Original Published 09:17 Apr 07, 2022

By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

 The Palliser Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) held a hearing on Friday, April 1 for an appeal against the development of Peggie’s Feline Rescue Society at a residential property in East Coulee.

 An appeal against the approved development permit application for a Home Occupation on the proposed East Coulee site was submitted on March 4 by a neighbouring appellant.

 “We believe a feline rescue operation is neither a discretionary or permitted use in a Neighbourhood District and, therefore, the development should never have been approved, conditionally or otherwise,” states the notice of appeal from the appellant.

 Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski, acting in capacity as Development Officer, noted the application for a development permit was considered a Permitted Use and expressed the hearing was not part of the normal process.

 He added, while the LUB does not specifically state an animal rescue as a permitted use under Home Occupation in a Neighbourhood District, neither are other businesses that have previously been permitted, such as a home accounting office or esthetics business.

 Some of the concerns were smell and noise nuisance, along with health risks related to possible contamination or exposure to cat feces and urine. There were also concerns about the vagueness about how many cats would be on the property.

 Submissions from neighbouring properties and other East Coulee community members were received, both in favour and opposition of the proposed development.

 Director of Protective Services Greg Peters shared he, along with Alberta Health Services (AHS) health inspectors, visited both the current Lehigh site and the proposed East Coulee site to assess these concerns. 

 Based on these observations, the health authority recommended Ms. Ginger use a second waste disposal bin to accommodate increased waste from litter boxes. 

 The health authority added, “The business appears well run, and its current and proposed location should pose no risk to neighbours” as the cats will not have access to the community at large, the community water supply, or wells on the property.

 A written decision will be provided by the SDAB within 15 days of the hearing and, due to the Easter holiday it is expected a response will be received by no later than Tuesday, April 19.

This item reprinted from the Drumheller Mail, Drumheller, Alberta