Clause in county’s MDP amended to highlight agricultural preservation

Red Deer County councillors unanimously passed Municipal Development Plan 2012, following third reading

Red Deer County councillors unanimously passed Municipal Development Plan 2012, following third reading, at their Dec. 4 meeting.

The plan’s first reading took place Oct. 16. The second reading, following a public hearing, took place Nov. 20.

“Our Municipal Development Plan had lots of public input from the beginning,” said Mayor Jim Wood.

Many of those attending the hearing expressed concern with a section of the plan concerning bare first parcel subdivision, saying the proposed wording would be too permissive of subdivisions and negatively affect agriculture.

As a result, the section was amended to specify agriculture preservation as the primary objective in all proposals for a bare first parcel subdivision from an unsubdivided quarter section. Under the amendment, subdivisions will generally not be supported.

“We know that there are circumstances where it does enhance agriculture,” said Wood.

Those applying for a subdivision must now satisfy a set of criteria to be considered for approval. The amendment was passed unanimously.