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MD of Bighorn's omnibus amendments pass first reading

“I know sitting on MPC, this has come up a couple of times and it seems to me it is used to check to make sure things in that first year are going as planned. What checks will be in place?”
MD Bighorn
MD of Bighorn. RMO FILE PHOTO

MD OF BIGHORN – In an effort to streamline the development process of the MD, council gave first reading of a large group of amendments to the land use bylaw.

In recent few years, Bighorn's planning department has been tracking a potential list of housekeeping amendments to ensure the land use bylaw remains current.

The proposed amendments are largely administrative amendments to help streamline the development process and provide clarity to both planning staff and applicants. It is not expected the proposed amendments will impact the Municipal Development Plan review and update currently underway.

Council, for the most part, sped the first reading along except for one question from Coun. Jen Smith regarding the removal of one-year development permit for bed and breakfasts.

“I know sitting on MPC, this has come up a couple of times and it seems to me it is used to check to make sure things in that first year are going as planned,” Smith said. “What checks will be in place?”

Administration said they had not run into any issues with the trial one-year development permit as most applicants have been able to get the full renewal period. It was removed from the land use bylaw to streamline the process and make it more efficient for applicants. There will still be enforcement though, as stop orders can still be issued if conditions of the development permit are not met.

A total of $18,000 has been allocated for the amendments. Since the amendments are being completed in house, it is not expected that the entire budget will be required.

Council adopted its land use bylaw in September 2018, but several amendments have been approved by council on an application-by-application basis.

There are 40 amendments that would be approved, all of which primarily have to do with wording and definitions, including defining terms such as wet bar, quarry and peace officer, while replacing Alberta Building Code with National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition.

A public hearing has now been scheduled for Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. in council chambers in Exshaw.