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April 25 Municipal Council briefs and update

Nicholas L. M. Allen

May 3, 2023

“Something we’re going to have to look at is smaller lots for tiny homes"

At the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass council meeting on April 25, there was a delegation featuring a presentation regarding the 2022 Audited Financial Statements for the municipality. 

Municipalities are required under the Municipal Government Act to appoint an external auditing firm according to a summary in the council package. The auditor for the Municipality must then report to council on the annual financial statements and the return of the municipality’s financial information. These reports are then required to be submitted to the Minster of Municipal Affairs it explains.

On the requests for decision were changes to the Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw, an update on the Wolfstone subdivision and southwest Alberta regional initiatives.

There were two public hearings, one was for a Land Use Bylaw amendment regarding minimum floor area for a single-family dwelling in two different housing districts. The second public hearing was for a Land Use Bylaw amendment to rezone a portion of land from recreation and open space to grouped country residential and another portion from non-urban area to grouped country residential.

The discussion around minimum floor size for dwellings was tied to the size of the property and what was determined to be an appropriate size for a home built there. In the residential (R-1) district it was initially brought forward at 18 per cent of the parcel area or 800 square feet, whichever is larger. In the grouped country residential (GCR-1) district the minimum size was proposed to be between 1800 and 3000 square feet, depending on the size of the property.

The final numbers that council produced for R-1 was 550 square feet and for GCR-1 it was 1800 square feet for less than three hectares and 2500 square feet for more than three hectares.

“Something we’re going to have to look at is smaller lots for tiny homes. I don’t want to be put in a 300 square foot home on a 4500 square foot lot but there’s reason to talk about 25-foot lots, which would be ideal for a tiny home in my mind,” said councillor Lisa Sygutek.

Administration had the opportunity to review the assessment report of the Wolfstone subdivision and what is required to complete the deficiencies. According to their findings, it will cost approximately $1.3 million to complete the onsite work.

“There’s definitely a number of deficiencies. However, at this point it looks like the general install and infrastructure is fairly adequate,” said CAO Patrick Thomas.

A summary of the work that is required: Sanitary work to remove and replace both holding tanks, flush entire sanitary system and install a frame and cover on one manhole. 

There is storm work to be done, including obtaining a right of way with the adjacent landowner for the storm outfall location or relocating the outfall entirely. A flush of the entire storm system will be required and the installation of the appropriate bar screens on culverts and outfalls is still required. 

With water, all the hydrants have to be raised above ground and a hydrovac called in to find missing valves on the east end of the development. A total of three valves are missing. Pressure testing the entire system is needed along with relocating the curb stop for Lot 5.

Utilities in the area are “shallow” with ATCO installed and Fortis installed overhead at this time, but Shaw and Telus are not installed. Road work needs to be done with the excavation, grading and re-installation of the roadway in the proper location with installation of curbs and gutters. There also remains offsite water and sewer mains to be resolved.

They moved forward to use $300,000 for the Wolfstone subdivision deficiency project to be funded from the security deposit from the developers. It was noted this will not yet have an impact on the 2024 budget. A motion was put forward to make residents in the subdivision aware of the council’s decision.

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