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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Monday, August LETHBRIOGE Planners 'setting up bureaucratic dictatorship9 Cardston petitions urge power for MD By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer A "bureaucratic dic- tatorship" is being set up "under the guise of planning warns one of two petitions currently circulating among ratepayers in the MD of Cardston The petition charges the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission with assuming "unauthorized powers which it wields ab- solutely and in near secrecy The petition asks the provin- cial government to take from ORRPC its power to exercise 'arbitrary confiscation of private property" and give the MD council the final authority for general development and all subdivisions A second petition, to go before the MD council, asks the municipality to withdraw from the planning commission and rescind its development Act has 'grievous faults' control bylaw Both petitions are being greeted with signatures from MD ratepayers, say two organizers Claims Leavitt farmer Owen Redford, who spearheaded the petitions "Everyone I've approached has signed Agrees Cardston businessman Jack Coombs "As far as I know it's being signed 100 per cent, and what's more, people are com- ing forward to find the petitions The MD petition was drafted to put pressure on the MD council, says Reford "There's an election coming up in October "If the MD council doesn't stand behind the petition, the people will put in a new coun- cil, he adds Cardston businessman Howard Snyder says the petitions are a protest, "but not a protest against plan- ning "It'c tne provincial Plann- ing Act that needs revision, and quickly 'It's a distortion of democracy when people in cities can dictate to people in the country what- they can and can't do with their he says Cardston MD can opt out but 'won't make difference' The first of two petitions circulating through the MD of Cardston asks the MD council to withdraw from the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission and to rescind the MD's development control bylaw The second, and more detailed petition, to be presented to the Provincial Planning Board, reads in part Land use planning is a necessity however, this fact does not justify the es- tablishment of a bureaucratic dictatorship under the guise of planning authority 1 In order to correct grievous faults in the Provin- cial Planning Act and to forestall the event of more tyrannical abuses of power in the future (we) submit the following petition "Whereas it is the legitimate right and wish of the people to be able to buy, sell and use privately-held land Whereas the regional planning commission has assumed unauthorized powers which it wields absolutely and in near secrecy Whereas the reserve clause and the provision for future service roads con- stitute an arbitrary confisca- tion of private property which cannot be tolerated in a free society (We request) That the findings of the regional planning commission be considered recommen- dations only, subject to approval or rejection by the MD or county council concerned To this end we re- quest that the Provincial Planning Act be revised to restore complete authority over planning and subdivision of land to the municipalities, That the administrators of the regional planning commis- sion be selected from the ranks of persons whose philosophies are not in direct opposition to the democratic rights and ideals of the people Some residents of the Cardston district have taken strong exception to the power being exercised by the Oldman River Re- gional Planning Commis- sion. In a number of stories on this page Her- ald staff writer Russel Oughtred outlines their point of view and the re- action of municipal and planning officials. Like other petition backers, Lawrence Kearl of Cardston says planning itself is necessary But the power vested in the regional com- mission has resulted in a "loss of personal rights and freedoms "If through inaction we allow non-elected bureaucrats to destroy our freedoms, we will have forged our own he cautions Kearl and the other three Cardston area men share the following complaints about the ORRPC and the Planning Act MD's development control bylaw was written by ORRPC planners, planners who, they say, are not sym- pathetic to the needs of the area, and the bylaw they foisted on the MD council doesn't apply to the needs of the area, MD merely "rubber- stamped" rules drafted by outsiders, final decision on sub- divisions should be made by the MD council, not the regional planning commission and ORRPC should act only as an advisor, and com- munity reserve land, if taken by an approving authority from land being subdivided, should be purchased at fair market value, not taken without payment Oldman Regional Planning Commission Director Lawrence Smith says there's no law prohibiting the MD of Cardston from leaving the regional planning commission or rescinding its own develop- ment control bylaw "But it won't make any difference' if either occurs he adds Membership in the commis- sion is voluntary But even if the MD withdrew from ORRPC subdivision applications would still go to ORRPC, Smith says The MD has no control over sub- divisions, "and it never did have approving Smith notes Before approving authority was granted ORRPC in 1970, all subdivision requests went to the provincial planning director who ruled according to regulations in effect "for at least 20 years The development control bylaw, he says, is based on a standard bvlaw drafted by the provincial planning board for municipalities throughout the province But as far as The Herald District Reeve says bylaw isn't understood The MD of Cardston won't leave the regional planning com- mission or rescind its development control bylaw, says Reeve Harold Jensen MD council, he says, is protecting the interests of local peo pie by sitting in on commission meetings If we've got a member on there, we've got a chance to fight for what we want The MD pays into the provincial planning fund regardless of whether it belongs to ORRPC After paying into the fund for two years, the MD decided to