Reeve Upham declared the Public Hearing open at 1:15 p.m. with six members of the public present.
Krystle Fedoretz, Planning and Development, informed Council that the Public Hearing has been advertised in accordance with Section 606 of the M.G.A. and the adjacent landowners were notified via letterpost.
Krystle Fedoretz then informed Council that the purpose of the public hearing is to hear from anyone who is in favor of or opposed to Bylaw No. 2015-15, which is a bylaw to close a portion of the government road allowance adjoining the south boundary of the South East quarter of Section 6 lying east of a line drawn at right angles through said road allowance 420 meters west of the west limit of Road Plan 4322NY.
Krystle Fedoretz read the following letter in opposition to Bylaw No. 2015-15:
August 7, 2015
Attn: MR. DENNIS BERGHEIM
Written Submission in Opposition to Bylaw No. 2015-15.
We have been retained by Mr. E. Karpyshyn to oppose BYLAW No. 2015-15 ("the Bylaw") on his behalf. The Bylaw deals with the sale of four hundred twenty (420) meters or a Road Allowance on Township Road 600, between Range Road 115 and Range Road 120 ("the Road Allowance").
We contend that the Preamble of the Bylaw is not correct; it states that lands are no longer required for public travel. This declaration is untrue and misleading. We find that creation of the Bylaw Under a false pretence is inappropriate.
We claim that the applicant has blocked public access to the Road Allowance site. This course of action impedes access to the neighboring property legally described as NE 59-11-W4 ("the Land"). Public access has been blocked for several years and has prejudiced Mr. Karpyshyn with respect to his ability to access the Land.
The premise of the Bylaw's Preamble, with respect to an absence of any petition of those who would be prejudicially affected, is the result of a procedural lapse whereby Mr. Karpyshyn did not receive sufficient notice to enable him to submit a petition. Mr. Karpyshyn claims that he received no notice about the Bylaw before June 9th, 2015. Thus, he was not able to petition County Counsel to make a claim that he has been prejudicially affected.
Tony Karpyshyn wrote a letter to the County, dated on or about May 15, 2001. He explained that the blocked Road Allowance prohibited him from using it to transport farming equipment from another parcel of land. He expressed that transportation of heavy farm equipment on Highway 28, as an alternate route, is dangerous. Because there is no public access to the Road Allowance, the letter also explained how this has resulted in RVs and Snowmobiles crossing his land and causing winter-kill.
Pursuant to Policy DEV-103, the applicant has occupied this Road Allowance area without a license and has illegally erected fences to restrict public access. The applicant has blocked access on Range Road 115 and on Range Road 120. The Land is also adjacent to the Road Allowance and is not owned by the applicant.
The applicant has taken possession of the Road Allowance without a lease agreement with the County of St. Paul, which would grant the applicant possession of the Road Allowance temporarily. Pursuant to section 13 of the Traffic Safety Act (Alberta), the present arrangement is illegal.
Pursuant to section 7 of BYLAW 2013-50 (County of St. Paul), the applicant has illegally built a dugout that encroaches on the Road Allowance. This dugout is also in contravention of section 4 for of the Highway Development Control Regulation (Alta Reg 242/1990).
Pursuant to section 19 of the Water Act (Alberta) and pursuant to section 9 of the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act (Alberta), the dugout is also illegal.
Pursuant to section 13, 21 and 22 of the Municipal Government Act (Alberta), the occupation and restriction of public access by the applicant has effectively closed the road illegally.
The Bylaw would prohibit public travel to the Land. As such, Mr. Karpyshyn would be prejudicially affected by the Bylaw. The act of blocking access to the Road Allowance has also prejudiced Tony Karpyshyn, who farms the Land with Mr. Karpyshyn. Blocking public access to the Road Allowance has interfered with Tony Karpyshyn's enjoyment of and access to the Land.
We have attached a petition with the names of several individuals who oppose the Bylaw, which has been prepared by Mr. Karpyshyn. These individuals would also be prejudiced by the Bylaw.
Please forward this letter to the Minister of Transportation prior to the second reading of the Bylaw. We further request that you send your written decision regarding this matter to Mr. Karpyshyn directly at the following address: BOX 276, Ashmont, AB, T0A 0C0.
LAMOUREUX CULHAM LLP
DAVID W. KEYES
County of St. Paul Council
We the undersigned rate payer are opposed to the cancellation and part sale of Road allowance on Township Road 600 between Range Road 115 and Range Road 120 because the adjacent land owner dug a dugout partially on the road allowance.
