Sundre has room to plan, grow

The Town of Sundre is ready for growth into the next two decades, with the annexation of 1,200 acres of Mountain View County land.

The Town of Sundre is ready for growth into the next two decades, with the annexation of 1,200 acres of Mountain View County land.

The change was approved recently through a provincial government order in council and involves land on all four sides of the town.

“It gives us something to plan around,” said John Whitesell, development officer, with the Town of Sundre.

“Now it’s a known constant. Knowing that we have this space to grow into we don’t have to fret about running out and where we’re going to go next. It just gives us that extra breathing room to make the plans and design transportation and infrastructure plans to accommodate it.”

The 1,200 acres includes three quarters on the northwest side of Sundre, east of Hwy 22, and a quarter section on the west side of town, just at the northwest corner of the intersection of Hwy 22, Hwy 27 and Hwy 584. It also includes a quarter section on the south side of town, west of the river and around two and a half quarters on the east side of Sundre. As well, a little piece of land, south of Hwy 27, on the eastern boundary of town will be annexed.

“It gives us more room to grow residentially,” Whitesell said. “Our primary residential growth area is going to be to the north, primarily those three areas to the north and northwest. That is to accommodate our future growth up to 2036 or something in that neighbourhood.”

He said the eastern part of the growth, which includes the Sundre Golf Course, won’t change, but there could be the opportunity to have further development if they chose to put in condominiums or townhouses. Some of the rest of the annexed land will be highway commercial, with services for the travelling public, including things like gas stations, motels and auto repair, Whitesell explained.

The Town of Sundre was around 11 quarters or around 1,700 acres, prior to the addition, Whitesell said. The 2006 federal census listed Sundre’s population at 2,518. Whitesell says it is around 2,700 people now.

Mountain View County has one million acres of land and around 12,500 residents, said Doug Plamping, chief administrative officer with Mountain View County.

Former county residents whose land has been annexed who do not develop their land will not have their taxes increase for the next 10 years. As well, the town will compensate the county for $30,000 in lost tax revenue each year over the next 10 years. The town will take over looking after the roads that have been annexed and bylaw enforcement in the new annexed areas.

Plamping said the annexation was supported by Mountain View County and the Town of Sundre. “One of the reasons for providing for 20 years of growth is so that the town can do good planning,” he said. “But it also gives the county an indication of where we can put our growth that doesn’t interfere with the town.”

Plamping said residents who want to continue in agriculture will be allowed or they will also be able to subdivide their land if they choose to do so.

The county and town are negotiating over water and wastewater systems.