Blackfalds is one step closer to a new development after giving first reading to an Area Structure Plan.
At its regular meeting on Nov. 12, Blackfalds Town Council heard from Gary Will of the Aurora Heights development.
Will was in attendance to present a proposed amendment to the Area Structure Concept Plan north and east of the existing Aspen Lakes Subdivision.
He told council that the amendments came about after discussions with administration where administration asked if the plan could be changed to include less cul-de-sacs and keep Broadway Ave. on its existing alignment.
As a result, the redesigned plan kept Broadway Ave. on its original alignment as well as cut the number of cul-de-sacs from 16 to seven.
Will added that in most cases where cul-de-sacs still exist there is a lane or a municipal reserve that serves as an exit point.
These revisions, which Will said greatly improve the plan, required an amendment be made to the Area Structure concept plan which in turn required an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw.
There was some concern about the nearby wetlands and the related wildlife in the area.
Councillor Richard Poole mentioned that the nearby wetlands are a popular gathering spot for waterfowl every year and asked if some kind of prevention, perhaps fencing, could be implemented to protect wildlife from nearby traffic.
Council was told that there will be fencing already going up along the nearby Trans Canada Trail and there is the possibility of extending that fence line.
Will added that in some areas of the plan, compensation will need to be paid to Ducks Unlimited for lost wetlands.
However, Mayor Melodie Stol commented that, whether or not the wetlands are considered useable by Ducks Unlimited, waterfowl like ducks and geese will still go there if there is water.
“I would recommend consulting with Ducks Unlimited or Medicine River Wildlife,” said Stol. “They often can make design recommendations to encourage or discourage certain animal behaviours.”
Will added that some cleanup in the wetlands will also be done and work will be done with administration to improve safe access of the wetlands and perhaps promote some recreation use of the wetlands, such as canoeing.
Blackfalds Town Council voted unanimously in favour of giving first reading to both the Area Structure Plan and Land Use Bylaws.
Public hearings for each of the amendments have been set for Dec. 10.