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Council says no to second residence

Bylaw to redistrict land dies on first reading

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 06:00 am

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A St. Albert landowner will not be allowed to build a second residence on his property after a decision by city council on Monday night.

Walter Mis had applied for his land to be redistricted from urban reserve to direct control to allow for a second home to be built. The property comprises about 40 acres just north of Erin Ridge North and bordered on the east by Sturgeon County.

Mis addressed council, saying he’s lived on that land for more than 40 years and that his son’s family resides with them.

“It’s becoming overcrowded to say the least,” Mis said, so the family was hoping to build a second home.

Mis’ land was part of an annexation of county land that the city completed in 2007.

Mis said his redistricting request to allow for a second residence would not hinder any future development.

“There’s no (area structure plan) because it is premature at this point,” Mis said, addressing some of city staff’s objections.

“We are not asking to develop this whole parcel of land. All we are asking for is to put a second residence on it.”

Administration was not supportive of the application and presented council with a long list of reasons why, including non-compliance with the intermunicipal development plan, non-compliance with the municipal development plan, the lack of an area structure plan, non-compliance with the land use bylaw and non-compliance with the city’s sanitary sewer and water bylaws.

“Administration is not recommending it,” said Lenore Mitchell, senior planner with the city.

Council asked Mis if he would be fine with paying taxes at the city rate on the new home, as his old home is under Sturgeon County’s tax rate until 2021. He said yes.

He was less agreeable to the suggestion that he’d have to pay offsite levy fees at a rate of $261,774 per hectare.

When asked why the parcel couldn’t be subdivided, Mitchell said it would be against all the policies to subdivide it at this stage.

Staff were asked by council if Mis could expand his current home, and got some indication that might be possible, though Mis said he’d been told no previously.

Some councillors noted it was a difficult decision, but voted unanimously against the first reading of the bylaw. Coun. Cam MacKay was absent.

“My heart goes out to the proponent ’cause what he wants to do is build a home for his son,” said Coun. Wes Brodhead, adding that now that the property is within the city boundaries, there are constraints.

“The entire community is interested in the development of this particular large parcel of land as a whole.”


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