Rezoning application denied by council

A second rezoning application by Keith and Glenna Spelrem has been denied

A second rezoning application by Keith and Glenna Spelrem has been denied, even though the couple promised to fork over a healthy chunk of change collected from the now defunct tax incentive rebate program.

The Spelrems, who own property on the corner of 45 Avenue and 51 Street, across from the Outreach School applied to have their property rezoned to residential from commercial. However, council voted unanimously against the application following a public hearing May 27.

The Spelrems originally applied to rezone the property in 2005 but were verbally notified their application was denied due to a shortage of commercial lots in Rimbey.

However, the couple was hoping the development of more commercial lots might further their cause.

“There has been additional C2 (commercial) property development on the perimeter of town, with high vehicle traffic volume and migration of existing businesses to this new commercial area. We see this recent development as addressing the reason given for the decline of our previous application,” Spelrem told council.

In their application, the Spelrems noted commercial zoning in a residential area is detrimental to the lifestyle of families in the neighborhood.

“The taxpaying residents we have spoken to in this area are concerned about this property remaining commercial,” said the Spelrems in a letter to council. “Permitted commercial uses in their neighborhood, affecting their quality of life and that of their children, is a serious concern.”

Despite the Spelrems’ arguments in favor of rezoning, Ryan Andres, municipal planner with West Central Planning Agency, said the property abuts commercial and industrial development, making in an ideal location for a commercial use.

“Although the parcel is not being used for a commercial use at this time, rezoning it to residential will preclude any future commercial activity from happening. Rezoning the district to (R2 (residential) is also in direct contravention with the town’s municipal development plan.”

Of the nine written submissions regarding the rezoning, six were opposed and three were in support.