By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber received an offer to purchase for a lot in the hamlet of Enchant — which administration recommended not to accept.
The offer to purchase was for Lot 2 and 3, Block 15, Plan 1810599, which is for two commercial lots in the Enchant for the purpose of building a shop and a home — one of the lots would be used to construct a shop, and one would be used for the home.
This land is zoned hamlet commercial, so in order to build a residential unit on the land, the buyer would have to consolidate the two lots and then the construction of a residential unit on the consolidated commercial lot would be a discretionary use.
Commercial lots in Enchant are priced at $60,000 plus GST, for a total of $63,000.
The offer to purchase was brought before council at their regular Oct. 26 meeting.
“I’ve spoken with the applicant a few times. Basically, their intent is to create almost an acreage,” explained Ben Young, economic development officer. “He wants his shop and his home adjacent to each other. When we looked at the land, there is that residential lot just about 65 metres down the road. I offered that to him as an option to say ‘would you like to build one commercial lot and then build your home further down the street?’ His intention is to, like I said, build them adjacent. Given they are designated as hamlet commercial, what he would have to do is purchase them both, consolidate them, and then for the land-use bylaw, the residence could be a secondary use for the commercial.”
After some internal discussion in administration, they decided approving the offer would not be advisable. After reaching out to the applicant, administration advised them it would likely not be accepted, but the purchaser stated they still wanted it to be brought before council.
“We spoke with it among our development team and questioning whether that is the best use of the commercial land, as we only have three commercial lots available. I mentioned that to the applicant that our likely recommendation from administration would be to not approve of both, but this is certainly up to council to decide what they’d like to do. He said he’d like to hear what council had to say,” stated Young.
With future residential development talked about in the hamlet, council asked if more commercial development would also be coming to Enchant.
It was explained to council only residential was being looked at right now.
“There’s some activity in the feedlots and more activity in that hamlet,” added Young.
With a proposal to have a mixed lot, it was asked what that would bring in terms of taxation.
“We would likely receive more taxation for separate commercial operations than a residency, as the residential tax rate is lower,” replied Young.
“I also have a lot of concerns that the whole shop deal is nice in the country, but not so much in the hamlet if you can avoid it,” stated Coun. John DeGroot.
A motion to not accept the offer to purchase was carried unanimously.