Lacombe County considering ban on basements

Lacombe County wants to ban basements in a pair of Gull Lake communities to head off future drainage problems.

Lacombe County wants to ban basements in a pair of Gull Lake communities to head off future drainage problems.

In proposed bylaw changes reviewed last week, basements will be prohibited in Birch Bay subdivision and on 17 lots in the McLaurin Beach subdivision.

A planning report to council says the two subdivisions have been a source of drainage issues since their development decades ago.

“The intent of these subdivisions was to provide for summer cabin development with seasonal occupancy, however, over the years these cabins have been replaced with large year-round occupancy dwellings some of which include basement developments,” says the report.

“These basements have exacerbated the drainage issues in these subdivisions and have led to flooding on adjacent lots . . .”

The county gets numerous complaints about drainage problems every year in the subdivisions.

Common concerns including standing water on county-owned reserves, flooded basements and submerged walkways to the lake.

Birch Bay is on the northwest end of the lake and McLaurin Beach is on the southeast side. An engineering firm was hired by the county to find a solution to drainage problems at Birch Bay and the recommendation chosen by the county was to dig rear-lot ditches to carry off water.

In April, the project was tendered but the lowest of two bids came in at $801,836 — nearly 50 per cent higher than the county’s estimate of $574,000.

After council debated the cost of the project and who should pay, administration was directed to prepare a discussion paper on the use of a local improvement tax on projects throughout the county that are considered local in nature.

Local improvement taxes are typically charged to property owners to cover the cost of projects that specifically benefit them.

County commissioner Terry Hager said another issue that has arisen is that some residents say they don’t want the drainage ditches.

Residents were consulted and favoured the project before the county went ahead with hiring an engineering firm.

“We received positive feedback at that point in time,” said Hager. “We’re now getting some negative feedback about whether they wanted the project.”

Council has decided to hold an open house at the Forshee Hall on July 16 beginning at 7 p.m. to find out where residents stand.

The bylaw changes related to basements will also discussed with property owners before council considers them for first reading.

Just Posted

2019 Winter Games will transform Red Deer: Olympic organizer

Team leader behind 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics provides inspirational pep talk

Red Deer RCMP make series of arrests as part of Project Pinpoint

Seven separate incidents lead police to repeat offenders

Red Deer city council gets the ball rolling on new fees for tax assessment summaries

Changes to provincial legislation has spurred a rise in requests

Red Deer County backs Canadian Finals Rodeo

Council approved $50,000 for the event’s inaugural event in Red Deer

Red Deer County receives third budget award

Award from the Government Finance Officers Association

WATCH: Red Deer students take part in annual run

Dawe/St. Pat’s Run reaches 40th anniversary

Smile Cookie fundraiser campaign for Reading College kicks off

Fundraising campaign runs Sept. 12-18 for program that helps children improve their reading

‘Nightmare that won’t end’: Storm evacuees can’t return yet

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hundreds of people waited in long lines for water… Continue reading

New bridge collapses into river in rural Saskatchewan hours after opening

HYAS, Sask. — A rural politician in eastern Saskatchewan says he’s at… Continue reading

Halifax researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada for first time

HALIFAX — For the first time in Atlantic Canadian waters, scientists have… Continue reading

Liberal riding association president blindsided by MP’s defection

OTTAWA — The president of an Ontario Liberal riding association says he… Continue reading

Pope gives bishops more decision-making options

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis decreed on Tuesday that ordinary Catholics should… Continue reading

Hurricane rating system fails to account for deadly rain

TRENTON, N.C. — When meteorologists downgraded Hurricane Florence from a powerful Category… Continue reading

Glad company: Trailer for Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

LOS ANGELES — A beloved nanny is preparing to take to the… Continue reading

Most Read