Thursday, November 8, 2018
IN THE NEWS
Clearwater County Council held their annual reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, October 23rd. The first item on the agenda was the selection of reeve. Councillor Laing nominated John Vandermeer, citing his dedication and community efforts as commendable attributes. Councillor Swanson nominated Jim Duncan, citing the need for succession planning. In a secret ballot vote, Councillor Duncan was elected reeve. Subsequent to that, in nominations for deputy reeve, Councillor Laird and Councillor Vandermeer faced off with Councillor Vandermeer declared Deputy Reeve.
Condor Fire Hall
Questions and phone calls have recently been received regarding the cost of building the new fire hall in Condor. As reported in The Mountaineer and in the county newsletter, the cost for the new public services/fire hall building is estimated at $4.0 million. Well known and highly respected local businessman, Merv Pidherney has invited county administration to come and see his facility at Blackfalds for a comparison. It is similar in size but was constructed at a considerably less cost. We trust that the invitation might be accepted and new insight gained.
A public hearing on the Appeal of the Development Permit for a Cannabis Production Facility was held on Tuesday, October 16. The decision was just made public on Tuesday, October 30th and the SDAB members consisting of Dick Wymenga, Chuck Shipley, and Murray Welch rejected the appeal, thereby allowing Element GP Inc. out of Calgary to proceed with their development plans for the James River area. Adjacent neighbors made a very strong presentation at the hearing, citing several contraventions of the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw, as well as the negative affects on the area. What really “muddied the waters”, however, was the recent Land Use Bylaw amendment brought forward by planning at the end of August and passed by council on October 9th. This action took place after Element had submitted their development permit in mid-August and MPC considered the application on September 12th. Following MPC’s approval the adjacent neighbors submitted their Notice of Appeal on October 3rd, noting, among other things the contravention of the Land Use Bylaw in effect at that time. The October 9th amendment by council, however, changed the wording in the original bylaw, making the set-back restrictions much more favorable for Element. Legal opinion varied as to which bylaw should be the guiding document in SDAB’s decision. Unfortunately, Planning’s over-zealous attempt to push the amendment through while the permit process was enroute has given the adjacent neighbors a “life sentence”.
A bouquet of roses goes out this month to Councillor John Vandermeer for his most dedicated efforts as Reeve for the past year. His enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience were outstanding qualities that our county certainly benefitted from and we say a huge thank you for all you have done, not only as Reeve this past year, but also your years as councillor.
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:00PM, Leslieville Community Hall. Guest speaker, Barry Holland
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2019, 7:30pm, Arbutus Community Hall, AGM
Note: As of January, our regular monthly meetings will be switching to the second Tuesday of the month.