At the regular meeting of the Kneehill County Council on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 the Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan- Bylaw # 1597 received third final reading. Jerry Brett, Senior Planner and Development Officer for Kneehill County brought before Council amendments and clarification to the Bylaw. The Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan, (ASP) outlines what Badlands Recreation Development Corp. proposes to develop on the property and how that development will (or will not) affect the environment and the community. The ASP is intended as a guiding document for a proposed multi-use development of a comprehensive Motorsports Facility in Kneehill County that is based around three interconnected Motorsports racing tracks. The approximately 425-acre area, spanning four quarters in the south eastern corner of the County, is adjacent to an abandoned section of the Canadian National Railroad that serves as the boundary between Kneehill and Wheatland Counties. The Rosebud River runs through the southern and eastern portions of the area. The project area contains cultivated fields on the uplands, a coulee system, slopes, and lowland areas consisting primarily of grasslands and shrub lands. The majority of development will be on the upper plateau consisting primarily cultivated fields.
The proposed development of the Badlands Motorsports Resorts has been before Council in one form or another since 2008 and an ASP draft has seen many alterations and amendments, but only came to first reading on March 12, 2013. The Bylaw was brought forward and the Councilors in this meeting supported the third reading and passed the bylaw so that the sitting Council could move onto the next step in the process, that being a Land Use Bylaw Amendment (LBU) 1657 which would necessitate another public hearing.
Now that due process had been followed, it was recommended “that Council prepare for the First Reading of Bylaw 1657 to amend the Land-Use Bylaw re-designating those areas identified in the Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan from Agriculture (A) to Direct Control (DC4); and further; as per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), that a Public Hearing be held. This, it was stated “will give effected persons, agencies, government agencies, municipalities (i.e. The County of Kneehill), and the Municipal Planning Commission the opportunity to discuss the application and forward their opinions at the Public Hearing. Jerry Brett, Senior Planner and Development Officer for Kneehill County recommended the public hearing be set for July 31, 2013. However, because of the summer season upon the population and the responsibilities of the farming community and vacation plans as well as the forthcoming elections in October, it was moved and carried that the Public Hearing be scheduled for December 4 and 5 beginning at 10:00 a.m. This will allow for the newly elected Councilors to attend the Organizational Meeting following the elections, and to have a meeting of Council and to give the public a four week notice of the of the hearing.
The Kneehill Council already has definitions as to what is allowed within each Land Use category. There are particular criteria to be followed in changing a designation from one to another. This is where the Public Hearing will allow input to argue the point, as it were, as to how those standards are being met, and whether or not the Developers do or could meet the conditions imposed. It would be after these are considered that the question as to whether or not the Badlands Motorsports Resort goes forward in the area presently considered will be answered