Go back to news listing

Notice of ISDAB Appeal Decision

This is to notify you that an appeal against the Development Permit No: DP-002-20 with regard to the following:

Development Permit No
: DP-002-20
Land Description: NW & SW 36-55-20 W4
Proposal: Phase 2 for additional capacity to store and switch up to 450 rail cars and to provide connection to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Appellant: Henry Visscher
Applicant: Alberta Midland Railway Terminal

was heard by the INTERMUNICIPAL SUBDIVISION & DEVELOPMENT APPEAL BOARD on May 12, 2020 and the decision of the INTERMUNICIPAL SUBDIVISION & DEVELOPMENT APPEAL BOARD with regard to the appeal is as follows and for the following reasons:

Background Facts
The purpose of the hearing was to hear evidence and submissions from the Appellant, the County and affected parties, including the Applicant, in order to give the Board Members enough information to make an informed decision on the appeal of this Development Permit. An overview of the evidence and submissions received during the hearing is as follows, provided in the order presented.

The Board heard from the following parties:
  • Tina Cosby
  • Henry Visscher
  • Denis Vanbrabant
  • Darcy Heggie
  • Wayne Carter
Condition #2 of Development Permit DP-002-20 requires that a Landscaping Plan be submitted to Lamont County’s Planning Department in accordance to the County’s Municipal Servicing Standards and Lamont County satisfaction, with the Landscaping Plan to provide details on berm construction, planting arrangements and weed control methods.

Upon hearing the evidence presented during the Hearing, the decision of the Board is to allow the Appellant’s appeal in part, by amending Condition #2 of Development Permit DP-002-20 as follows:

1. The Landscaping Plan required to be submitted pursuant to Condition #2 of Development Permit DP-022-20 shall include a landscape berm over the cross hatched area depicted on the sketch included on Exhibit 2, attached to this Decision;
2. The landscape berm shall be at least 0.5 metres higher than the height shown on Exhibit 2, which the Applicant advised was 3.0 metres; and
3. The landscape berm (including both the top and the sides) shall have at least 20% coverage in trees and shrubs with the balance seeded in grass.

For clarification, Alberta Midland Railway Terminal will still be required pursuant to Condition #2 of Development Permit DP-022-20 to submit a Landscape Plan to the County for approval, but such Landscape Plan must comply, at a minimum, with the foregoing additional conditions.

The Board’s reasons are as follows:

1. The Appellant’s primary concern was the location and height of the landscape berm. He expressed concern that the landscape berm was not high enough and did not extend far enough to the west to block the view and noise from the railway terminal yard and railcars from his property. He also expressed concern that in the event of an accident, pollution might enter onto his property and into the creek. He asked that the landscape berm be higher in the proposed location and asked that instead of trees being planted south of the pond, the landscape berm continue west and all the way along the line above the creek, albeit a lower berm along the line would be acceptable.

2. The Alberta Midland Railway Terminal representatives confirmed Exhibit 2 is their final berm design. The berm in the proposed location is 3.0 metres high and anything higher than this may present challenges from an engineering, as well as cost, perspective. They confirmed a 900 mm clay liner is part of the final plan for the pond. They advised that continuing the berm further to the west and long the tree line may present slope stability issues and impact the floodplain. They advised Alberta Midland Railway Terminal will have excess topsoil.

3. Mr. Vanbrabant, the neighbour to the north, expressed concern about additional drainage through the culvert under the CP line into the ditch along Township Road 560 as there is already a drainage issue in that location due to the culvert being too high or the ditch too low.

4. The Board was satisfied that the Appellant’s concerns regarding the noise and visual impacts of the proposed development on the Appellant’s property were reasonable and that additional screening through a combination of a higher and wider landscape berm with trees and shrubs would adequately address the impact and make the proposed development reasonably compatible with neighbouring properties.

5. The physical barrier of a higher landscape berm and trees which extends over the cross hatched area depicted on the sketch included on Exhibit 2 will largely block the proposed development from view from the Appellant’s property and reduce noise and is an aesthetically pleasing solution.

6. The Board was not convinced a landscape berm was required west and all the way along the tree line above the creek to address the negative impacts and accepted the Applicant’s submissions regarding slope stability concerns.

7. With respect to Mr. Vanbrabant’s concerns regarding drainage, the Board acknowledged his concerns are significant but concluded the issue was ultimately a matter between the County and himself regarding the ditch and the culvert. Moreover, approval of the final drainage plan for the proposed development is a matter that has to go through AMRT and Alberta Environment.

8. The taxes paid to the County by the respective parties is not a relevant consideration for the Board and had no impact on their decision.

9. The Board would like to remind all participants that the Board is an independent decision-making tribunal, distinct and separate from the County.  



A decision of the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board is final and binding on all parties and persons subject only to an appeal upon question of jurisdiction or law pursuant to the Municipal Government Act. An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal shall be made:

a) to a judge of the Court of Appeal.
b) within 30 days after the issue of the order, decision, permit, or approval sought
to be appealed.

ISDAB Panel; David Thomas Chairman
Candace Bryks Member
Ray Cossey Member