Original Published on Aug 11, 2022 at 17:00

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Summer Village of White Sands told Stettler County in a letter that it is still far below the development limit of 505 units agreed to by the two municipalities. 

The letter was read at the Stettler County Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) regular meeting July 26.

The MPC is comprised of members of county council; chair James Nibourg was absent with board member Les Stulberg filling in as chair.

At the June meeting commission members previously read a referral for a proposed subdivision in the summer village but councillors requested more information because the supplied map and the details included different legal addresses along with two other concerns.

“At the June 22, 2022 MPC meeting the commission reviewed a subdivision referral notice from the Summer Village of White Sands regarding the proposed creation of three parcels for Lot 8 Block 7 Plan 022341,” stated Development Officer Jacinta Donovan in the meeting memo.

The commission needed clarification as the legal description on the letter and the diagram were not consistent; Referral notice did not describe the proposed lot sizes; The County was not been made aware of the total number of dwelling units identified within the Summer Village of White Sands to date.

A response from the summer village’s Development Officer Leann Graham noted, “I apologize for the discrepancy, the proposed subdivision is for three parcels out of Lot 31, Block 7, Plan 1723375, the applicant referred to the previous legal description (Lot 8, Block 7, Plan 0223414) of that land prior to a boundary adjustment made in 2017.

The proposed parcels are approximately 39 meters wide and 55 meters deep and are in accordance with the outline plan that was accepted by the Summer Village of White Sands Council in 1998.

Graham also referred to concerns from the Stettler County MPC members at the June meeting that the commission wasn’t aware of the number of development units agreed upon by Stettler County and the Summer Village of White Sands in a previous document, the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan (BLIDP).

Graham noted the summer village remains quite far below the limit. 

“Regarding the density numbers of the BLIDP, as the governing municipality we are required to follow the BLIDP and ensure that we are compliant with such,” noted Graham in her letter.

The 505 number encompasses the summer village at full build out including the outline plan of the proposed subdivision as well as the Buffalo Lake Ranch Estates Area Structure Plan.

The Summer Village has recently performed an extensive audit of the existing and proposed development units, including 408 titled parcels (excluding municipal reserve) – first development unit, 11 approved second dwellings (garage suite, guest house, etc.) and 17 parcels with two RVs permitted in 2021.

“We continue to monitor RV usage by way of permitting and weekly inspections, and further through the recent Land Use Bylaw review we will no longer permit second dwellings on a single parcel or allow new permits for second RVs,” added Graham.

At the June meeting commission members voiced concern about the number of suites in White Sands.

Stulberg noted the letter addressed MPC concerns. “So they hit all the points that were raised,” said Stulberg. He asked for clarification about the statement, “17 parcels with two RVs permitted in 2021” and whether any were unpermitted.

Donovan responded there are 17 lots that were grandfathered in under White Sands’ new bylaw. Stulberg noted the summer village won’t have that option going forward.

The commission accepted the referral as information.

This item reprinted with permission from East Central Alberta Review, Coronation, Alberta