Strawberry Service owners plan to rebuild

Chris Clegg
For the Lakeside Leader

The owners of Strawberry Service near Kinuso have taken the first steps to rebuild the popular gas bar, convenience store and restaurant.

Big Lakes County passed first reading of a bylaw at its Nov. 25 meeting to change the zoning of the property – a prerequisite to rebuilding. This followed an application by the owners for a development permit. The property was destroyed by what authorities at the time called a “suspicious” fire on April 20 of this year.

The current county land-use bylaw does not allow the owners to rebuild. The rezoning to the Highway Commercial District was the easiest way to deal with the issue, council heard.

In their application, the owners noted they have to rebuild to collect insurance.

At the meeting, councillor Ken Killeen asked if there was any problem rebuilding as far as Alberta Transportation was concerned.

“We don’t know what they’re proposing,” replied Pat Olansky, director of planning and development of the county.

“They should be able to build in the same spot,” said Killeen. “You should be able to do that.”

The bylaw proceeds to a public hearing on Dec. 9 before possible second and third readings.

Strawberry Service as it looked last week.

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