Morinville’s Land Use Bylaw passes second and third readings

by Colin Smith

Morinville has a new Land Use Bylaw.

After giving the first reading of Land Use Bylaw No. 2/2024 on January 23, the council unanimously passed the measure without further debate at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The move immediately followed a scheduled hearing on the bylaw for which nobody appeared.

Described as an omnibus amendment, its purpose is to overhaul the previous bylaw that was enacted in 2012 and has since seen 51 amendments.

Definitions and general regulations are clarified in the bylaw, while there are no changes to land use districts or penalties.

The aim is to ensure it is clear, consistent and complies with provincial legislation.

“This is a regular review and housekeeping,” said Senior Planner Duncan Martin of Planning and Development. “Just like a car, we have detailed it, but we didn’t go out and buy a whole new car.”

The amended bylaw includes more than 300 textual changes. Most of these changes provide clarity for the user, others were made because include of incorporation into other sections and combination into other definitions.

The Land Use Bylaw now incorporates fire pit regulations.

Under the new regulations, fire pits are a permitted development for a property rather than being related to an individual.

That would prevent fire pits from becoming illegal when a property changes hands and would increase enforcement options if required.

To reflect this change council passed Fire Services Amendment Bylaw No. 3/2024 to amend the Fire Services Bylaw.

A bylaw to provide for land redistricting in Juniper Heights through an amendment of the Land Use Bylaw was also given the first reading by the council on Feb. 13.

The bylaw would allow redistricting of a parcel of about 2.4 hectares from Single Detached Compact Residential (R-1B) district to Residential Mixed Form (R-X).

Planning and Economic Development Manager T.J. Auer told council that while both are low-rise districts within the Land Use Bylaw and development concepts for the area, the R-X district allows for greater flexibility for lot sizing as well as low density form.

An application for the redistricting was received on December 11 last year.

“Having reviewed the municipal development plan and the area structure plan for Juniper Heights, administration sees the proposal as aligning with both of those plans,” he said.

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