BLC with Greenview IDP goes to the public

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A proposed inter-municipal development plan for Big Lakes County and the M.D. of Greenview is ready for public comment.

At its regular meeting, county council gave first reading to Bylaw 20-2019 and set a public hearing for June 26 at 1 p.m.

“Each municipality does its own public hearing,” CAO Jordan Panasiuk says.

The plan encompasses land around Snipe Lake and 1.6 km on either side of the municipal boundaries in the area, the bylaw says.

“The IDP is now in its final stages,” says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

“Public consultation and workshops have taken place and the committee has reviewed and accepted the plan.”

The complete plan is being reviewed by Big Lakes and Greenview internal departments, municipal solicitors, school divisions and Alberta Environment and Parks.

“It is necessary to ensure that development around Snipe Lake is carried out in a sensitive way to protect the area for future generations,” the bylaw says.

Comments from other stakeholders and from neighbouring municipalities are important when considering future development, Olansky says.

The majority of the land in the IDP area is designated agricultural.

Snipe Lake attracts anglers and tourists from far and wide.

The campground located on the north shore of the lake attracts recreational users by providing unserviced sites for summer camping.

Big Lakes and Greenview administration staff will review the plan annually.

A broader formal review should be done within 10 year from the date the IDP is adopted.

About 18 citizens attended an open house Feb. 20 at Sunset House Community Centre, Olansky says.

Some of the people own land in both municipalities, she notes.

Most people favoured the plan as presented.

The proposed area was selected by a joint IDP committee and will be finalized by public comments.

The project is driven in part by new legislation within the Municipal Government Act that requires IDPs to be developed between all neighbouring municipalities.

It provides an opportunity for collaboration on matters important to both Big Lakes and Greenview, including services, land use, environmental protection and future development patterns.

For more information, contact Olansky by phone at (780) 523-5955 or email to polansky@BigLakesCounty.ca.

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