Marathon Council Meeting After Summer Break
Council’s first meeting back after their summer break was a marathon 10-hour session that included a number of important decisions:
The road licencing bylaw has been sent back to Administration for further work;
The County Plan (Municipal Development Plan) will get new terms of reference by year end, with development of a new version to start early next year;
The Springbank, Conrich, and Janet ASPs will move forward to public hearings later this year or early next year;
The Bearspaw and Bragg Creek ASPs will be left on hold for the better part of another year; and
The Elbow View and Glenmore Trail ASPs are “dead in the water” and will not move forward.
Council also deferred decisions on other substantive items until its meeting on September 27th:
Whether to change the process for first reading for bylaws that go to public hearings; and
Possible modifications to the business live work and the special future urban development land use districts.
Road Licencing Bylaw sent back for substantial modifications
As we indicated in our last emails, Council held a public hearing to consider changing the rules governing the use of undeveloped road allowances to permit leasing for dedicated access to adjacent properties.
That lack of clarity in the proposed bylaw, along with numerous other issues, resulted in a significant number of residents expressing concerns about potential impacts for public access to these road allowances, many of which are used for various recreational purposes, and council listened!
Administration was directed to bring back an amended version of the bylaw, by the end of January 2023, to address the following:
Defining “dedicated access” and “temporary”
Including provisions that clarify that the licences are for “non-exclusive use”
Clarifying what type of access is included in “public access” – foot traffic or any non-vehicular traffic?
Clarifying whether licences of occupation for access are only to be issued for existing driveways (which appears to have been staff’s intention)
Determining whether there is an appeal process
Requiring signage providing access information
Clarifying “beneficial interest”
Determining what detail should be in the bylaw versus in the administrative procedure and/or licence application
Examining alternative termination timeframes (currently 30 days) and lengths of licences (currently renewed annually)
If all of these points are adequately addressed in an amended bylaw, concerns about its potential negative impacts on public recreational access to road allowances should be largely resolved. We will let you know when the issue comes before council again.
Redirection for Planning Documents under the Regional Growth Plan
Now that the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board’s (CMRB) Regional Growth Plan is in effect, Rocky View needed to make decisions on the Area Structure Plans (ASPs), ASP amendments, and ASP reviews that were in progress, as well as revising the County Plan to ensure it is consistent with the Regional Growth Plan. This was the focus of much of the September 13th council meeting.
Administration’s reports on each of these items can be accessed here (click on the paperclip to the right of the relevant agenda item).
Revising the County Plan / Municipal Development Plan
As most of you will recall, the revised Municipal Development Plan approved by the previous council last year was rejected by the CMRB. At the Sept. 13th meeting, Council agreed with staff’s recommendation that new terms of reference were needed to direct work on revisions that will be consistent with the Regional Growth Plan, even though there is a substantial amount of background work that can be salvaged from the earlier exercise.
The new terms of reference are to be brought back to Council before yearend. Assuming those are approved, work will then begin on a revised version early in 2023. Staff indicated that their desire is to have a new County Plan completed well in advance of the August 2025 deadline imposed by the Regional Growth Plan.
Springbank, Conrich, & Janet ASPs moving forward
While the Province was reviewing the Regional Growth Plan, Administration continued working on a revised version of the Springbank ASP and amendments to the Conrich and Janet ASPs. Administration confirmed that the draft ASPs to be presented at the public hearings will be consistent with the Regional Growth Plan and that the public hearings will be scheduled for the reasonable near future.
The key target dates for each of these ASPs are:
The “what we heard” engagement summary from the consultations earlier this year, is to be released in the next 2 – 3 weeks
A revised draft ASP will be released later this year, with public consultations to follow
The final ASP will be released prior to the public hearing, with additional opportunities for public input
The public hearing is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.
Conrich ASP – Amendments for Future Planning Area
Draft amendments to provide a land use strategy for the Future Planning Area were introduced in 2020 and put on hold until the Regional Growth Plan was finalized.
Revised draft ASP amendments will be released shortly (third quarter of 2022), with public consultations to follow.
Final amendments will be considered at a public hearing – expected before year end.
Janet ASP – Amendments for Long Term Development Area
Draft amendments to provide a land use strategy for the Long-Term Development Area were introduced in early 2020. They were put on hold until the Regional Growth Plan was finalized.
Revised amendments have been circulated to the community and neighbouring municipalities.
Final amendments will be considered at a public hearing, expected before year end.
Bearspaw ASP and Bragg Creek ASP hamlet expansion amendments still on hold
Work on the revision of the Bearspaw ASP and amendments for the land use strategy for Bragg Creek’s hamlet expansion area has been on hold since the beginning of this year. They will both remain on hold with anticipated progress as follows:
Bearspaw ASP – Revision on hold until May 2023
Staff indicated that they do not foresee substantial changes to residential land use policy in a revised Bearspaw ASP – feedback supports maintaining 2 – 4-acre residential parcel sizes, which is also consistent with the Regional Growth Plan.
Once the public hearings for the Springbank, Conrich, and Janet ASPs are done, staff will be able to focus on the Bearspaw ASP. They will seek further direction from council in May 2023 and will re-engage the community shortly after that. Councillor Wright raised concerns that both she and Deputy Mayor Kissel have heard that residents felt the earlier engagement was somewhat lacking. In response, staff indicated that they could undertake another round of full engagement if Council directed that in May 2023.
Bragg Creek ASP – Amendments for the hamlet expansion area on hold until September 2023
Administration indicated that there are substantive issues that should be reviewed before continuing with amendments for Bragg Creek’s hamlet expansion area – the ongoing discussions for improvements to the White Avenue / Highway 22 intersection and the need to review water / wastewater servicing in light of the Gateway development and to determine that project’s impact on overall development in Bragg Creek. Staff was directed to bring back a report on these issues by September 2023 at which time Council will provide direction on the project.
Councillor Hanson noted that due to the lack of buy-in for higher density in the expansion area, it will be important to re-engage the community. He also indicated that the County needs to focus on helping Bragg Creek become a sustainable community in the long term.
Elbow View and Glenmore Trail ASPs will not proceed
The Elbow View and Glenmore Trail ASPs were both developer-led projects initiated by the previous council. With the CMRB’s rejection of that council’s Municipal Development Plan and the approval of the Regional Growth Plan, both proposed ASPs are inconsistent with existing Rocky View planning policy and with the direction provided by the Regional Growth Plan. Council agreed with staff’s recommendation to rescind the terms of reference for both projects.