Eagle Valley plan meeting gathers input

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Survey part of planning process

About 60 residents attended an open house at the Eagle Hill Memorial Community Hall on Feb. 27 to provide input and comments into the development of the updated Eagle Valley area structure plan (ASP).

Steering committee chairman Jim Smith said he was pleased with the turnout and the participation.

“I thought it was a very good meeting and we hopefully got some good direction moving forward,” said Smith. “We are basically there to develop the policies that the community wants to see put in place.”

First put in place in 1997, the ASP is being reviewed and updated by Mountain View County to bring it into line with the current municipal development plan and land use regulations.

The plan is used by Mountain View County as a guide for land use and other development.

The current ASP area is bordered on the south by Twp. Rd. 334, on the north by the Red Deer County boundary, on the east by Rge. Rd. 43, and in the west by Rge. Rd 52 on the south and Rge. Rd. 42 on the north.

A seven-member steering committee is overseeing the review and updating process.

The committee is comprised of three public members, one member of the Eagle Valley Community Association and three councillors.

According to the terms of reference for the review, sustainability objectives of the updated ASP include: “Developing clear policy land use direction and guidelines for existing and future development within the identified Eagle Valley plan area; protecting and conserving water, the natural setting, wildlife habitat and corridors, such as the Red Deer River; and promoting appropriate environmentally responsible development within and adjacent to sensitive features.”

The Feb. 27 meeting included a workshop portion where participants sat at tables and discussed their concerns and suggestions for the Eagle Valley area. Those comments were collected and are now being complied for the committee’s consideration.

Participants were also asked to fill out a six-page survey asking for feedback on the plan and for comments on what the respondent would like to see the district look like down the road.

One survey question asked: What is one thing that you’d like the Eagle Valley ASP to achieve or consider in terms of your quality of life as a resident in the area, the long-term estate planning goals you have for yourself and your family, how the ASP can benefit the Eagle Valley community and Mountain View County as a whole, and how Eagle Valley is unique from other communities in Mountain View County.

Respondents were asked to choose which one of two proposed vision statements they prefer:

ï To have diversified, moderate and sustainable growth while maintaining a rich agricultural presence and history, while also respecting environmentally significant areas.

ï To protect and sustain the rural quality of life, the historical community sites, environmentally significant areas and the agricultural land within the Eagle Valley area structure plan boundaries. Agriculture will remain as the primary land use.

The ASP’s vision statement will be used to “formulate the long-term planning goals, objectives and policies for the Eagle Valley area.”

Respondents were also asked to comment on the following questions: When you think about how your community will look in 30 years, what do you imagine? For example, do you imagine more service, stores and businesses in the area? Would you like it to stay the same? Do you think Eagle Valley would be a good place for eco-tourism?

Respondents were asked to indicate whether they support or oppose certain kinds of development in the ASP area, including bed and breakfasts, cabins, group homes, mineral/aggregate extraction-processing, recreational resort, wind energy systems, rodeo-animal racing track, distillery-brewery-winery, daycare services, campground, botanical garden-aviary-zoo.

Respondents were asked to choose the amount of subdivision of land that they would support in the ASP area:

ï first parcel out only (maximum of two land titles per quarter section).

ï Two parcels out (maximum of three land titles per quarter section).

ï Three parcels out (maximum of four land titles per quarter section).

ï “If you think more parcels out per quarter section should be allowed, indicate how many parcels the maximum should be.”

Respondents were also asked what they believe the ASP boundaries should be.

Chairman Smith said the committee will meet again on March 13 to go over the meeting and survey results.

Like Smith, Mountain View County deputy reeve and committee member Patricia McKean said she was pleased with the turnout at the Feb. 27 open house, with participants providing lots of useful feedback.

“It think we got quite a few surveys returned and I’m sure there will be more to come,” said McKean. “Everybody put input into it. The input will help the steering committee decide what will go into the new ASP.”

“I thought it was a very good meeting and we hopefully got some good direction moving forward.”Jim Smithsteering committee chairman

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About Author

Dan Singleton

Dan Singleton is the editor of the Mountain View Gazette who joined the newspaper in 1994. He covers news, municipal politics and community events in Mountain View County. He is also a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.