M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council Notebook

September 14, 2022 meeting

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

New staff

Carrie Simpson, Acting Senior Manager of Corporate Services, introduced herself to council. She was a director of corporate services at a rural municipality in the past. She also worked for the RCMP for 18 years and other jobs. Her husband is Jeff Simpson, the new CAO of the Town of Slave Lake.

Carrie is learning the ropes.

Her job includes “a long list of things to tackle,” she told council.

Land uses in the agricultural district

Ann Holden, Planning and Development Officer, made a presentation about ‘similar’ uses, which used to be part of the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), but which was removed.

This was in response to questions from council about development.

Holden started her talk by defining the four types of development. 1) excavation or a stockpile, 2) building in, on, over, or under the land, 3) changes to buildings or land, and 4) change in intensity of use.

Previously, council had asked if farmers doing a bit of mechanical work on their property was allowed.

It depends on the intensity, said Holden. If it is not very often, it can be considered a home occupation.

“Home occupation is a use that, on a small-scale, mimics commercial enterprises, but it is done on a much smaller scale,” says the written report. “Home occupation is a secondary use of the parcel of land, and it does not interfere with the neighbours in the same way a commercial use would.”

One of the options in the report was that council return similar use to the bylaw, but specify that it had to be a similar use to a primary use, as opposed to similar to a discretionary use.

“We’ve got to encourage development,” said councillor Brad Pearson. He asked how similar use and intensity would be defined.

There would be guidelines for the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) to follow, replied Holden. Also, tools to measure intensity.

“I think it should be incorporated throughout,” he added, meaning all districts in the LUB.

“Not having it in there restricts us,” said councillor Norman Seatter.

“I’m in favour,” said councillor Sandra Melzer.

Councilor Lana Spenser asked why similar use was removed?

“It brings a little bit of uncertainty for administration,” answered Holden. At the time, administration made all decisions about discretionary use. Now this is done by the MPC. Also, in the past it was similar to discretionary not permitted use. The new proposal is that it only allow activities similar to permitted uses.

“You need a pretty strong MPC,” said councillor Pearson.

Council passed a motion to have administration bring forward a draft amendment to the Land Use Bylaw for council to consider allowing similar uses in various districts.

Policy and Procedure Development

“I agree with the intent,” said councillor Pearson, about the Policy and Procedure Development council was asked to approve.

It is long overdue, said councillor Melzer.

Council approved the wording with one amendment. A word in one of the final sentences was changed from ‘stakeholder’ to ‘public.’

“Who are the stakeholders?” asked councillor Pearson.

The document defines the difference between the policies which are written commitments made by council to do things and the procedures which are written directions from the CAO to staff on how to do these things.

Closed session
At 10:30 a.m., council went into a closed session to talk with Nichols Applied Management.

Marten Beach flood mitigation

Council passed two motions to do with Marten Beach flood disaster risk mitigation strategy. See article on Page 3 and 7.

Closed session

Council went into a closed session. There were four topics. The one on the agenda was under section 17 of the FOIP Act – “disclosure harmful to personal privacy” and the topic was Tax Recovery Properties. Councillor Pearson added three more items, which were not stated.

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