Notes from Council, July 29, 2022

Dear Residents & Ratepayers,

              July began by celebrating the 111th anniversary of the Village of Champion. In May, I saw Dale Groves at a Lions meeting in Milo and he invited me to participate in the parade they were organizing for July 2nd. As it turned out, Kelly and Gord Nelson were planning on participating in the Champion events regardless, and Councillor Nelson was willing to join me in the parade.

              The Nelsons enjoy collecting and restoring old cars, trucks and rare equipment. Champion’s parade was just the excuse Gord needed to drive us in one of his favourite items, an antique Toro mower that originally came from a golf course in Calgary. Kelly fitted it out with two lawn chairs. Gord secured the lever for the dump box so that he wouldn’t accidently “unload us” on the street. I organized the signs, the magnets and the candy. We were ready to roll! … Thank you to the Champion Community for a memorable and fun cruise through the village.

              There was one County Council meeting this month on July 13th. While there were regular staff reports and other items of business, the primary focus of the meeting was planning and development. After much discussion, the consensus of County Council is that we need to do a better job of defending our zoning. Changing any zoning, as it is outlined in the land use bylaw, the municipal development plan or intermunicipal development plans, should require a very solid rationale. We need to appreciate that zoning is done for reasons that are arrived at through public consultation and by agreement with other municipalities. Zoning entails long-term implications that should not be taken lightly.

              Regarding the recent decision by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to place two wind turbines in the Urban Fringe for the Village of Lomond, Council has decided to send a letter to the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Energy, as well as the AUC, expressing its frustration with the approval process for renewable energy projects and the implications for municipal zoning. Furthermore, Council will consider a land use bylaw amendment to prohibit development permit applications for renewable energy projects until after AUC proceedings are concluded and a decision is rendered. It is my view that Vulcan County needs to be very intentional in articulating its position on zoning in these proceedings and, with an AUC decision issued, the local development permit process will be clear.

(Photo Credit: Kathy Perley)

Best wishes for an enjoyable August long weekend.

Sincerely, Christopher Northcott

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