The Area Structure Plan has been presented to Council and has now received first reading. What does that mean? Council can only operate by bylaw or resolution, a resolution is simply a command that is voted on by a tribunal like Council. A Bylaw is a written rule that Council has adopted that County Administration has to follow. Under the Municipal Government Act, which is the Legislation that allows Municipalities to exist, a Bylaw must receive three separate and distinct readings. Between readings, subtle changes can be made. If the Bylaw was something that required a Public Hearing, this is particularly important because if it is a significant change you need to either start again or re-open the public hearing.
The Public Hearing is going to re-open on May 10 and here is why; There was a study area established through a terms of reference for the ASP that goes from about a mile North of Glenmore Trail on the North side to Township Road 232 on the South, and from a half mile west of Valeview Road on the West side to Boundary Road on the East. The Study area was established by Council to set parameters in area for Administration to follow in studying the Area for the next ten years or so on what happens, development-wise, in Langdon. A technical review was done, a committee was struck and some very qualified people did a very lengthy report. That Committee made recommendations and Council directed Administration to follow those recommendations when they formulated the first Draft of the Area Structure Plan (ASP).
County Administration started the ASP process in late 2014, they hired a few people to do a door to door campaign, did an on-line exercise and had 5 different open houses to get input and feedback from Residents. They met with many stakeholders and Residents and formulated a Draft Area Structure Plan, they then hired a Company to do another report on the Area they decided was appropriate, it basically adds some land to the west of Langdon West, to the South of Buy-Low and to the South of Boulder Creek, about one third of the Study Area.
A public Hearing was booked for Council to hear directly what any affected party has for input. At a Public Hearing, Council hears a report, then hears from those for or against, asks many questions, reads written and emailed comments and makes a decision on what to do. In this case I heard a few comments in favour of what was presented and many comments that were concerned. I also read the multitude of reports available and found there were conflicts among them. There is no clear answer on what the proper direction is. My biggest concern is that I see this ASP as our opportunity to correct some of the shortfalls we have (flooding, transportation, pathway connections etc) and to do it through levys on development so that it doesn’t cost the existing taxpayers, the Developers can recover, residents just pay.
I may need some help on May 10th, I am not convinced they got it right and I insist on making sure our future plans include continuing to improve our Community. I will continue the fight but it is extremely critical that I am doing it the way you want me to, please let me know how you feel and if you can help.