Eddie Ernie Karpyshyn - NW 6-60-11-W4
Tim Harry Karpyshyn - SE 12-60-12-W4
Norman Bentley - NW 19-60-11-W4
Henry Gogowich - NE 5-60-11-W4
Marco Miller - NE 33-59-13-W4
Metro Karpyshyn - SE 1-60-12-W4
Ernie Melnychuk - SE 14-60-12-W4
George Karpyshyn - NE 2-60-12-W4
Anthony Karpyshyn - NE 1-60-12-W4
Don Huber - NW 15-59-11-W4
There were no other written submissions.
Norman Bentley then spoke in opposition to the proposed road cancellation and requested who gave the Starosielskis permission to dig the dugout on the road allowance.
Krystle Fedoretz then read the following letters in favor of the proposed road closure, aloud to Council:
July 24, 2015
Tom D. Starosielski
Ashmont, AB T0A 0C0
Dear Mr. Starosielski:
RE: Road Allowance Closure and Purchase
With respect the closure and purchase of the road allowance at the NE 31-59-11-W4, Alberta environment and Parks (EP) have no objection to this decision.
The Department records indicate that in 1987, Interim Licence No. 15020 was authorized to utilize 8.0 ac-ft of water from the slough located on the NE 31-59-11-W4. Subsequently a dugout has been constructed to serve as a reservoir for your agricultural operation. The dugout appears to be a necessary component of the water supply for the operation. EP has no outstanding requirement of your water management system under the Water Act.
Upon review of aerial photos, the County map and the National Topographical Survey, it appears that a fairly large and significant wetland exists along the northern road allowance of the NW & NE 31-59-11-W4.
In September 2013, Alberta implemented a new Wetland Policy in the settled area of Alberta. The goal of Alberta's Wetland Policy is to conserve, restore, protect, and manage Alberta's wetlands to sustain the benefits they provide to the environment, society, and the economy. The first priority of the policy is to avoid impacts toward wetland areas whenever possible.
Development of a road through this wetland would require significant demonstration of the need for the project. An examination of how the avoidance principle was employed with respect to the wetland would also be required. Comprehensive studies to determine the potential and secondary impacts, to the wetland would also be required. Therefore I strongly encourage the road allowance landowner to fully consider the project magnitude, prior to proposing the development of the road allowance. Alberta Environment and Parks would prefer that no road is built within this road allowance.
Wendi Dehod, P. Eng.
Sr. Water Administration Engineer
Ron McConnell, Ashmont
I have no objection and support the application by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60 (420 meters). He has been renting a 1/4 section of land (NW 32-59-11) from me since 2001 and it has been my experience that he is an excellent steward of the Land.
Allan and Shirley Tkachyk, Ashmont
We have no objection and support the application by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60 (420 metres). We are neighbors and have land 1/2 mile north of the road allowance. We are familiar with his farm's water system and know that granting of this application would be very beneficial and ensure continued success of his farm operation.
Heather & Wayne Himschoot, Ashmont
We have no objection and support the request by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60. Our land location is SW 32-59-11-W4.
Tom, Doreen and Ivan Starosielski, Ashmont
We have no objection to the application by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the described road allowance (Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60 (420 metres)) as per correspondence received in notice by the County of St. Paul. The closing and purchase of the road allowance will safeguard the water operations that are integral to the operation of Tom D and Heather Starosielski's cattle farm. It is our hope that the County Council grants permission of this request, which is rather unique due to the circumstances of the water operation that keep this fourth generation farm viable.
Ken & Jeannine Galas, Ashmont
We have no objection and support the request by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60. We have land located (NE 18-60-11-W4) & (NW 17-60-11-W4) north of the requested road allowance along RR 115. As a multi-generation farming family we understand the importance of preserving a water operation that is integral to the livelihood of a cattle farm.
Alton & Elizabeth (Betty) Mallock, Ashmont
We have no objection and support the request by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60. Our land location is NE 30-59-11-W4.
Poncho and Audrey Mulkay, Ashmont
We have no objection and support the request to the county by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60. We are neighbors to the Starosielski family and have land 1/2 mile south (SE 31-59-11-W4) of the requested road allowance.
Garry Himschoot, Ashmont
I do not agree with the County of St. Paul selling road allowance, however in an extenuating circumstance such as the case with the Starosielski family, I do agree. I understand that there water system is integral to their farming operation and in this circumstance I have no objection and support the request by Tom D. Starosielski to close and purchase the road allowance Meridian 4 Range 11 Township 60. My land location is SW 32-59-11-W4.
Reeve Upham then requested if there was anyone present to speak in favor of the proposed Bylaw.
Tom and Heather Starosielski then spoke in favor of their request to purchase the road allowance because the dugout on the road allowance is an integral part of their water system and the shelterbelt which was established in the 1950s is also situated on the road allowance. The water system is licensed and approved by Alberta Environment. They then pointed out to Council that the people who signed the petition don't all have land on Range Road 115.
No one else spoke in favor of or in opposition to the proposed road cancellation.
Reeve Upham declared the public hearing closed at 1:48 p.m.