The region's provincially mandated growth planning board has approved a significantly revised version of Sturgeon County's Villeneuve Airport area structure plan.
The approval comes after many closed-door resolution meetings over the summer that occurred after the County filed a formal dispute in May alleging the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) breached process and were discriminatory when the Board rejected the County's initial area structure plan (ASP) application in April.
The EMRB, a coalition of 13 regional municipalities including St. Albert, is responsible for approving any member municipality's ASPs as these plans must be in alignment with the board's long-term growth plan, which dictates things like housing density, economic development targets, and general growth planning.
In April six board members voted against the ASP, including St. Albert's Mayor Cathy Heron, and arguments included that the ASP as originally proposed was too vague, and it didn't conform to the board's long-term growth plan.
The Board held a special meeting on Sept. 15 to discuss the dispute resolution committee's findings, which, Spruce Grove's Mayor, David Acker, who served as the committee chair, told the board were inconclusive.
Despite the alleged discriminatory treatment and breach of process being inconclusive, the board did approve the County's revised ASP, which was recommended by the dispute resolution committee.
The Villeneuve Airport ASP as revised sets out to develop a local employment area, rather than a major employment area as proposed previously, surrounding the Villeneuve Airport that is estimated to generate 1,700 jobs and have an economic impact of about $1.8 billion over 20 years.
The board approved the revised ASP with only Fort Saskatchewan's Mayor, Gale Katchur, opposed.
The Gazette will have more to come.