Alix land-use bylaw approved after public hearing

ALIX – Village of Alix council approved amendments to its land-use bylaw (LUB) Sept. 16 after a public hearing. 

The public hearing and regular council meeting were held in the community centre to meet pandemic guidelines.

Village Chief Administrative Officer Michelle White stated Mayor Rob Fehr chaired the public hearing, which included four members of the public. None of the four people spoke.

Craig Teal, a planner from Parkland Community Planning Services was present to discuss amendments to the LUB, including changes to administrative provisions, general regulations and land-use districts. 

Results of the Aug. 13 open house were also presented.

Nobody from the public opposed the amendments and no agencies or government departments had concerns either.

After the public hearing was closed, councillors unanimously approved second and third reading of the LUB amendments.

AHS changes

Mayor Fehr gave council a report on approved changes to 911 dispatch, including Alberta Health Service’s plan to consolidate all 911 dispatch in one of three call centres. 

Fehr stated this isn’t the first time AHS brought up this idea, including in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016 and it’s been shelved every time it was brought up.

Councillors also read a letter from City of Red Deer Tara Veer who is also concerned with the changes.

He stated the village has serious concerns about how this consolidation will affect the service that Alix residents need. 

Council approved sending letters of concern to the premier’s office, Health ministry, and the MLA requesting that the decision be reversed.

Traffic bylaw

Some tweaking of the village’s Traffic Bylaw was linked to the LUB amendments. 

White explained the LUB changes allow oversize vehicles to be parked on private property in R4 residential areas.

Councillors thus approved a change to the Traffic Bylaw to only cover oversize vehicles parking along public roadways.

Urban chickens

Councillors approved a change to the village’s Urban Chicken Bylaw which allows the village more options when chicken owners break the rules. 

In her memo to council White noted, “If enforcement of Urban Chicken Bylaw 430/18 is done on a person renting property and they decide not to pay the fine or seizure costs, the only further action toward collection would be to go to court.”

Hence, White suggested a change to the bylaw that gives the village the option to place fines or seizure costs onto the property owner’s tax roll.

Councillors passed the amended Urban Chicken Bylaw.

Strategic plan

White provided an update on the village’s review of this strategic plan, noting an in-depth review was conducted on Aug. 25. 

“Many things including service levels, municipal programs, capital project initiatives and funding were reviewed,” stated White in her report to council.

She noted the review left the vision, mission, core values and goals unchanged, but a few goal action items have been revised. 

White’s recommendation was to send these proposed changes out for public comment, including placing the proposed changes on the village website, hard copies available at the village office and included with utility bills.

Councillors approved the idea, citing Oct. 14 as deadline for input. The results will then be discussed at a future council meeting.

Social media rules

White presented councillors with a proposed policy governing how the village handles its Facebook page. 

“There have been no serious incidents regarding the village Facebook page, however having a policy in place to direct staff actions is a best practice in this area,” stated White in her memo.

The CAO stated there has been discussion for using the Facebook page to remind the public about open houses, issues with services such as garbage pick-up or other things. 

Councillors approved the policy.

Photo: The Village of Alix mascot, Alix-gator. (ECA Review/S.Salkeld)

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/East Central Alberta Review