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Tuesday December 13th, 2011  
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   Volume 81 - Issue 50 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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"Being able to resolve this issue for our customers has been a top priority."
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FortisAlberta   
   

 

Story
Image Submitted
A rendering of the proposed design for an automotive repair shop
which local resident Dave Taggart wishes to construct on 20th Avenue
next to the Greenhill Hotel.
 
Local resident Dave Taggart appeared before the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board this Monday, December 12th in order to appeal a request by Municipal Administration to overturn Taggart’s application to construct an automotive repair shop.
Taggart’s application to construct a full service automotive, OHV and motorcycle repair shop on 20th Avenue in Blairmore on the east side of the Greenhill Hotel was unanimously approved by the Subdivision and Development Authority (SDA) on November 2nd.
An appeal filed by Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson on behalf of the Municipality states that the SDA does not have the authority to approve the development permit due to the land being split-zoned not only as C2 Drive In Commercial, but also as C1 commercial, which does not allow for discretionary use.
In an interview with the Pass Herald prior to the Appeal Board hearing, Taggart said he initially planned to apply to have the land rezoned entirely to C2, but was informed that would not be the correct course of action.
Instead, Taggart submitted an application for discretionary use of auto sales, storage and repair, as permitted under C2 zoning, which was approved.
According to the letter of appeal from the Municipality, “the proposed development is not compatible with the present downtown commercial businesses in the immediate area”.
The letter also states that the proposed development is inappropriate from a planning standpoint.
Taggart said he was informed that the Municipality wants to incorporate historical redevelopment in the area, and that an automotive shop was not in keeping with this vision.
“It’s not like I haven’t put thought into it,” said Taggart, noting that the proposed design for the building is similar to the look of the Greenhill.
 

“I fully intend to incorporate as much historical character from the area as I can into the design.”
In keeping with the guidelines of the Municipal Development Plan, Taggart said he also intends to include an off-street RV parking lot and leave room for green space, both of which could be utilized during special events such as Rum Runner Days.
Taggart said he also looked into other potential locations for the shop prior to his application, but could not find any that were suitable or affordable.
“Just look at how many empty storefronts with C1 zoning are in the downtown, and compare that to the available lots with C2 zoning,” said Taggart, adding that most of the available C2 lots would need to be extensively renovated before he could open shop.
“The costs to purchase and renovate an existing building are astronomical.”
He said he also attempted to purchase a lot behind the Municipal building in Coleman, but was unsuccessful.
“It’s not like I’m not trying to find a different alternative,” said Taggart.
“This is the last shot. If it doesn’t go here, I don’t know where to go.”
Taggart began circulating a petition throughout the community last week, and said he has received overwhelming support.
“It has been very few and far between that I have talked to someone or heard of someone who has objected to this,” he said.
“This shows that the community is supportive of a shop like this.”
He said he is frustrated that he has received such opposition by the Municipality, and wants them to just make up their mind.
“They say they promote new businesses but I think they should put their money where their mouth is,” said Taggart.
He added “it’s not up to one man to decide where businesses can and can’t go, it’s up to Council, who is voted by members of this community to represent the community.”
Check out next week’s Pass Herald for the results of Taggart’s presentation to the Appeal Board, which were not available at press time.
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