(File photo)

(File photo)

Paintearth County passes third reading of contentious Land Use Bylaw amendment

Paintearth County council unanimously passed third and final reading of a contentious land use bylaw during their regular meeting on June 7.

First reading of the bylaw was given in February, and the second reading was in April.

After a public hearing was held on April 5, council reviewed and amended part of the bylaw regarding regulations for dugouts, field bins and bin yards.

The proposed changes had some residents upset due to some misconceptions according to chief administrative officer Michael Simpson.

“Some ratepayers did not have a complete picture of how the bylaw would or would not be impactful,” said Simpson. “(It’s) not their fault — planning is nebulous, and it’s a tricky subject.”

The county brought forward the amendment in order to reduce the need for permits for dugouts; by reducing the setback from 150 feet to 75 feet the hope is of bringing many existing non-complying dugouts into compliance.

Simpson said most of the residents who had concerns had tapered off by the time of the third reading. The issue had been tabled for four months prior to that, so Simpson said there was lots of time for input to be given.

“Based on the diminished concerns, the county feels most understand this is a minor bylaw change and is satisfied that it has addressed concerns to the extent it can,” he said.

With the changes, if a dugout meets the setback requirements of the bylaw it does not require a development permit.

The setback requirement is a minimum of 75 feet from the centreline of any county road and 125 feet from any intersection.

Field bins that are set back 60 feet and bin yards that are back 100 feet from the centreline of the county road also do not need a development permit.

These distances were reduced in 2021 from 150 feet which was the required setback for over 40 years.

If your grain storage bins still do not meet the new reduced land use bylaw setbacks, you must apply for a development permit and seek a variance to the setbacks. The development authority will consider a variety of factors in determining whether a variance is appropriate.

If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact the county.

See the FAQs page on the county’s website for more information.

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