Municipal leaders from the towns of Blackfalds and Lacombe and Lacombe County will meet to try to salvage a contentious development plan for the Hwy 2A corridor.
The two mayors and county reeve and their senior managers plan to gather in the next few weeks to find a plan palatable to all. The three municipalities have spent more than two years trying to map out how development should occur on a 15-km swath of land along the highway between the two towns. At times, the area structure plan ignited fierce opposition from some area landowners who feared strict development conditions unfairly limited opportunities to build housing.
In May, county council unexpectedly made some last-minute changes to the plan to allow lots as small as six acres west of Hwy 2A without requiring urban-style communal water and sewer services. The plan had originally limited lot sizes to 12 acres in most cases to make it easier for the land to be developed along urban lines as the towns grew.
The last-minute change did not sit well with town officials. The municipalities were miffed that they had not been consulted before the amendment was passed. They made it clear they had no interest in expanding into areas dotted with six-acre lots, which are not considered economical by many developers.
County director of planning services Allan Williams hopes a middle ground can be found and the plan saved.
Williams said municipal leaders will try to get a clearer picture of where everyone sits on the future development issue. County council is also planning its own meeting to discuss what sorts of housing or other developments are envisioned in the future.
“We hope we can get some resolution and salvage this plan.”