Stettler town council turns down rezoning request

The Town of Stettler turned down a request from a developer to change the zoning of a portion of the Meadowlands by the Park subdivision, stating the request went against established plans for the area. 

The decision was made at the Sept. 15 regular meeting of council.

The request to rezone Lot 19, Block 20, Plan 0729463 (4021 – Monarch Way) in Stettler from owner Rockwood Land Development Inc. asked councillors to approve rezoning from Residential Low Density to Residential General noted Director of Planning and Development Leann Graham in her report to council.

Graham explained the application and recommended councillors turn it down. 

“The applicant has requested the rezoning to accommodate the possible development of multifamily housing in way of a duplex or fourplex similar to those in the area along 68 Street,” stated Graham in her report to council.

“In this particular application the applicant is proposing to rezone a single parcel at the corner of a block that has a long term plan to extended as an R1: Residential Low Density.

“The change from an R1 to an R2 would allow for higher densities, the intent of the R1 district is for Single Family Dwellings on single parcels of land while the R2 zoning allows for higher densities such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and basement suites on single parcels. 

“The increased density has ramifications to the overall plan but also to the existing residents in the area.”

Graham explained the Meadowlands by the Park Area Structure Plan (ML ASP) was approved in 2007 and lays out plans for the subdivision’s development in the future. 

“The ML ASP has been in place since prior to the phase 1 subdivision of Meadowlands by the Park was developed in 2007, developers and purchasers were aware of the overall plan when they purchased and developed the individual lots,” stated Graham’s report. 

“Staff has assessed this application against the provisions outlined in the Meadowland by the Park Area Structure Plan, the Town of Stettler Land Use Bylaw and the Municipal Development Plan…and (recommend council) refuse the Land Use Bylaw Amendment request.”

During her presentation to council Graham noted a spot-rezoning like this one isn’t considered good urban planning as it wasn’t conducive to the existing ASP. She noted, however, council did have the option of going back and re-examining the ASP.

Graham stated the reason for an ASP is to have a plan for future development, but it was noted the plan was adopted 13 years ago and it’s possible things change in a neighbourhood.

Coun. Malcolm Fischer stated current property owners in that neighbourhood bought their property with the understanding that lot was zoned low density residential.

Coun. Wayne Smith stated a nearby area actually has land with the zoning Rockwood was looking for.

Mayor Sean Nolls added that there are lots for sale in that area that already have R2 zoning for developers who are interested.

Councillors unanimously followed the staff recommendation and turned down Rockwood Land Development Inc.’s request.

Photo: The Town of Stettler turned down a request from a developer to change the zoning of a portion of the Meadowlands by the Park subdivision, stating the request went against established plans for the area. ECA Review/S.Salkeld

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