By Cole Parkinson
After 18 years of the same Land Use Bylaw, the Municipal District of Taber is starting the arduous process of rewriting the crucial document.
Amendments and changes have come throughout the years, but this will be a full-on review of their bylaw, and administration has started the beginning portion of the work. The current bylaw was developed in 2004 and since plenty of things have changed over the years, administration presented their early work to council at the May 9 meeting.
“A week or so ago, we received the Land Use Bylaw project from ORRSC (Oldman River Regional Service Commission) that highlights some of the background on what the Land Use Bylaw is, why we need it, and some of the legislative parameters around it,” explained Brian Peers, director of Municipal Lands and Leases. “Some of the legislation that is involved in drafting the plan and some of the provincial planning documents as well that guides the development of these plans and statutory things, and some of the internal bylaws that are incorporated into some of the wording. The most important parts in all of that, outside of the background was helpful to me too, to understand how it works and why we need it.”
The plan proposes a timeline that sees seven stages. The first is initiate, which would start this May and end in June. This would see a confirmation of a working group and discussion and agreement on the number of topics of policy directions workshops. The second stage is to identify which would be in July and end October/November. This would see the group research/identify opportunities, host various policy direction workshops, and identification of areas of concern for public participation and specific questions developed for a public survey.
The third phase could be optional and would be engagement which would happen from November to December. The group would need to decide if public engagement is needed and from this, there would be questions/themes prepared as well as a public survey published. The fourth portion of the plan is the draft bylaw, running from December until May 2023. This would see an initial draft bylaw prepared based on information gathered in policy direction workshops, good planning practices, and input from M.D. administration. Following this, a review would be next from June to July. Council would review the initial draft and amendments made and permission would then be granted to continue with public consultation. Step six is consultation running from August to October and it would see an open house held for public feedback. The draft bylaw would also be circulated to Intermunicipal Development Plan municipalities/applicable review agencies for comment, working group reviews, and then permission would be granted to continue the adoption of the bylaw. The final step is the adoption of the bylaw, which would happen in November/December.
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