An industrial property on the west side of Slave Lake has been (or is being) used for various purposes that have never been approved. Not only do they violate the rules regarding permitted uses, they are contrary to an agreement with the landowner on the matter of off-site levy payment.
Council heard at its June 2 meeting that $285,000 in off-site levy is owed on the property. Council had agreed in 2017 to defer the payment of the levy until 2022 at the latest, or earlier if the land was subdivided, sold, or used for anything but a storage yard. It has been used for sandblasting, council heard; there is also an illegal bunkhouse on the site, and somebody living in a fifth-wheel trailer. Complaints have been made. A stop-order has been issued.
“I’ve got issues with this,” said councillor Joy McGregor. “Let’s make sure this is clear, and we don’t see another one like this.”
Security against theft is the reason somebody has been living on the site, the town was told.
There are a lot of issues involved, but what council was being asked to consider was to allow the owner to apply for a permit to locate a bunkhouse on the property, without triggering the off-site levy payment requirement.
Council voted in favour of the proposed motion. It means the owner is free to apply for the bunkhouse permit – not that it will necessarily be approved.
Mayor Tyler Warman summed up council’s view of the situation: “Our objective is always to work with businesses. We want to see them succeed.
But we have to have some kind of rules and structure. We have a limit, and we’ve reached it.”