Buffalo Lake South Shore workshop online

It’s the next best thing to being there.

It’s the next best thing to being there.

In an effort to get as many landowners as possible involved in planning decisions along the south shore of Buffalo Lake, Stettler County and the Summer Villages of White Sands and Rochon Sands have set up a live broadcast of a planning workshop being held today.

Even in summer, it’s difficult to include affected landowners in the planning process because it is a second home for so many people who live in Edmonton or Calgary or even further away, said Johan van der Bank, planning director for the County of Stettler.

Also during the summer, it’s difficult to find convenient times on weekdays to hold planning meetings, van der Bank said on Wednesday.

So when county councillors were discussing ways to bring county and summer village landowners together for a planning workshop, they looked into the resources they already had.

The county has an information technologist and a web camera, so it seemed logical to go the next step and broadcast the meeting online.

People watching from their computers will not be able to participate actively, but they will be able to watch live or view the streaming video later on, said van der Bank. At that point, anyone who wants to add comment can send a letter or email for the steering committee’s review, he said.

While anyone can view the South Shore workshop from the home page of the county’s website at www.stettlercounty.ca, only those who own property in the target area will be allowed to have input in the planning process, said van der Bank.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m., with the video to be posted to the website once it’s all over.

Van der Bank plans to have the county’s information technology staff track the number of people who view the workshop online and will assess the process in a few days to determine how effective it has been in drawing people into the process.