A decision on a controversial land-use bylaw amending planning requirements for wind turbines in the area has been put on hold by the Municipal District of Pincher Creek.
MD council had hoped to update its land use bylaw 1133-07 to include new regulations for wind farm developers in the municipality, however after a recent public hearing on the proposed bylaw, council has decided not to go ahead with changes to the bylaw until it has conducted further consultation with stakeholders.
Furthermore the municipality has postponed indefinitely a proposed bylaw 1134-07 which would establish exclusion zones for wind energy in the municipality.
“Going forward it is council’s intent to engage in a further consultation process. These consultations must be undertaken in a careful and considerate atmosphere where accurate information is the basis for better understanding and good decision-making,” reads a recent press release from the reeve and council.
Municipality Reeve Brian Hammond said he expected the process to take months. “We’re not in a terribly big rush. I think we have to begin the process in an expedited manner,” he said. “We don’t know how long the consultation process will be. I doubt if it will get done by the end of the year.”
Hammond said that council was discussing the comments and letters it had received on the proposals and was in the process of deciding a model to conduct stakeholder consultation.
Hammond said council made the decision to put the proposed bylaws on hold after the public hearing it held on proposed bylaw 1133-07.
“We appreciated people’s interest. I think it’s clear from the public hearing that we had a need to take a closer look.”
By Jocelyn Mercer
4 October 2007
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