Local businessman loses rezoning bid

A local developer’s bid to create a mobile home next to an industrial park was shot down by Red Deer County council on Tuesday.

A local developer’s bid to create a mobile home next to an industrial park was shot down by Red Deer County council on Tuesday.

Norm Chiles, who owns Chiles Industrial Park just north of Red Deer, wanted to rezone 15 acres of his business service industrial district land to a manufactured home park district.

Chiles successfully rezoned the industrial land for mobile home park use 19 years ago, but did not go ahead with a development.

In 2004, the land was designated light industrial again in the Blindman Area Structure Plan. Three years later, the zoning was altered to business service industrial.

The proposal to allow manufactured homes to go up next to an industrial area drew opposition from a number of quarters.

The area has been included in the next chunk of county land targeted by the city for annexation. The joint planning committee that reviews land issues that affect both municipalities recommended rezoning be rejected.

Planners said neighbours of the proposed mobile home park also had misgivings. “Landowners and business owners located within Chiles Industrial Park have expressed concerns with regards to the close proximity of the manufactured home park to their business location,” says a planning report to council.

Businesses cited concerns about traffic flow, limited groundwater supplies and the potential for noise complaints from residential neighbours.

Alberta Environment also expressed concern that area groundwater was already depleted. The department also noted it was already “investigating a situation of non-compliance in that area,” says the planning report.

In June, Alberta Environment issued an enforcement order against Chiles, who is accused of drawing well water for commercial use without authorization.

Chiles, of Chiles Development Corp. and Chiles Homes Ltd., failed to supply the groundwater studies that are needed before Alberta Environment can issue a water well diversion licence under the Water Act, says the department.

Instead, Chiles is accused of taking water out of numerous wells on the Chiles Business Park without approval.

Chiles told council that he had put 30 years of work into the project and the mobile home park had been approved previously.

“It doesn’t fit. Times have changed,” said county Mayor Earl Kinsella.

Chiles said the previous mobile home park did not get off the ground because county staff would not sign off on the development agreement.

“I don’t accept that,” said Kinsella.

“I’ll send you the documents sir,” said Chiles as he left council chambers.


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