South Peace News
New visions for growth in Faust, Grouard and Joussard have been finalized by Big Lakes County.
At is regular meeting Aug. 22, county council adopted area structure plans for the three hamlets following a quiet public hearing where no responses were submitted.
Council lauded contractor Invistec Consulting Ltd. for leading the review since August 2017.
“I commend the consultants for the job they did,” Grouard Councillor Fern Welch says.
“The research they did on the historical part of Grouard and the whole community is valuable.”
Another councillor echoes the high marks to the consultants.
“They listened very carefully to what the residents wanted,” Joussard Councillor Richard Simard says.
The reeve voiced similar words to the consultants who attended the hearing.
“You did a lot of research for all three hamlets,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.
“They certainly took input from the communities and put it into the plans.”
Much like a municipal development plan for a municipality, an ASP is a statutory plan that provides the framework and policies to properly guide the future use, subdivision and development of lands in a smaller specific area such as a hamlet.
Comments from the open sessions in January were presented in a report from Invistec Consulting Ltd.
Faust residents supported a vision to promote a quiet community while preserving history and natural beautiful landscape.
“However, there was a strong emphasis to strengthen the preservation of the natural areas,” the report states.
Some residents wanted to see the core area expanded to incorporate properties that are part of the original settlement.
A number of respondents provided policy-level recommendations such as delineating size requirements for hobby farms, maintaining views of the lakeshore and improving lake access.
Most respondents in Grouard agreed with the vision statement that promotes a community of timeless potential that embraces and builds upon the breath-taking natural scenery and rich history to enrich itself as an interactive destination and place to call home.
Respondents also expressed that in 20-40 years, Grouard could be a beautiful place, but with new ideas and municipal, provincial and federal government intervention.
Joussard residents supported a vision statement to promote a close-knit and friendly lakefront community that balances sensible development and the responsibility to preserve the community’s history and natural environment.
Many respondents recommended use of quads and golf carts on public roadways and protecting the environment on land designated as parks and recreation and agriculture.
Some respondents raised concerns over the implementation and the community support for the vision statement due to the negative perception toward tourism and development.