become the commission's most recent member The development control bylaw, the reeve adds, is there to protect local residents MD council can amend or add to the bylaw giving the MD control over local development Opponents of the development control bylaw 'don't fully un- derstand he adds 'Whenever I sit down with people and explain the bylaw, they usually go away pretty satisfied Without a development control bylaw, he adds, the MD 'would be at the mercy of planners Urban influence felt in planning rulings Woolford Mutual Telephone Co. DISPERSAL AUCTION SALE Wed., Aug. 28th p.m. Sale to be held at Jefferson School 16 miles S. E. of Cardston TERMS CASH On Offer: 1800 poles 16-30 ft. long Mostly New 300 ft. cross arms 150 6 ft. cross arms 8 tons of steel wire A Good Assortment Of Insulators Bolts and Brace Irons Sales Conducted BEREZAY'S AUCTION SERVICE Cardston, Alberta, Phone 653-2296 Bus 653-3464 The MD of Cardston has fil- ed an informal appeal with the provincial planning board, protesting parts of the regional planning com- mission's preliminary plan "We think the MD council should have the final say" in planning, says MD Reeve Harold Jensen "If not, it won't be long until the planning commission is running the country The planning commission, Reeve Jensen complains, "is trying to make rules for both urban and rural areas His council will appeal several aspects of the preliminary regional plan, now in Ed- monton waiting for provincial approval of livestock rules are "too severe for around on commer- cial development east of Waterton Lakes National Park are too strict, minimum parcel size of 80 acres is too large, the reeve says, to encourage peo- ple to build houses in the country "That's going to force everyone to go into the cities we don't like that Despite the democratic appearance of the planning commission the MD is un- happy about the urban leanings of ORRPC 'We get outvoted so much it's not even funny development goes, the (MD, county, town or city) is in complete control it has the final say in everything except subdivisions If the MD repealed its development control bylaw, it would probably still have to comply with ORRPC's preliminary regional plan The plan, approved July 11 by everyone on the commission except the MD of Cardston is expected to become law later this year A tentative appeal has been filed by the MD of Cardston, and acceptance of the plan by the provincial board is expected to be delayed until public hearings can be held in Cardston "If the preliminary regional plan is adopted by the board, the MD will be required to in- corporate provisions of the plan in its own Smith says HEAT KILLED FISH VULCAN Wildlife officer Jack Morrison of High River says white fish at Lake McGregor died several weeks ago because of high water temperatures and not from the use of chemicals Earlier it was thought the fish died because chemicals were put in the feeder canal between Carsland Dam and Lake McGregor However, Mr Morrison investigated and found that chemicals had not been used along the canal He says the problem lies in high water temperatures in Lake McGregor as a result of the prolonged warm weather He says the temperature of the lake from surface to bot- tom was 68 degrees "too warm for whitefish He said the 68-degree temperature would not affect pike or perch to the same degree Mr Morrison says warm water and a lack of circulation produced a "dead" effect on the lake with an oxygen reading of seven parts per million which he described as being extremely low 3S BUSINESS PRODUCTS 233 31 Street North Phone 327-7917 P.O. Box 992, Lethbridge Mr C M Via Will 051 COPIER List Price 3S's Price During August 38 BUSINESS PRODUCTS 233 31 St. North Phone 327-7917 Phone in and inquire our competitive pricesl Uneasy co-existance Though Lethbridge jumped the river in the past decade to extend its growth west, farming operations of major magnitude continue within a short distance of the city's downtown. The expansion of the cirys and their residents into the rural areas has prompted the province to tighten its development regulations and to demand more regional planning to keep growth within orderly limits The regulation of growth and development of necessity curbs the freedom of individual land- owners, prompting dissatisfaction with planners and regional plans as indicated by Russell Oughtred's reports on this page In this scene by Herald photographer Rick Ervm, Howard Brown is swathing a field of barley just west of the city Small cattle operations from pastures' FOREMOST (Staff) Coun William George McFall of Etzikom has told the Coun- ty of Forty-Mile council that the small operator is getting squeezed out of community grazing pastures He was backed by Coun Lyle Nattrass of Manybernes They have heard complaints that some cattlemen "bring in 50 head or better from gosh knows where, Lethbndge or Medicine Hat, and others are sitting down here only getting in five head Scene of the dissension the Pinhorn grazing reserve run by the Alberta government What's the purpose7" ask- ed Coun Marg Dragland of Conquerville Answered Coun Frank Romeike of Seven Persons They were set up as a means of supplementing the income of smaller farmers That is why they set the limit at 40 or 50 head." said Coun Russell Scrath of Foremost But Coun Ed Torsher of Bow Island said Coun McFall is mistaking autonomous grazing associations and graz- ing co-operatives (where you have to be a member) and community pastt -es which the government operates He said Coun McFall was quite wrong in suggesting big operators squeeze out the lit- tle fellows from community pastures He said they might close the gate in their own associations but they have every right to do so Coun McFall said he knew all about the other kind because he helped one group out with a bunch of cows one year and later got kicked out 'because they said I had lots of grass Coun Lyle Nattrass said he put 200 head into a psture just to help them out later I wasn t even allowed to put one cow in there I know that these quotas do seem unfair said Coun Torsher Double N Drilling THREE HILLS, ALBERTA WATER WELL DRILLING Cable tool. 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