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Automotive repair shop in Blairmore denied
 
The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board approved an appeal from the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass regarding a proposed automotive repair shop at a meeting held last
Monday, December 12th.
The appeal, submitted by Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson on behalf of the Municipality, was brought forward after the Subdivision and Development Authority approved a development permit for local resident Dave Taggart to construct an automotive and motor-cycle repair shop on the east side of the Greenhill hotel on 20th Avenue in Blairmore.
The Municipality submitted its appeal shortly thereafter, as the land on which the shop was to be constructed contained split-zoning - with approximately 60 per cent zoned as C2 Drive in Commercial and the remaining as C1 Commercial - and constructing an automotive repair shop on such a parcel would contradict the provisions of the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
In addition, the proposed development did not comply with the community’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP), which stresses the importance of preserving historic character in the downtown commercial sector in order to promote tourism.
After hearing arguments from both Thompson and Taggart, as well as Greenhill Hotel owner Debra Maceachern, who voiced her approval and support for the proposed business, the Appeal Board approved the Municipality’s appeal.
According to a statement from the Municipality, “the Municipality recognizes the value of new business, however, there must be compliance to the MGA and the vision and values of the MDP must be upheld”.
 

Taggart said he was “shocked” by the Appeal Board’s decision.
“They told me it just does not fit the model they have planned for the next 10 years,” he said.
“But I guess if they want to have that spot sit vacant for the next 10 years, that’s their prerogative.”
Taggart said he plans to stick to his original vision for his business, and will work to find the best possible location for it.
He added that he has requested assistance from the Municipality, as well as local realtors, in finding a suitable location.
“They have suggested areas in industrial parks, but that’s not a suitable location for what I’m trying to accomplish,” said Taggart.
“I am going to stick to what I want for the business I’m trying to set up.”
Until then, Taggart said he will sit back and see what happens.
At the Appeal Board meeting, Subdivision and Development Authority Chair Susan Wagner said the Municipality is working to ensure that miscommunication between Administration and municipal boards is not a problem in the future.
“New processes are being put in place within Administration,” she said.
“Communication has not been very effective within the Municipal office, and it has been difficult to figure out exactly what is happening.”
According to the statement from the Municipality, “the Municipality acknowledges the role and importance of the Subdivision and Development Authority in their responsibility for considering and approving developments such as these”.
“The Municipality intends to take this experience to review our practices and procedures and improve our development operation.”
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