Town reviews Land Use Bylaw
The Drumheller Municipal Planning Commission and town council are working on modernizing the town’s land use bylaw to update definitions and add land uses such as “media production services” and “medical marijuana production facilities.”
The land use bylaw, which describes ways in which property can be used and enforces regulations on land uses, has not seen significant updates for over a decade, said councillor Tom Zariski, who along with councillor Sharel Shoff sits on the Municipal Planning Commission.
“Changes happen so we thought we’d update the document so it was a little bit more modern.”
“Quite simply put, our land use bylaw needs to be reviewed periodically because the needs of the community change. Who would have thought ten years ago we would be considering regulations for medical marijuana facilities?” said councillor Patrick Kolafa.
“Also changes to secondary suites and granny suites may help serve the community which has an aging population. But at the same time we don’t want to add red tape for people to develop their property,” he said.
The Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) and Palliser have been looking at other municipality’s land use bylaws to find ways in which to bring Drumheller’s up to speed. Added land uses include granny suites, which are self-contained secondary dwellings without a basement; self-storage facilities; media production services, which refer to spaces used by workers in the field of communication, information, and entertainment to create media; medical marijuana production facilities used to grow, process, package, test, destroy, store, or ship marijuana for medicinal purposes, and adding a definition for murals into the bylaw.
Zariski said the marijuana production facility is a good example of modern industry which would not have been heard of twenty years ago.
“It’s not an incentive or anything like that, though,” he said. “Palliser has looked at a number of other municipalities and found where Drumheller may have been deficient.”
An example of an outdated definition which has been revised is that of a duplex. Duplexes are defined in the current bylaw as a residence divided horizontally, like a main floor and basement, but the modern and common understanding of a duplex is a shared residence divided vertically, or side by side.
“We just had to change stuff like that because it didn’t make any sense any more,” said Zariski.
Amendments were brought to council earlier this year before some changes were rejected or recommended to be revised, and the MPC will be bringing a second draft to council for approval in about a month, Zariski said. A public hearing was held Tuesday, September 6 in order for council to hear resident’s opinions regarding the bylaw amendments.