Land use concerns

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Your article “Farmers turn out to oppose LUB,” (Gazette, March 8) highlights the significant controversy revolving around the proposed changes to Sturgeon County’s land-use bylaw. I believe the disparity between the number of proponents and opponents interviewed is an excellent depiction of the current state of farmers’ opinions in the county, an argument heavily favouring the opponents. Issues created by the proposed bylaw changes will not only hinder the performance of current agri-business owners but will also avert many new farmers from entering the industry.

The new hours of operation proposed for many agri-business owners (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays) will severely limit production and may completely discourage part time farmers who enjoy working in the evenings after their regular jobs. Noise complaints have been voiced, although parcels of farmland in the county are quite large so how much of that noise is actually being carried all the way to residents of other county establishments? Buying local products is a great way to stimulate the economy of local agri-business owners, and these new changes to the current land-use bylaw will restrict the capability of residents to take part in evening shopping.

I believe Sturgeon County should consider the overwhelming opposition from so many members of the public when finalizing its decision. The current state of the land-use bylaw may not be perfect but its proposed transformation will only make it worse.

Luke Penner, Edmonton

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