be preserved in its natural state or made into a public park, but it cannot be developed, said Lougheed.
An environment reserve designation cannot be changed by a future council, she said.
The only way its use could be changed in the future would be through an act of the provincial legislature.
Changing the parcel to an environmental reserve and then giving it to the summer village would spare Red Deer County the expense of maintaining it without jeopardizing public access to the lake, said Lougheed.
The land is likely not suitable for development and any attempts to build on it would likely be shot down by property owners whose view of and access to the lake would be blocked, she told council.
Procedures for transferring the title to the summer village will begin once the county has received notice that the change in zoning has been registered with the province.
In other business, the county council and the municipal planning commission have adjusted policies and approved a number of land-use issues while refusing to relax landscaping rules in Petrolia Park:
l The municipal planning commission has denied a trucking company a relaxation in the level of landscaping required in front of a new shop proposed for a vacant lot in Petrolia Park.
The applicants had asked that the number of trees be reduced from 38 to 10 and that the number of shrubs drop from 76 to 16.
• Council gave first reading to a bylaw that would amend land use on a portion of Gasoline Alley East from General Commercial and Business Service Industrial to six Medium Industrial and one Public Utility Reserve parcel. A public hearing is set for the Aug. 16 council meeting.
• Council gave first reading to bylaw that would allow subdivision of a 38-acre parcel in Petrolia Park. An existing RV storage enterprise would be allowed to continue operating, but must obtain a development permit. The parcel would be divided into three General Commercial lots, eight Business Service Industrial lots and one Public Utility lot. An existing residence would have to be removed. A public hearing is set for the Aug. 16 council meeting.
• County council has amended its weed control and haying policies following a review by the Agriculture Services Board. The hay policy would allow landowners to apply to the Ag Services Board for permission to hay the ditches as required. Although the county has a weed control program, responsibility for control of noxious weeds falls on adjacent landowners. Under the new policy, those landowners who don’t want the county’s assistance with weed control would be required to enter a vegetation control agreement with the county. Among those who would benefit would be organic producers who don’t want herbicides drifting into their fields.