Reeve Upham declared the Public Hearing open at 11:05 a.m.
Krystle Fedoretz, Planning and Development, informed Council that the public hearing has been advertised according to section 203 of the M.G.A. and the adjacent landowners were notified via letterpost. A public consultation was held on February 2, 2015 and there were 21 people in attendance.
Krystle then informed Council that the purpose of the public hearing is to discuss Bylaw No. 2014-34, as it relates to rezoning 18.9 acres in the S 1/2 SE 6-57-6-W4 from Agricultural to Industrial Commercial. There were 9 people in attendance for the Public Hearing.
Krystle Fedoretz read aloud the following written submissions in opposition to the proposed rezoning:
"Further to the letter received on January 20, 2015, regarding the second application to re-apply for rezoning on SE 6-57-6-W4. Please accept this as a formal letter of objection.
The county has a development plan into Elk Point from the North and the South on highway 41 called Gateway Entrance. This is an extraordinary plan and the county residents stand behind this plan. The residents of Elk Point also agree with this plan as it improves the entrances from all of the highways into the town including highway 646. This is very important to the whole area for future development and for the Town of Elk Point's and the County of St. Paul's ability to attract new residents to live in this community. It is of utmost importance to build the town in such a way to add to the aesthetic appeal of the town and also be copasetic with the natural environment around town.
Elk Point is now seeing many vacancies to accommodate housing employees, as well there is allotted industrial lands within the town that are for sale. The Town of Elk Point is developing multi-family dwellings for people to live in; there is no need to have industrial lands with work camps.
Commercial facilities should be built where there is adequate water supply and water disposal. The lands are zoned agriculture and due to the geographic lay of the land, the lands should remain agriculture. the above noted legal location is located in lands that are very swampy; and oil spillage, sewage, and waste water will end up right into the water veins as the water levels are very high. A good example is to look at the picture included with the application; this clearly shows the green foilage directly north of the proposed location, This foilage is actually swamp willows which is a good indicator of how low the lands lie. This picture also clearly shows the creek that runs from the west towards Lac Defresne.
The S 1/2 of 6-57-6-W4 is a riparian area, in the spring the water comes right up to where the proposed shop would be located. This is inadequate land for commercial development. Industrial shops and industrial sites must be built in correct areas designed for commercial uses with proper water shed and capture, There is a very fragile aquatic eco-system all the way to the west of Lac Defresne which stems from the creek that comes from the Town of Elk Point, The Alberta government has programs in place to protect riparian zones and the county would be very familiar with the fragility of these areas. Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, also knows as Cows and Fish has done extensive work to protect these areas.
The water table in this whole area is very high as it feeds all of the natural spruce forest east and south of Lac Defresne. This one of the few standing forests close to Elk Point, when water is drawn from this area ie. via dugouts, the whole water table drops dramatically affecting not only the trees but more importantly the residents water supply. Commercial water wells drilled in this area will affect this water table. In-proper used oil handling is an extreme danger to this aquatic region as well. The aquatic system is so fragile in this area it would be detrimental to rezone this area to commercial.
From the said lands there are 14 country residences that are directly affected by this re-zoning.
Due to the above concerns we must object to the development and re-zoning of this property."
Loreen and Robert Reynolds
"Please accept this letter as a second letter of objection as our company has objected to this same application for development previously in 2014 for the same purposes, It was our understanding that this was not going to be re-zoned.
Our mandate still stands that the county maintain the same development plan into Elk Point as the Gateway Entrance Guidelines. It is equally important to have the same plan for all entrances into Elk Point to maintain an orderly development of the community.
We are under these guidelines with our own land on the corner of highway 41 and we agree with these guidelines and we know that future professional developers will not object to orderly development either.
There are many industrial lots for sale in the Town of Elk Point for developers to purchase. The said lands in particular are not good for commercial development. Any development to the East of Highway 41 on Highway 646 is subject to swamps and lowlands affecting water sources of residents and livestock.
As a side notation, the said lands are home to many species of wildlife including eagles which are rare to see in this area as their habitat has become diminished.
Upon reviewing the application received from the County office regarding the re-zoning of the S 1/2 6-57-6-W4, we feel that with the proximity to our personal residences this will dramatically affect property values and water sources.
Please ensure that the above stated lands are not re-zoned commercial. We urge any re-zoning within the county to be under restricted covenants in terms of large businesses to ensure orderly development with aesthetically appealing highway frontage and strict guidelines on work camps and multi-family dwellings. These commercial sites should be restricted to specific areas that are more applicable to commercial activity and geographic location."
AARBO Ranching Ltd.
Reeve Upham then called for anyone wishing to speak in opposition of the proposed rezoning.
Edward Vogel lives right across the road from the proposed development and is concerned about how they will dispose of the sewer and oil from the business. There is a wetlands on the property and he is concerned with potential contamination.
Ollie Fedorus is also concerned about the slough on the property which is within half a mile of where the proposed building will be. He feels it should be designated as a wetlands and it should be preserved.
Glenn Scott, NW 33-56-6-W4, advised that he stands behind his previous concerns that if the rezoning application is approved it will set a precedent. He supports all the environmental concerns already expressed, however he is now thinking from a technical view. He feels this will be a text book case of supporting a second rate industrial park outside of the Town of Elk Point. He is also concerned with safety, as the area is already congested and the heavy traffic from the business will cause needless bottle necking. He feels this type of development should be in the industrial park in the Town of Elk Point. The proposed subdivision is too close to existing residences.
Eric Holthe owns land adjacent to this property and is concerned that if the wetlands become contaminated from the business, it will drain on to his property and could also contaminate his land. The developer may have it under control, however the owners in the future may not. He feels they should utilize the space in the Town of Elk Point that has already been zoned Industrial Commercial.
Reeve Upham then called for anyone wishing to speak in favor of the proposed rezoning.
The Applicant, Luthind Enterprises, then spoke in favor of the proposed rezoning as the intent of his business is to preserve jobs, create economic growth while mitigating their risks by having additional office space available for rent. He advised that the proposed development will not impact the green foilage as they will install a proper drainage system. They will be bringing a business into the County of St. Paul which employs 40 people. They also indicated that there will not be increased traffic to cause concern nor will there be an increase in noise to the area residents.
Myra Bochon, NW 5-57-6-W4, questioned the location of the proposed development as there are lots available within the Town of Elk Point which are already zoned for this type of development. The University of Alberta is doing a study on the wetlands, and the results will be available by the summer.
Following a brief question and answer period, the delegation left the Council Room at 11:45 a.m.
Reeve Upham recessed the meeting at 12:00 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 12:37 p.m. with all members of Council present.