Hanover residents queasy about approved Mitchell development
Council and administration in the RM of Hanover attempted to quell resident concerns regarding a development that will encroach on their rural backyards.
A near-unanimous vote ruled in favour of a 16-lot rural development, designed by Kleefeld Developments, southwest of Mitchell near the junction of Provincial Roads 34N and 30E, much to the dismay of those who spoke against it at the 45-minute public hearing.
Eight residents who say they will be affected by the development relayed their concerns to council, with most worried drainage will become an issue.
Planning Manager Jeremy Neufeld told delegates to “trust” administration’s process when overlooking projects with potential drainage issues.
“We have a very qualified engineering department here at the municipality who reviews and reviews these things. The developers are working with a very qualified and reputable engineering firm. This is reviewed and overseen by the province. There’s a lot that goes into this” he said.
Residents also questioned the future of their privacy and safety.
“More people usually means more trouble,” said resident Laurette Reader during her delegation to oppose the project.
Dave Plett, a nearby farmer and member of the municipality’s fire department, told council he’s concerned with increased traffic in the area, noting more cars will have to turn on to Highway 52 from Provincial Road 30E.
“I go to multiple accidents a year on that highway and usually more than one fatality a year. It is a real thing,” he said.
Plett also asked how future expansion of agriculture operations would look if the plan was approved.
“Are we going to be permitted to expand in the future on our farms? We may have animal units but will we get a building permit with new neighbours in our area?”
Coun. Ed Penner echoed Plett’s agricultural concerns.
“I’d hate to put a restriction on agricultural land,” he said. “People are growing stuff for livelihood.”
Coun. Brian Esau moved to approve the subdivision.
“We have to locate these developments somewhere,” he said. The parcels of land were designated as rural residential in March 2019 during the municipality’s review of their development plan.
Neufeld noted during an earlier presentation of the monthly building permit report the municipality is “limited” in lot availability for residential units.
The proposal went forward, with Penner being the lone vote against the development. Reeve Jim Funk thanked the public for coming forward with their concerns.
“Bring your concerns, it is not in vain. Council takes that to heart and when you do this it creates council to do a bit of soul-searching and dig a little deeper,” he said after the public hearing was adjourned.