Pincher Creek council proposes land use amendments to cut red tape
Monday, 22 February 2021. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze
By Sean Oliver
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
“Be generous with the duct tape,” said Red Green, host of the classic The Red Green Show. “You know: spare the duct tape, spoil the job.”
Though certainly sage advice for the quick-fix handyman, applying more tape is the exact opposite of the Alberta government’s continued focus on red tape reduction in regulatory processes.
In an attempt to coincide with the province’s emphasis on dismissing unnecessary regulations, Pincher Creek town council passed first reading of an amendment to the land use bylaw that aims to help local residents with construction projects on their property.
The first proposed change allows the development officer to permit a minor waiver on a measurable standard by 15 per cent. The second increases the total area of accessory residential buildings from 100 to 150 square feet.
Increasing the building area will help locals save time and money, since changing the restriction will lessen the number of applications needing approval through the Municipal Development and Subdivision Authority.
Additionally, giving the development officer more discretion in enforcing required measurements will help locals during their construction projects, hopefully resulting in an increased activity in retail and construction businesses.
Streamlining the process for residents also helps the town qualify for provincial funding.
“The reason that we are presenting this amendment to the land use bylaw is the fact that the Municipal Stimulus Funding Program requires that we do our best to cut some of the red tape for municipal processes,” said chief administrative officer Laurie Wilgosh.
$432,921 was made available to Pincher Creek in MSF funds, which were put towards constructing a sidewalk from the Sage early-learning centre to St. Michael’s School and replacing pumps at the water treatment plant.
Simplifying the process, said Coun. Mark Barber, was a no-brainer.
“Anything that cuts the red tape and expedites that process is beneficial to everybody involved,” he said.
A public hearing for the amendments will be held during the March 8 council meeting at 6 p.m.
The next regular council meeting will be held Feb. 22, also beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings are currently online and can be attended virtually by visiting www.gotomeet.me/TownofPincherCreekCouncil or by calling in at 1-888-455-1389 with access code 226-489-709.
Agenda packages are available online at https://bit.ly/PcCouncil.