By Justin Seward
County of Forty Mile council passed the last two reading of the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) at their March 10 meeting.
The IDP is a high-statutory plan that is developed closely between neighbouring municipalities.
Bow Island and the County will be sharing an IDP.
Each municipality will be able to refer to the IDP to resolve disputes. Both parties have agreed that dealing with disputes/issues at a local level is more favourable before engaging with provincial officials.
The IDP will also enhance coordination and information sharing between municipalities. Additionally, the IDP will be a mechanism to formalize past and current procedures and communications methods betweeen the two neighbouring municipalities have already put into practice.
Extensive agriculture can happen within the IDP boundary.
While the effects on landowners are limited, new subdivisions and development proposals must align with the IDP.
The IDP places commercial and industrial developments to suitable areas-preferably in business parks or clustered areas.
Gateway corridors are identified along the urban entrance ways.
Lastly, both municipalities have the opportunity to consult and negotiate the terms of entering into an expenditure and revenue or tax sharing agreements when applying for a subdivision or development that benefits from a requested municipal service provision.
“It’s probably good in the sense that I think when we’re looking at maybe attracting business and investment from outside of the area to come into our county,” said Steve Wikkerink, county reeve.
“Sometimes those companies need to be in the county, but they still require some of the town’s services. There (are) probably some good discussions that can go back and forth. I think some of the benefits when these companies come in probably should be a little bit more shared between a town and a municipality. This just kind of keeps that door open, keeps the communication open.”