Lacombe county plan for development along Hwy 2A faces last-minute change

A controversial Lacombe County plan to guide development along the Hwy 2A corridor took an unexpected detour on Thursday.

A controversial Lacombe County plan to guide development along the Hwy 2A corridor took an unexpected detour on Thursday.

The plan, which has been in the works for more than a year and undergone several major changes to appease landowners, was expected to be approved by county council.

But an amendment to allowable lot sizes was proposed that would put the brakes on approval because the change was considered significant enough to warrant taking the revamped plan back to another public hearing. Council voted to take the changes back to the committee overseeing the plan, which includes representatives from the county and Towns of Blackfalds and Lacombe.

The county has wrestled with the plan for more than a year. Among the difficulties has been addressing the concerns of landowners, who criticized early versions of the plan for being too restrictive and tying their hands when it comes to developing their properties. Some also argued that the plan put development costs out of reach of all but professional developers.

County councillors also had to meet the expectations of Blackfalds and Lacombe, which do not want small acreage-style developments emerge outside their boundaries in areas where they could put a crimp on future town growth.

The latest version of the plan allows landowners on both sides of Hwy 2A to subdivide their property into parcels 12 acres or larger without requiring urban-style communal water and sewer services.

Councillor Cliff Soper, whose division covers the plan area, proposed an amendment that would allow landowners west of Hwy 2A to subdivide their property into parcels as small as six acres. The rolling topography and swampy areas make smaller lot sizes a better fit for landowners, he suggested.

Allan Williams, the county’s director of planning services, said the larger lot sizes were designed to provide room for the two towns to expand in the future.

“This proposed amendment fundamentally conflicts with that premise.”

County commissioner Terry Hager said the problem with smaller lots is they are more difficult to subdivide into urban-style developments and would likely prove a “last resort” for developers.

Hager said council needs to take another look at the area and come to an agreement on how they see the area developing decades down the road.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Sasktachewan pup, who has extensive burns, makes her way to Red Deer

Donations accepted for Phoenix who has third degree burns on her body

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

One airlifted to hospital after avalanche on glacier in Yoho National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says it has responded to an… Continue reading

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault will visit flood-damaged regions north of… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

President attends Easter service following slew of tweets

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is using Easter morning to… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds… Continue reading

Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western… Continue reading

Soldiers deploy across Quebec after flood-caused sinkhole claims woman’s life

MONTREAL — Canadian Armed Forces are deploying in three regions across Quebec,… Continue reading

Most Read