County Pleased with Conrich Appeal Timeframes
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Rocky View County officials are pleased with the timeframes that resulted from a preliminary hearing into appeals before the Municipal Government Board of the Conrich Area Structure Plan.
On February 29, lawyers from the County and the cities of Chestermere and Calgary appeared before the Municipal Government Board (MGB) for a preliminary hearing into each city’s challenge of the County’s Conrich Area Structure Plan (ASP). The hearing was held to discuss mediation progress, options, and timelines for the various stages of the appeal as it moves forward.
“We went into this hearing hoping the outcome would be a fair process with reasonable time frames. There’s no question the Municipal Government Board’s rulings gave us exactly that,” Rocky View County Reeve Greg Boehlke said.
Rocky View County passed the Conrich ASP in early December, with the understanding it might be appealed to the MGB.
“Over the years as we developed the plan, the target kept moving in our negotiations with Calgary and Chestermere,” Boehlke said. “We needed to set and approve the plan so we could nail down any objections and then deal with them.”
The first step in the appeal process is mediation, and Calgary and the County reported ongoing talks and strong progress to the MGB on that approach. The two municipalities have agreed to mediation dates in late March, and have jointly applied for grant funding to cover costs.
The County continues to pursue mediation options with Chestermere in good faith, and the MGB has set the beginning of May as the deadline for the completion of the process.
Should mediation prove unsuccessful, the MGB ruled that both Calgary and Chestermere had until June 17 to submit their technical documents. Rocky View County would then have until August 12 to reply with technical analysis of its own.
The final step in the appeal process is a merit hearing, with the MGB setting a start date of September 12 if necessary.
“This is a complicated issue, and no one should expect it to be resolved quickly, but the Board’s rulings clearly indicate they want the matter dealt with in a fair and reasonable time frame,” Reeve Boehlke said. “Conrich landowners have been working with the County on an Area Structure Plan for years, and we look forward to bringing some certainty to the community’s future.”
Should either Calgary or Chestermere’s appeal reach the merit hearing stage, landowners in the Conrich area will be able to appear at the hearing to comment on the matter. The Municipal Government Board will notify those landowners in advance of the hearing.
Until the appeal process is over, the Conrich Area Structure Plan is not in effect. The County has asked area landowners to forgo putting forward planning and development applications, but if any do come forward they will be evaluated using the County Plan.
For more information, search for “Conrich ASP” at www.rockyview.ca.
Planning & Development