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Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2024 5pm

Kneehill residents petition against wind factory

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At an open-house held in Torrington by Capstone Infrastructures last October, the vast majority of people in attendance were very upset about an industrial wind project being constructed by the company.

At the Kneehill County Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Council Meeting, council members were presented with a delegation by Kelly Tainsh about the Wind Factory concerns for residents in the County.

Residents Jenna Grawley and Mary Clarkson started a petition against the project, which a number of people have signed, leading to more residents joining forces and creating a plan to canvas for more signatures. The Industrial Wind Factory’s Notification Zone, mapped out by Capstone, shows houses to be one mile from the nearest wind turbines. All of these homes were canvassed, along with houses up to two miles outside of the Notification Zone.

Of the 77 households petitioned within the zone, nine have signed on to have the wind factory. 63 of the remaining 68 households are against the project and five are undecided. Outside of the zone, 97 households were petitioned. 70 of the 75 households that were contacted are against the project, and 22 more homeowners have yet to share their stance.

The land use for wind turbines is approximately three quarters of an acre per megawatt. That times a 7.5 mega watt turbine would require 5.63 acres. Multiply that by 60 turbines, the land required would be 337.5 acres. There would also be much needed land for the access roads, concrete tower pads, power substations and transmission lines.

The main areas of concern for residents regarding the factory is that there will be soil degradation of Agricultural Land, the impact it will have on protected areas and wildlife, the effects it could have to the health and well-being of residents and what it could do to property values. As well as concerns of what the massive turbines will do to the landowners' viewscapes.

“Thanks for being here today. You have to know that this council has been paying attention to these specific concerns for quite some time,” says Reeve Ken King. “We recognize that we have limitations to what we can do, but that doesn’t mean we won’t speak to the issue.

Council made a presentation at a Moratorium Hearing held by the Alberta Utilities Commission to address the concerns on behalf of the residents.


Stop Order upheld in Carbon

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A decision has been made in regards to an appeal made by a landowner in Carbon who moved a house onto his property without the proper permit.

On Wednesday, February 20, the Village of Carbon’s acting CAO and Development Officer Tera Little issued a Stop Order to Crispen Sibanda, whose land is registered to Chris Maison Renovations, because he had a house moved onto his property without a Development Permit.

He went before The Regional Subdivision and Development Appeal Board on Thursday, March 21, in hopes of having the order lifted.

Sibanda was unsuccessful and the decision to uphold the Order was based upon the Land Use Bylaw it goes against, as well as the strict guidelines set by the Municipal Government Act.

The Lands known as Plan 1011734, Block 15, Lot 1, is zoned for R-1, meaning “Single Dwelling Residential District” according to Land Use Bylaw 2018-804. The home in question is classified as “Dwelling-Moved On” meaning that, according to the Bylaw, it is “a single detached dwelling that has previously been lived in used as a residence or other purpose in a previous location and is proposed to be relocated to a new parcel for use as a dwelling.”

The order was found to be properly issued because Section 27(3) of the Land Use Bylaw states, “Dwelling - Moved On is a discretionary use for the R-1 Single Detached Residential District” and Section 9(1) of the Land Use Bylaw states, “No development shall be undertaken unless an application has been approved and a development permit has been issued.”

Sibanda has 30 days from the date the decision was issued to make another appeal.

Council approves changes regarding Flag, Banner, Decorative Trail policy

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mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

At the Monday, April 8, Regular Council Meeting, Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski presented council with a Request for Decision to approve changes to the Flag, Pole Banner and Decorative Trail Policy INF-C-01.

In the beginning of March, issues arose regarding the current Pride Crosswalk located by Town Hall. There were concerns the Town wanted to remove the crosswalk, leading to backlash against the town on social media and the news for not being inclusive.

At the following Monday, March 11 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Mayor Heather Colberg expressed to the town council had no intention to immediately ban the crosswalk.

She asked the Administration to review the Bylaw to gather information because the cost of maintaining, and constantly repainting, the crosswalk was the main concern for council.

The new Policy INF-C-01, removes “Decorative Crosswalk” and brings forth the new “Decorative Trail” portion.

There is a proposed section of a walking trail where 20 metre strips of asphalt will be made available for designs to be painted on. The surface of the asphalt will allow for better wear of the paint overtime, unlike the current crosswalk.

Drumheller won’t be the first municipality to stop painting on high-traffic volume areas.

“Crosswalks tend to get a lot of use and abuse. Most municipalities are not using them anymore,” explains CAO Drohomerski. “We have identified an area in Midland, near the hospital, where there is very good asphalt. When paint is applied to it, it will last for a year at a time.”

There were many town officials involved in creating the new policy, with a lot of input from the community. However, there is still a process to apply for decorative trails to be approved.

“One thing that I mention when we are doing Policies and Bylaws is that they are not written in stone,” says Councillor Tom Zariski during the discussion part of the meeting. “I think this is a very good policy but as with every Policy and Bylaw, we will be looking at it to see what works and what doesn’t, and then we can review it again.”

“I hope this reaffirms Council’s support for diversity and the strength of our community,” adds Councillor Patrick Kolafa, who is in agreement with the rest of council that the proposed Decorative Trail has the potential to be a great attraction for residents and visitors. “Thank you to the community who provided input. It is important we have these voices heard.”

Requests for a 20 metre portion of the trail will be made through CAO Drohomerski when the policy is in place. The Town already has plans to include the dino logo in a border type fashion along the strips.


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