County of Stettler MPC approves Hutterite colony building

The board approved expanding accommodations at the Hutterite site
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County of Stettler logo.

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

East Central Alberta Review

The County of Stettler Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) approved a Hutterite colony’s application to build new living accommodations. The decision was made at the June 26 regular MPC meeting.

The MPC is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. James Nibourg.

Board members read an application from the Byemoor Hutterite Colony for a development permit to construct new housing at a site located on SE 3-36-16W4; the application noted the parcel in question is just over 157 acres in size and is currently zoned agriculture.

The application was presented by Development Officer Greggory Jackson, who noted the applicant plans to build a clustered farm dwelling.

“The Byemoor colony has been registered on the property since 1983 and the operation yard and gardens cover portions of the NW, NE, and SE quarters of 3-36-16 W4,” stated his report to the board. “The access to Byemoor colony is from Twp.Rd. 36-0.

“The land surrounding the base section of the colony is zoned agriculture and there are no residences located within a one-mile radius of the operation.

“The Byemoor Colony has previously worked with the County of Stettler as well as the NRCB to ensure that all development on the property has been reviewed and permitted correctly. Copies of the development permits issued by the County of Stettler are located in the land file.

“A clustered farm dwelling is listed as a discretionary use in this district and the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) definition describes the proposed use by the Byemoor colony for the structure as...one or more detached dwellings, duplexes or multiple-family dwellings and such other structures and uses which are associated with the day-to-day operation of a religious colony.

“The proposed dwelling designed at 2,160 square feet. (30 feet x 72 feet) and will be constructed onsite and house one family. The location of the proposed dwelling is located to the west of the current housing of the colony, south of the approved new school/gymnasium structure and separate from the industrial and farming operations located on the colony property.”

Jackson noted the standard procedure of requesting opinions from other agencies about this application was followed and there were no concerns. Staff recommendation was to approve the development permit with standard conditions.

During discussion, Coun. Nibourg asked what the colony planned to do with the existing housing on the site; staff answered they believed existing housing will continue to be occupied.

The board unanimously approved the development permit application.