Land seizure decision due

Politicians will decide on Monday on whether the City of Red Deer should seize only a small piece of a property owner’s land.

Politicians will decide on Monday on whether the City of Red Deer should seize only a small piece of a property owner’s land.

The city plans to expropriate 6.45 acres of some land belonging to Doris Northey. The city says it needs the lands for the construction of the North Highway Connector project, including those required for road right-of-way, trunk services, storm ponds and future park preservation area.

An inquiry officer, Graham McLennan, of Edmonton, presided over a hearing on Aug. 26 and has since filed a recommendation in favour of the city.

In the officer’s report, it was reported that Northey had objected to the expropriation primarily on the grounds that the city should acquire an additional parcel of land from her.

The officer submitted that the Municipal Government Act “would have expressly provided for a situation where a landowner may object that the proposed partial taking is not large enough, and no such provision is found in the Municipal Government Act.”

Wtihin the report, Northey’s lawyer Donald Mallon was quoted as saying it is is not uncommon, where an inquiry officer is hearing evidence from both parties, that “changes in the amount of land to be expropriated are at issue.”

Mallon had no recollection of anyone saying an inquiry officer can’t consider an objection — such as taking a different route — simply because that may result in more land being required.

During the hearing, both parties were told the project is primarily a major transportation project that will be developed over a number of years. It is about 24 km in length, which runs from the intersection of Gaetz Avenue and Hwy 11A, and proceeds east through the Northey lands. It ultimately crosses over to 20th Avenue and down to what is now known as the McKenzie road.

Bob Northey, speaking on behalf of his elderly mother, said the Northeys object that the city isn’t taking a 26-acre parcel because it will become an “orphan parcel separated from the remainder of the lands with no legal access to it.”

The city has expressed on a number of occasions its interest in making this parcel part of its Waskasoo park system, according to Northey’s testimony.

City council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday at City Hall. Public feedback can by submitted at the meeting, or beforehand through lasmailbox@reddeer.ca

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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