Edmonton backs off on annexation of Beaumont land


Edmonton has agreed to drop nine quarter-sections of disputed Beaumont lands from its annexation bid in exchange for a joint planning agreement.

City officials announced the new agreement Wednesday, after all three councils in the affected area endorsed it.

Edmonton voted on the plan and its decision to back down in private Tuesday. It means Edmonton will get Beaumont’s support as its bid to annex Leduc County land goes before the province.

“It’s not about anyone winning or losing. … It’s easy to look at it that way but what we did was come to an agreement,” said Coun. Michael Walters, a member of the negotiating committee.

The decision is evidence of Edmonton’s commitment to collaboration, Walters said, and a desire to take the regional growth plan that all local municipalities endorsed very seriously. That growth plan sets out specific locations to focus higher density development, saving farmland and making public transit viable.

This deal has a complex history. First Edmonton declared its intention to annex more than 15,000 hectares of Leduc County land south of the city up to the Edmonton International Airport.

Then, while Edmonton was negotiating with Leduc County, Beaumont announced its intention to annex nine hectares of the same land and submitted an application to the province. That annexation was approved before Edmonton finished its negotiations and submitted the paperwork.

Ticked off, Mayor Don Iveson announced Edmonton would be trying to annex again those same nine quarter-sections. He argued the Beaumont bid didn’t make sense because they’d be trying to pump sewage up hill to develop the land.

Separately, Edmonton reached a deal to scale back its request of Leduc County land, leaving out the airport and other property and submitted its paperwork last September.

With Wednesday’s announcement, Edmonton will remove the nine quarter-sections from its bid. The city is still waiting …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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