Storage site applications spark discussion
Another piece of land in Mountain View County has been spot zoned for a commercial storage operation, leading some councillors to question whether the county’s land use bylaw has made adequate provisions for these types of uses.
In a recorded vote requested by Reeve Bruce Beattie, council voted 5 - 2 in favour of re-designating 7.17 acres northeast of Carstairs from country residential to direct control district.
The re-designation brings the current use of the land - a storage site for sea containers - into compliance with the land use bylaw.
“This is the type of development that should be in our industrial parks or light industrial parks, not in the countryside,” said Beattie who voted against the re-designation along with Div. 7 Coun. Al Kemmere.
The re-designation application made by landowners Chris and Allison Van Arnam was a result of a bylaw enforcement investigation.
The Van Arnams run a Calgary business renting out sea containers for storage and were using the Carstairs area land to store the sea containers on. The use of the land was not permitted under the country residential zoning, said planner Tracey Connatty.
After third reading of the bylaw passed, Beattie noted that this is the third direct control application similar in nature that council has dealt with in the last six months.
“I’m thinking our land use bylaw is missing something,” he said.
John Rusling, interim director of Planning and Development Services said the most recent applications have been tailor-made to particular situations but added “we can certainly put the question under the microscope” during the next review of the land use bylaw.
If storage was becoming a theme in direct control district applications, Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good said he would also request the issue be brought forward under a future land use bylaw review.
Div. 6 Coun. Paddy Munro said he thought there were areas where storage sites could be located outside business parks as long as it was organized.
Their appearance, though, is also a consideration, he said.
In the cases of direct control districts, including the Van Arnams’, it is up to the county’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) to place conditions on sites when applicants apply for a development permit, said Connatty.
Councillors unanimously approved a motion by Munro to recommend MPC enact strict architectural and landscape controls on the Van Arnams’ land.
The couple is now required to obtain a development permit.