At the Wednesday, March 29th Special Meeting, Mountain View County Council gave second and third reading to Bylaw 14/16 to redesignate nearly four quarter sections of land at the southeast intersection of Highway 581 and the QE II Highway from Agricultural District to Direct Control.
The application was made by Rocky Mountain Motorsports as the first step in a proposed motorsports park development in the Wessex Rural Neighbourhood, east of the Town of Carstairs.
Council attached numerous conditions to the Direct Control District with a series of 30 amendments to the original bylaw before giving second and third readings to approve the redesignation. Councillors Aalbers, Beattie, Heck, McKean and Milne voted in favour of the redesignation, while Councillors Kemmere and Sayer voted against.
The next step in the plan to develop a motor vehicle racing track and associated facilities is the application for subdivision and development permits. The outstanding issue of the existing sour gas facilities and appropriate setbacks for the development will have to be sorted by the developer with Pengrowth Energy Corporation and the Alberta Energy Regulator before they proceed.
With no agreement in place between the parties to de-rate the pipline and well on the subject property, County administration had recommended refusal of the redesignation because it did not meet the setbacks currently required to comply with the type of sour gas installation on the property.
The proposal also met with opposition from neighbouring land owners, who during the public hearings for the proposed redesignation in October and December 2016, cited issues with noise, traffic, and the existing sour gas facilities on the property, plus the loss of agricultural land in their objections.
Council had asked for a number of studies on noise and other issues be complete before they would entertain second and third readings.
Going forward, under Direct Control District, County Council is the approving authority for the subdivision and development stages.
At Wednesday's Special Meeting, Council also approved a bylaw amending the Wessex Area Structure Plan to bring a portion of the proposed land into the plan area; and also approved the Concept Plan for the motorsports park.