by Colin Smith
Morinville Town Council will hold a special meeting March 2 to consider allowing liquor sales in a just approved new development.
At its Tuesday regular meeting Council approved an application by Atlas Premium Home Development Ltd. to build a three-bay shopping centre on the lot at the southwest corner of 100 Avenue and 107 Street, once the site of the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church.
Later, in the same meeting, the Administration brought forward a recommendation for a special meeting on the liquor sales application as a matter of urgency, as the applicant needs a decision by March 5.
Economic Development Lead Brad White told Council that alcohol sales were a discretionary use on this plot of land, and because the land is designated a Direct Control District, the decision was one Council would need to make.
Councillor Scott Richardson questioned the urgency issue and the need to have a special meeting to hear the application.
“Why is this such an emergency that we couldn’t have had it with the original application or on another day? Why does this need to be a special meeting of council?” Richardson asked.
White stated that the special meeting was needed because the information on the shopping centre application had already been sent out by mail and newspaper when the application for the liquor sales within it came in.
“If we were to bring that up this evening, that would be a little offside,” White said. “People that were notified of the intention of the shopping centre would not have been notified of the alcohol sales use.” White went on to say the application for alcohol sales use was received just a few days prior to the meeting and that the application required a decision by Mar. 5. “We did try every other option we could but
Originally set for 11 a.m., Councillor Stephen Dafoe proposed moving the meeting to 6 p.m. to enable residents who wish to address the issue the opportunity to attend.
Atlas Crossing Approved
To be named Atlas Crossing, the development at 10701-100 Avenue will be a single-story, three-bay 4,039-square-foot building with a multicoloured acrylic stucco exterior.
There will be 16 parking spaces and the entrance is from 107 Street.
Atlas Crossing is aimed at office, retail and medical tenants.
According to a listing on the Spacelist commercial real estate site spaces from 1,082 to 4,039 square feet are available, and the developer “will custom design and build to suit.” Spaces are available on six months notice, it states.
Basic lease rates are set at $22.50 per square foot per year, with operating costs estimated at $9, for a total of $31.50 per square foot per year.
Council approval of the development was recommended by the Administration.
A report by Development Planner Tyler McNabb said that it met the policies and requirements of the Coeur de Morinville Area Structure Plan (ASP), and the Land Use Bylaw.
“Notice of this application was made in Morinville newspapers and on the Town’s website for the February 23, 2021, Council Meeting, two weeks in advance of this meeting,” McNabb stated. “The subject lands contain outside signage of artistic renderings of the proposed building design since late fall 2020, and Administration has only been aware of positive feedback.”
In addition, on February 17 letters of notification of the application were delivered to surrounding property owners within 75 metres of the subject properties’ boundaries.
The report noted that the development did not meet required standards on two counts.
The developer proposed not to construct a sidewalk along its 100 Avenue frontage as required. In recognition of the fact that 60% of this sidewalk would have to be torn up for expected intersection construction, this will be waived in favour of providing pedestrian access from Atlas Crossing to the 100 Avenue and 107 Street intersection.
A grade difference between the site and 100 Avenue would ordinarily call for engineered grading and drainage plans before development. In this case non-engineered plans to be confirmed by an Alberta Land Surveyor will suffice.
Said Councillor Sarah Hall, “I’m very excited to see something go on that corner, with the church having been go for so long.”
“It is always great to see a development of this type moving forward,” said Mayor Barry Turner.