Clash with towns over MDP averted
A dispute between Mountain View County and its urban neighbours over the proposed new Municipal Development Plan was averted after last-minute negotiations.
The Town of Sundre had initiated the dispute resolution provision under the Intermunicipal Development Plan after deciding the revised MDP would not be consistent with the IDP.
The Town of Olds had filed similar objections in a written submission to the county and both towns were urging council not to proceed with the new MDP until the outstanding issues are resolved.
At last Wednesday’s public hearing, however, Sundre officials indicated their position had changed in the past 24 hours after county administration came up with amendments to the draft MDP.
Sundre CAO Verne Balding said the amendments would allay the town’s two fundamental concerns – redrawing the growth centre boundaries and specifying that the IDP provisions apply to areas designated under the plan.
“We recognize with those two amendments this series of specific concerns could be addressed,” Balding said.
As a result, said Mayor Annette Clews, Sundre council could withdraw its dispute resolution initiative as early as the following Monday.
Olds CAO Norm McInnis said the town and county are now “beyond the IDP/MDP discussion,” but added that council still wants to discuss its Memorandum of Agreement with the county before the new MDP is given final reading.
Asked by Div. 2 Coun. Trish McKean for a timeline on those discussions, McInnis said, “There needs to be a dialogue between your council and our council. I’m not sure how far the divide is now. I’m not sure if it’s narrow or wide.”
Mayor Judy Dahl called for a relationship between the two municipalities “based on confidence and respect,” citing the 2010 provincial award for the Municipal Area Partnership as “a source of pride for the people of Olds and the county.”
Public hearings on the MDP are scheduled to conclude tomorrow.