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MUNICIPAL BOARDS AND TRIBUNALS - Jurisdiction - Planning and development - Development permits

Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 8:20 AM  


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Appeal by the Hutterian Brethren of Summerland from a decision by the Vulcan County Regional Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. The appellant sought development approval for a new colony. The proposed development covered 311 acres within Vulcan County. It included residential facilities, institutional amenities and various agricultural and support buildings. The Planning Commission granted a development permit, subject to a proposed confined feeding operation being referred for a separate public consultation process. A number of residents appealed the Commission's decision to the Board. Based on a review of the cumulative impacts of the full build out plan, the Board found cumulative effects of the colony would interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjacent landowners, was incompatible with surrounding rural land uses, and that the colony proposed a density more suited for an urban setting. The appellant obtained permission to appeal on the single issue of whether the Board erred in law or jurisdiction by considering impacts of future proposals and associated potential cumulative effects with respect to operations contemplated by the exemption in s. 618.1 of the Municipal Government Act.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The Board reviewed the facts holistically, and concluded that the development was unsuitable for the area within the scope of its actual jurisdiction. The Board's referral to “potential cumulative effects” in its reasons, could apply equally to present implications of the proposed residential lagoon. The Board's consideration of the full build out plan was for the purpose of comprehensively reviewing the proposed development to determine its compatibility with uses of the surrounding area. The Board was not improperly influenced or misdirected towards unfairness in what it decided arising from the nature of the evidence put before it. No error in law or jurisdiction was established.

Hutterian Brethren of Summerland v. Vulcan (County), [2017] A.J. No. 1337, Alberta Court of Appeal, J. Watson, J.D.B. McDonald and F.L. Schutz JJ.A., December 5, 2017. Digest No. TLD-December252017009