Beaumont looks to double in size, annex Leduc County land
Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 4:56PM MST
Last Updated Sunday, December 2, 2012 6:20PM MST
Beaumont is looking to double in size as a way to address a growing shortage of space as its population continues to grow.
The town, located south of Edmonton with a population of just under 14,000 people, has put forward an annexation proposal to the County of Leduc.
It wants to annex 24 quarters or 1,536 hectares, of land from the county.
“We're really, really limited as to the amount of land that we have for commercial development in our community,” said Mayor Camille Bérubé.
“Even on the residential side we’re seeing our inventory decreasing as well and we know it takes time to go through the process, we know it takes time to get the servicing there and we don’t want to stall or delay the development of our community because we don’t have space to accommodate what the businesses and individuals are looking for.”
Currently Beaumont sits on 21 quarters of land.
Between 2006 and 2011, the town’s population skyrocketed about 50 per cent – which has led to a booming economy but a shortage of space for further growth.
Town officials also project that population growth to continue in coming years, and say their annexation plan is a way of being proactive in addressing that growth.
“The economy is strong in the region. Beaumont is one of the priority growth areas that the Capital Region board has identified so we anticipate that the population is going to continue to grow,” Bérubé said. “We’re being proactive.”
The town has spent some time planning and researching how best to address the projected population growth. Officials were looking at growth expected over the next 50 years.
“We’ve done a lot of work in research and background,” Bérubé said.
That led to the decision to add additional land on the north, south and west ends of Beaumont.
“The reason that we chose those locations is proximity to existing services, sewer services, water services, and the transportation corridor,” Bérubé said.
“We’ve looked at what makes more economic sense to develop and to reduce the footprint that we may have on the surrounding area. We want to be orderly in our development. We don’t want to have subdivisions jumping all over the place.”
The town is hoping the extra space will encourage more commercial developments and some industrial businesses, as the majority of its current tax base is from residents.
“We want to diversify that tax base to have a blend of different opportunities for more businesses, more development,” Bérubé said.
The last time Beaumont annexed land from Leduc County was in 1999, when they received just 1,200 hectares of land in all four directions. This time around, the town says the land their requesting is necessary when you’re planning for the next 50 years.
“I suspect that there will be concerns about the amount of land but when you're looking at 50 years out, we need to be strategic in our planning,” Bérubé said.
Residents in the County of Leduc and Beaumont haven’t had a chance to provide input on the proposal yet, but there are open houses planned for early 2013.
Leduc’s mayor tells CTV News the county is still looking over the annexation proposal and was unable to comment on Sunday. The item is on the agenda for Leduc’s council meeting on Tuesday.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith