City looking to relax landscaping requirements in heavy industrial zone
The city council is considering easing landscaping requirements in Prince Albert’s heavy industrial areas. (Peter Lozinski / Daily Herald)
The city council has charged the administration with reviewing the current landscaping requirements in heavy industrial areas.
The request for a relaxation report was filed by Ward 5 Couns. Dennis Ogrodnick and passed unanimously.
The application calls for fewer landscape design requirements for heavy industrial areas in Zone M1. These include the North Industrial Park, some areas south of Marquis Road, and the extreme northeast of the city where the pulp and paper mill is located.
Ogrodnick said a concerned company made an effort when the landscape requirements created difficulties for flipping semi-finished products on their property.
“I can understand along Second Ave, 15th Street, or anywhere else in town that we want beautifully landscaped, well-maintained properties,” said Ogrodnick.
“That doesn’t make sense in North Industrial. As long as we have the requirement that they cut their weeds and we have curbs, that should be the requirement. “
Dionne agreed. He said some real estate businesses are at risk when prospective buyers in the northern industrial area see the landscaping requirements.
“I don’t want to lose a property or a sale. That could happen if we don’t get into this quickly because (companies) are not going to stick to it if we want all these trees and tens of thousands of dollars in landscaping. That will not happen. “
Dionne said that aside from visiting the SPCA or SARCAN, most residents rarely visit the city’s heavy industrial areas and that it is not a place that tourists, for example, would visit.
While some industrial uses are in the airport, they are in a different zone that would not be included in Ogrodnick’s application.
“Heavy industry – that means garbage and refining,” said Dionne.
“You only go there if you’re a trucker or work in a business like this.”
Dionne considered that the requirement should never be included in the zones’ bylaws. He suggested it was a Council oversight that was mistakenly passed as part of a larger reform package.
“We made a mistake,” Ogrodnick agreed.
Dionne told Craig Guidinger, the city’s planning and development director, that companies on the fence should be made aware of land purchases in the northern industrial park that the council is considering easing landscaping requirements.
“The intent … is to say yes to new business, not to say no to a tree.”
According to current regulations, the first three meters of the front yard of a property must be landscaped. In corner properties, the ancillary property must have at least 3 meters of landscaping. This minimum can be reduced by the width of a city boulevard if it exists in front of or next to an industrial property – an exception that applies to a few properties in the northern industrial park.
The front gardens must be at least 7.5 meters.
Landscaping is also required for any area of a property that is not covered by a building, accessory, parking lot, driveway, sidewalk, or other “required location function”.
Landscaping areas must be surrounded by cast curbs, and one tree is required for every 45 square feet of landscaping required.
The council originally requested that the report only deal with eliminating the landscaping requirements. However, after Guidinger intervened, the council agreed to instead “relax” the landscaping requirements to give the administration more opportunities to present it at a future meeting.