Richer lot development was discussed at length this past week at the R.M. of Ste. Anne council meeting. 

Currently, two-acre lots in new developments can only have permanent structures on one half of the property, which would make it easier for property owners to subdivide at any point in the future. That is the reasoning given by council. 

Schinkel Developments had requested that requirement be lifted as the company considered purchasing land for a new development in the small community. 

After lengthy discussion, council decided it would support the Local Urban District committee’s recommendation which was to maintain that requirement. 

While not everyone around the council table expressed strong support, there was a consensus that it was important to trust the L.U.D. committee members to look after their town and plan for its future. 

“I totally get that,” Councillor Sarah Normandeau said during the discussion. “Just maybe we’re not ready for it. I think that the development that came in was two-acre lots. We either say yes or we say no. This is messy. That's just my opinion. And I think once you put a septic field on there for 35-40 thousand dollars, in 10 years if I want to subdivide my land, am I going to be forced to move my septic field? These are all things that potential residents are going to look at these properties, ‘I bought two acres, I don't have to subdivide but I'm also controlled on one side of the property.’” 

Councillor Robert Sarrasin responded, saying he understood where she was coming from. 

“I was thinking along the same lines as you,” he said. “But with the L.U.D. recommendation and their resolution they passed, and they're standing firm on this. And then you look at the legal implications, we've imposed this on other developers and now we decide to revoke it?” 

Councillor Randy Eros pointed out that a wastewater management study will be conducted within the next year, focused on Richer. He said it would make more sense to wait for those findings before making any changes to development requirements. 

Council agreed to leave things as is, at least for now. 

Alan Klippenstein with Schinkel Developments says they understand planning for future growth, but they do not agree with these restrictions at this time. 

“We understand that the R.M. is trying to encourage continual development all the while plan for the future, which is not an uncommon problem for RM’s,” says Klippenstein. “However, the approach that the R.M. of Ste. Anne is taking we have not seen before across all the other R.M.s we work with, and we believe that it will further hamper development.” 

He says they also believe that this negatively impacts the salability of these lots and will hamper future development of Richer. 

“The R.M. wants town lots in Richer, but they don’t have the infrastructure to support it,” says Klippenstein. “But because they are requiring town lot restrictions on new development without the ability to support that, we believe that any development in Richer is not viable for the foreseeable future.”