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Council to Consider Potential Second Reading of Bylaw 1597/22 (Diversified Agriculture and Events)

Council to Consider Potential Second Reading of Bylaw 1597/22 (Diversified Agriculture and Events) in September 2022

On June 14, 2022, Sturgeon County Council held a Public Hearing regarding Bylaw 1597/22. This bylaw encompassed the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force recommendations and proposed the following amendments to the County’s Land Use Bylaw:

  • Include Diversified Agriculture within the AG-Agriculture District as a permitted use, and also create a new AG2 – Agriculture 2 District that supports more intensive permitted uses. Diversified Agriculture includes value added ag processing, retail sales of ag products, and allows for commercial experiences and events related to farming or farm life.  If approved, operators could seek permits for these uses without the need for neighbour advisement and potential appeal. 
  • The proposed bylaw also allows for event venues to be located within AG parcels, as a discretionary use.  This means that operators could apply to have an event venue, and the permit / conditions would be subject to potential appeal by affected parties.

You can access Bylaw 1597/22 at sturgeoncounty.ca/AgriReview.

The County received significant feedback during the Public Hearing, and we want to ensure Council has sufficient time to review and consider that input fully. Therefore, Council will next be considering the bylaw at the September 13, 2022, Council Meeting.

Given the extent and nature of the feedback received, there is the potential for further amendments to the proposed bylaw when Council considers second reading. Should there be substantive amendments to the bylaw, Sturgeon County would hold an additional public hearing to allow the public to comment on any proposed changes prior to further consideration.

The agenda for the September 13, 2022, Council Meeting will be published closer to the meeting date, and all materials will be publicly available at sturgeoncounty.ca/CouncilMeetings.

 

Background:

In spring 2022, Sturgeon County Council received a Final Report with several recommendations from a Task Force of residents and agricultural operators on how best to structure local land use regulations for diversified agriculture and agritourism activities (Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force).  The Task Force provided the recommendations following its review of best practices across Canada, input from industry experts, and community engagement. View the Task Force report and recommendations at sturgeoncounty.ca/AgriReview.

Council directed that these recommendations be incorporated into draft bylaw amendments for consideration, and on June 14, 2022, Council held a public hearing for the community to provide feedback.  No decisions have been made and there will be additional opportunity for the community to provide input should Council consider substantive changes to the bylaw.

For more information, please contact Sturgeon County Planning and Development via email or 780-939-8275.

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