Wheatland County and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan
Wheatland County Holds Discussion with Rosebud Community
The racetrack location is in the river valley in a corner of Kneehill County. 85% of the residences affected by this proposed development are in Wheatland County.
Wheatland County Reeve, Glenn Koester, attended and spoke in opposition to the Area Structure Plan for Badlands Motorsports Resort (June, 2013) at the Kneehill County public hearing. Following that hearing, Wheatland County requested initiation of an Intermunicipal Development Plan with Kneehill County. Kneehill County replied not at this time. Do you consider delay tactics to be true co-operation between municpalities? The risk is protection of the Rosebud River Valley will slip through the cracks.
Intermunicipal co-operation is a serious deficiency in this process. Road issues are tangible liabilities for rural counties. When the Traffic Impact Assessment was not available before the Land Use was changed a costly dispute resulted. The Environmental Impact Assessment is now complete, again only after the Land Use decision has been made. Quantifying the environmental degradation and risk to the river valley can only now be addressed by both counties but will Wheatland County have the opportunity to address their concerns?
The proposed racetrack is on the boundary of the South Saskatchewan Region and the Red Deer Regions. At this location for a short stretch (about 10 miles) those regions share the Rosebud River Valley. The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (September, 2014) replaces Alberta Land Use Policies for the region including Wheatland County.
A new provincial position called the Land Use Secretariat will continually review the implementation of the regional plans including the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. Our lawyer, Hugh Ham, submitted a complaint. Our complaint was not heard on jurisdictional grounds.
Save the Rosebud and Cliff Wallis, P.Biol., attended a Wheatland County meeting to discuss our concerns in regards to Badlands Application to the province under the Water Act. We asked Wheatland Council to recognize their obligations to protect a shared river valley under the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan and be prepared to submit a Statement of Concern if the Badlands application is published. They agreed and we are very grateful for their support.
Wheatland County should be encouraged to engage with the Rosebud Community further to understand the outstanding environmental concerns and to carry those concerns for a shared river valley to the Government of Alberta.