Red Deer County seeks feedback on managing farmland and development

Survey asks county residents opinions on how much farmland subdivision should be allowed

How to manage farmland and residential development pressure ranks among the most debated topics around Red Deer County’s council table.

The county’s stated goal is ensuring farmland is preserved and not carved up piecemeal. At the same time, growing numbers of residents and businesses would like to plant their roots in the countryside.

“(Subdivision) is probably one of the topics that council has struggled with, as far as making changes goes, the most in the time I’ve been on council,” said Mayor Jim Wood.

“I know that across our province, every municipality is different.”

The county generally allows one parcel to be subdivided out of a quarter section, but council is often faced with requests for further subdivision for a variety of reasons.

“There are lots of reasons (to ask for subdivision).

“How do we ensure that we have appropriate rules in Red Deer County so we have places for people who want to be here while ensuring we don’t change the nature of our community to where it’s not going to function.”

An update of the county’s 2012 Municipal Development Plan is now underway and planners and council want to get public input on some of the most common development issues.

A survey has been mailed directly to all agriculture-zoned landowners, but anyone who lives or owns land in Red Deer County can participate. An online survey is posted on the Red Deer County website and will run until Nov. 30.

Respondents are asked if quarter sections should be allowed to subdivide out one parcel or two or more parcels. A third question asks if more residential lots or acreages should be allowed outside of hamlets, where the county has typically directed residential growth.

Respondents have the choice of agreeing, strongly agreeing, disagreeing or strongly disagreeing.

“These topics are some of the ones that come up the most,” said Wood.

And there is plenty of disagreement among rural residents about how much subdivision to allow before preserving farmable chunks of land is put at risk.

“Some people don’t want people near them and some do,” he said, adding subdivisions can significantly increase the number of people in an area.

Coun. Philip Massier agrees it is a thorny issue with many implications depending on which approach is taken.

“I’m torn actually. At the end of the day, I truly think there’s no one answer for the whole county.

“Some areas are good to intensify and in other areas it might harm agriculture.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Songwriters discuss what makes a great country tune, creative process

Alberta Country Music Awards Songwriters Showcase was held in Red Deer Saturday

RCMP investigating fatal fire in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP and the Major Crimes unit are investigating after human remains… Continue reading

The Mustard Seed to launch new wellness centre in Red Deer

A new service is coming to Red Deer to help the city’s… Continue reading

Penhold firefighters handle ‘difficult’ blaze

Penhold firefighters battled a “difficult” blaze Friday afternoon. Fire crews were called… Continue reading

Clearwater County firefighter recruitment campaign deemed a success

A firefighter recruitment campaign is being considered a success by Clearwater County.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

RDC Queens sweep weekend series with Lethbridge

The RDC Queens picked up a pair of crucial wins on the… Continue reading

Photos: Strong turnout for 38th annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

The 38th annual Red Deer Oilmen’s Bonspiel is well underway at the… Continue reading

St. John’s, N.L., lifts state of emergency eight days after massive storm

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The City of St. John’s has lifted a… Continue reading

Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay announces Tory leadership bid

STELLARTON, N.S. — Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay says he will… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

French doctor: Virus from China seems less serious than SARS

PARIS — The lead doctor treating two Paris hospital patients for the… Continue reading

Most Read