Subdivision rules to be eased

Red Deer County is looking at tweaking its development regulations to make it easier for rural landowners to subdivide their land logically.

Red Deer County is looking at tweaking its development regulations to make it easier for rural landowners to subdivide their land logically.

Under the current Municipal Development Plan (MDP), farmers can take up to five acres out of a quarter section to create a separate bare parcel on which to build a home.

Usually, county council prefers the land be taken out of a corner or other location where it will have road access and as little impact on surrounding farmland as possible.

However, the county is increasingly seeing situations where it would make more sense for a larger chunk of land to be taken because of the topography of the land.

But whether a bigger subdivision is desirable or not, council is bound by the plan to limit the size to five acres.

Mayor Jim Wood would like to see that change and rural residents have also raised it as an issue.

“What we’ve done is we’ve sometimes hemmed ourselves in where we can’t make the best decision,” said Wood on Monday.

“(With) one of the decisions we made today, I believe it would have made more sense to include more similar type of topography in with this development — and we couldn’t do that.”

Wood said the public will have an opportunity to review proposed MDP changes at meetings later this fall.

The county hopes to approve a revamped MDP by the end of the year.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com