Municipal Development Plan passes third reading after public hearing

Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Although the infrastructure beneath its streets positions Morinville to provide water and sewer for a population of 30,000, a document worked on by the Town’s Planning and Development Department has been seeking to position the community to handle double its current population of approximately 8,500 residents. That document, Morinville’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP), received unanimous second and third reading at the Sept. 11 meeting of Morinville Town council. The second and third reading followed a public hearing required under the Municipal Government Act and one during which no input from the public was received.

Morinville’s MDP was given first reading June 12 and was recently approved by the Capital Region Board (CRB), a government-sanctioned body of 25 municipalities in and around Edmonton that work on long-term planning for the region. The CRB’s Chair Nolan Crouse was also in attendance at the Sept. 11 Council meeting to discuss key CRD priorities with Council.

Greg Hofmann, Morinville’s Director of Planning and Development, has said the MDP is a solid document that is consistent with Morinville’s Municipal Sustainability Plan (MSP), the latter a document that looks at Morinville’s needs and goals over a 35-year period. The document also ties in with Morinville’s Coeur de Morinville (downtown) Area Structure Plan and Highway 642 (100 Avenue) Functional Study.

Hofmann believes the MDP sets the framework for the other planning that Morinville is engaged in and will allow for better use of tax dollars in that the MDP pushes for efficient growth and use of resources in the community. Hofmann sees the efficiency occurring in that the MDP will reduce costs by not wasting infrastructure by developing in areas out of sequence and by increasing revenue by pushing for non-residential growth in non-residential development areas.

In addition to casting their favourable votes for second and third reading, Councillors Gordon Boddez and Lisa Holmes expressed their high opinion of the work done on the document.

“This is an excellent document,” Councillor Boddez said, adding he was impressed with the work done by Planning and Development to get the plan past the Capital Region Board. “It’s well done and well researched, and … I’m very delighted and pleased at the work that’s been done.”

Councillor Lisa Holmes echoed Boddez’ sentiments and added feedback from the public has been the document is easy to read and understandable, something municipal bylaws and plans do not always follow. “a lot of these documents, when you read them, they are at a high level and not [easy] for the general public [to understand],” Holmes said. “It is so important for our community to understand this one and it’s definitely at the point where everyone can.”

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