Moratorium considered for flood-prone area near Sundre

The public will have their say on a Mountain View County plan to propose a temporary moratorium in a flood-prone area southwest of Sundre.

The public will have their say on a Mountain View County plan to propose a temporary moratorium in a flood-prone area southwest of Sundre.

Council approved first reading of a bylaw that would prohibit development in the McDougal Flats area. It will now go to a public hearing on Oct. 9 before council considers second and third readings.

If passed, the bylaw would temporarily bar all future development in a 9,600-acre flood hazard area along a 13-km section of the river identified by consultants Golder Associates in a recent report. The moratorium will remain in place until lifted or modified by council.

That wouldn’t happen until county planning documents are updated for the low-lying area that has partly flooded several times in the last few years.

Council is taking a cautious approach because a recent study by consultants identified that a pair of rural subdivisions and a large swath of land south of the airport are in a potential floodway. New provincial legislation, enacted after last year’s devastating floods in Southern Alberta place strict limits on the types of development allowed in flood-prone areas.

The same legislation requires municipalities to update their plans to ensure they meet provincial regulations.

“Rather than move forward with any kind of development or application for development, we’re trying to protect people and trying to protect the county on future development by just putting a moratorium in place until we get a more defined floodway and a more defined map so we know exactly where the areas of risk are,” said Coun. Al Kemmere in a recent interview.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com