Survey results for Carstairs plan released

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Seventeen residents have responded to a written survey regarding the proposed new Economic Growth Node South Carstairs Plan (ASP).

The survey was distributed during an open house at the Carstairs Community Centre on Nov. 30. It was also available online until Dec. 13.

The survey results were made available to the Gazette by county administration last week.

If approved by council, the ASP would provide a land use planning framework to guide future subdivision and development within the plan area.

The plan’s formation is being overseen by a six-member steering committee comprised of county councillors and members of the public.

The plan area is located immediately south of Carstairs, within a parcel bordered on the north by Twp. Rd. 300, west of Rge. Rd. 10, north of Twp. Rd. 292, and east of Rge. Rd. 14.

The committee is looking for input on the kinds of development that might be suitable in the area and how many subdivisions per quarter section should be allowed, chairman Robin Fair said during the open house.

Seventy-six per cent of respondents said they live outside the immediate growth node area.

The survey consisted of a number of questions:

ï Asked if the plan will benefit the plan area and the county, 10 of the respondents said yes, four said no, and two were unsure.

ï Asked if the plan will benefit the Town of Carstairs, seven said yes, seven said no, and one was unsure.

ï The plan’s proposed vision statement reads: “To provide a focused area for intensive commercial and business park development along established highway and rail corridors while protecting the natural environmental features and allowing for preservation of agricultural land throughout the remainder of the county.”

Respondents were asked, “Does the statement capture your vision of the future of this area?” Nine respondents said yes, six said no, and one was unsure.

Respondents were also asked if the goals of the plan meet the vision of the plan. The goals and related responses were as follows:

ï Goal: County-wide agriculture preservation by providing space for future economic development. Four respondents said no, three said yes.

ï Goal: Development of a long-term infrastructure strategy. Four said no, two said yes.

ï Goal: Provision of a framework for utility servicing. Four said no, two said yes.

ï Goal: Fostering collaboration with adjacent municipalities. Four said no, two said yes.

ï Goal: Creation of guidelines for passive recreational space. Four said no, three said yes.

ï Goal: Preservation of natural environmental features. Four said no, three said yes.

ï Goal: Concentration of commercial/business park development. Four said no, three said yes.

ï Goal: Encourage diversification and business retention. Four said no, three said yes.

Respondents were also asked to rate the goals in terms of importance.

ï Goal: County-wide agriculture preservation by providing space for future economic development. Seven respondents said it was very important, five said important, one was neutral, one said unimportant, one said very unimportant (7-5-1-1-1).

ï Goal: Development of a long-term infrastructure strategy. The response was 6-6-3-0-1.

ï Goal: Provision of a framework for utility servicing. The result was 4-7-0-2-1.

ï Goal: Fostering collaboration with adjacent municipalities. The result was 6-6-4-0-0.

ï Goal: Creation of guidelines for passive recreational space. The result was 4-3-4-1-3.

ï Goal: Preservation of natural environmental features. The result was 9-4-3-0-0.

ï Goal: Concentration of commercial/business park development. The result was 7-5-1-0-1.

ï Goal: Encourage diversification and business retention. The result was 6-4-3-0-1.

Respondents were also asked to identify developments they thought were suitable in the plan area.

Top selected suitable developments were greenhouse/plant nursery/tree farm, campground and pet/animal clinic, followed by industrial storage/warehousing, kennel, bed and breakfast, followed by business/trade/craft contractor.

Top selected unsuitable developments were cannabis production facility, followed by rodeo/animal racing track, mineral/aggregate extraction/processing, followed by recreational resort and group home.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents support “first parcel out” only for the plan area.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they favoured the smallest plan boundary option outlined during the open house.

The survey result will now come before the steering committee at an upcoming meeting for consideration.

Once the draft area structure plan is completed, following a review of the survey results, another open house will be held, say officials.

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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.