Council approves bid to subdivide farmland

Red Deer County council has approved a proposal to subdivide out a five-acre piece of farmland despite the vocal objections of one councillor.

Red Deer County council has approved a proposal to subdivide out a five-acre piece of farmland despite the vocal objections of one councillor.

Dave Hoar did not like that the five-acre bare parcel was being taken out of a 160-acre quarter section partly along the property line, instead out of a corner.

“This is our one opportunity to do it right,” said Hoar on Tuesday, noting that as a first parcel subdivided out of the property there were likely better sites available.

“We should do everything in our power to (subdivide) in the corner of the property.”

Taking subdivisions out of corners makes it easier to farm the remaining land, which helps preserve farmland, he said.

Hoar said without knowing that there are not suitable building sites on the corners accessible to roads, he couldn’t support the subdivision on a farm about 15 km southwest of Red Deer.

Coun. Richard Lorenz also took issue on Tuesday with the proposed subdivision site.

He was concerned that it’s proximity to a nearby slough would lead to future basement flooding problems.

Under county development regulations, there must be a two-metre separation between basements and the water table.

Coun. George Gehrke said it is up to landowners to ensure that the subdivided site is suitable for building.

“I don’t think there’s anything we can do to protect them from themselves.”

Mayor Jim Wood said he supported the subdivision site, noting that it is a scenic spot bordered by trees.

If the site is not suitable for building, that would arise when it comes time to approve a development permit, he added.

The subdivision was approved 5-2 with Gehrke and Lorenz against.

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