Residents have opportunity to review Land Use Bylaw

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – After nearly a decade, Morinville’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB) is soon to go before Town Council to be passed into municipal law. Residents have an opportunity Feb. 2 to have a look at the draft bylaw and provide final comments on the matter before it is brought to Council for first reading Feb. 14.

With the development of Morinville’s Municipal Sustainability Plan (MSP) and changes to the Municipal Development Plan (MDP), it was felt the LUB with the MSP and MDP. The LUB process began in March of 2011 and is expected to be completed this March. A public hearing on both the LUB and MDP are tentatively scheduled for Mar. 13 prior to second and third reading.

The final consultation process begins Feb. 2 with meetings with the Town’s Municipal Planning Commission. The following day Planning and Development will show and discuss the LUB with builders and developers before holding a public forum at the Community Cultural Centre. The forum, commencing at 6:30 p.m. will include a formal presentation at 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer period.

Many changes to document

The 173-page draft bylaw outlines how land can and cannot be used in Morinville and will continue to be the central document used by Planning and Development and the Municipal Planning Commission in determining developmental matters in the community.

Some of the changes affect home owners, others businesses. Under the proposed bylaw, existing unauthorized rental suites in homes would be legalized and new secondary suites to be developed in existing and new homes would become a permitted use.

Additionally, people who conduct business at home with no clients knocking at the door could benefit from the addition of a home office classification to the bylaw.

On the business side of the equation provisions have been added to the LUB draft to allow for an adult entertainment establishment in Morinville. In presenting the information to Council Jan. 24, Morinville’s Director of Planning and Development Greg Hoffman said the addition was not included to encourage such establishments in town but to be proactive in having guidelines in place should one apply.

Under the proposed regulations such an establishment could be no larger than 3,000 square feet in size and would have to be at least 656 feet from the nearest residential district and 492 feet from the nearest recreational facility, school or day care facility. It would also have to be a minimum of 164 feet from a neighbouring adult entertainment establishment. Additionally, no exterior depictions of nudity or partial nudity would be permitted and windows would require sufficient shading to prevent visibility inside the business.

Other new provisions in the LUB address child care facilities and commercial schools, drive through establishments, and units where residents both live and work. The document provides clearer distinction on land use districts, parking provisions on various developments and regulations on signage.

The complete draft bylaw with revisions and additions is available at www.morinville.ca/lub/. The public forum takes place Feb. 2 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre at 6:30 p.m. – formal session to begin at 7 p.m.

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