MD councillors propose changes to regional plan
Foothills: MD could rejoin partnership if changes approved
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 10:53 am
The MD of Foothills could rejoin the Calgary Regional Partnership if changes to a growth plan for the area proposed by MD council last week are accepted by the provincial government.
MD Reeve Larry Spilak said council is asking Municipal Affairs minister Doug Griffiths to approve two changes to the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP).
One was a confirmation the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) would not have jurisdiction over land use decisions within the MD. Council is also asking for veto power for individual municipalities over potential changes to the CMP that would adversely affect them.
If the minister approves the proposed changes, Spilak said the MD would be open to rejoining the partnership.
“At that point we would consider rejoining because we feel that our autonomy is being protected and that’s always been out concern,” he said.
“We never really had any problem with the plan, we just always wanted to protect our autonomy going forward.”
The MD left the partnership in 2010 over concerns about the CMP and the partnership’s voting structure, which some have argued gave the City of Calgary a veto over decisions made by the organization.
Earlier this year, Griffiths ordered the CRP, the MD and Rocky View County into mediation in an attempt to resolve concerns over the plan.
The mediation process is complete and the issue is now in the minister’s hands.
Spilak said the mediation was positive and he believes the MD’s concerns were heard. However, he doesn’t know if the proposed changes will be approved by the minister and the CRP.
CRP Chairman Truper McBride said the partnership has not taken any formal stance on the mediation and the group’s board will discuss the issue at a meeting on Sept. 20.
“I’m very encouraged by the position the MD of Foothills has taken,” he said.
McBride said the MD’s recommendations are along the lines of what was discussed during the mediation meetings.
He stressed the CRP doesn’t have control over land use decisions in any member municipality. McBride said he is personally willing to support giving a veto to municipalities directly affected by changes to the CMP.
Kathleen Range, spokesperson for Griffiths, said the minister has received a report from the mediator, but he hasn’t had time to deal with it.
She said the flood response has taken up most of the minister’s time this summer and the CMP has had to take a back seat for the time being, but it will be on the minister’s agenda for the fall.
“We’re doing the best to keep on top of the rest of our business and this is one of those things that we know is important,” she said.