Banff moves away from LUB dismantling
The Town of Banff appears to be backing away from stripping out parts of its Land Use Bylaw and putting them into other bylaws and policies that don’t require federal government approval.
At a meeting on Monday (May 28), council was told legal advice indicates risk arises that an applicant will not be required to meet all the conditions to obtain a permit if there are conditions outside the LUB.
As well, they say the risk is even greater if these policies, or other bylaws, are not subject to the same public adoption process as the LUB – a document that controls all land use and development in Banff.
“The legal counsel feedback is the Land Use Bylaw loses some teeth,” said Darren Enns, senior planner for the Town Banff and the point man on the land use bylaw review.
“The more you pull out, the more teeth you lose. It becomes a bit of a risk for us.”
There was little discussion from council on the issue, but Mayor Karen Sorensen said that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be discussed at some future date.
“We have received a legal opinion and if any councillor chooses to address this again, we now have that legal opinion to work with,” she said.
Enns said some may debate that growth management regulations – a way that distributes Banff’s allowable commercial development – don’t belong in the LUB.
“But it seems the only place for that is in the Land Use Bylaw,” he said. “It’s a very rich and detailed document and we point to that as a success.”
But Councillor Stavros Karlos said “that may be one interpretation.
“Part of the concern is unrelated provisions may be held hostage by a governing body which is not in this community.”
The issue was initially raised by Banff local lawyer Eric Harvie, who suggested the Town of Banff needs to rethink its entire approach to land use planning.
Harvie, who was not representing any one particular property owner or business, said amendments to the LUB have become an extremely cumbersome process solely because of the legislated commercial cap.
He also raised concerns that Parks Canada – the ultimate decision making authority on land use in Banff – may hold up approval of the LUB until the issue of public service land use is resolved to their satisfaction.
Parks Canada argues Banff is trying to expand its commercial footprint into public service lands by allowing a lawyer’s office, while the municipality says it is merely a broader interpretation of what constitutes public service.
On Wednesday (June 6), the federal agency was seeking leave to appeal Banff’s Development Appeal Board decision, but the results of that hearing were not known at press time.
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