Developers on Cold Lake's fringe may find it's a lot easier to gain MD approval for their plans than it will be to access the city's water and sewer system.
That'll certainly be the case if Mayor Craig Copeland has his way.
Copeland said the issue of servicing rural subdivisions with city utilities has yet to be decided by the city or the regional utilities services commission it controls.
Copeland, however, clearly isn't a big fan of allowing MD subdivisions to hook up from the fringe.
“How could our local developers compete with these rural subdivisions?” Copeland asked rhetorically, noting the city's residential tax rate is much higher. Catering to fringe developments with town utilities won't help city developers move properties or encourage new building in Cold Lake, Copeland said.
He also said he doesn't see half-acre lots on the fringe as protecting the MD's rural identity.
“Is that really country living, half-acre lots?” he asked.
Copeland said he expects access to water is going to be a major political issue in the region in the future. He also said he doesn't support the idea of annexing rural residential subdivisions on the city's fringe if they are developed.
A July 7 public hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. during the MD council meeting in Bonnyville is scheduled to consider a proposed area structure plan for a residential subdivision known as The Estates of Long Bay immediately east of the city.
Another proposed development, the Hills of Cold Lake, is also seeking MD approval for an area structure plan on the north edge of the city.
Copeland said he doesn't expect the city will make a presentation at the July 7 public hearing, but that it may have a staff member in attendance.