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Conditions lifted for development permits in Abasand and Beacon Hill

Last Updated Sep 1, 2016 at 8:58 pm MDT

Demolition work under way at the site of a former home in Beacon Hill. August 31, 2016. Sarah Anderson/REPORTER

The RMWB has removed a condition that had been placed on development permits for areas that were restricted by orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, clearing the way for rebuilding to begin in Abasand and Beacon Hill.

The condition was as follows:

Development and redevelopment within the Affected Areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways be temporarily restricted until these areas are declared by the Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Province of Alberta to be fit for human habitation.

Because of the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s revised recommendation issued on August 25, 2016, the Municipality is able to remove the condition from all Development Permits that have been issued for the areas of Abasand and Beacon Hill.

The condition was originally placed so that people could apply for the development permits when they were ready and would be able to start rebuilding the minute the Chief Medical Officer of Health cleared the areas for re-entry.

“This is an important step forward for our residents who have been patiently waiting to begin rebuilding in Abasand and Beacon Hill,” said Councillor Sheldon Germain, of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee. “I’m proud of this collaborative effort that allows residents to get started as soon as possible. Every day and week matters and I commend everyone involved for finding a way to start the process sooner than expected. This is what can happen when we work together as Council, the WBRC and Task Force and administration.”

Because the condition has been removed, and subject to any requirements of the Land Use Bylaw and Building Code, Planning and Development is now both accepting and approving applications for Development Permits and Building Permits in Abasand and Beacon Hill without the CMOH condition.

Residents are able to start rebuilding immediately once their applications have been processed and permits have been issued. The permits will authorize the immediate pouring of foundations or placement of pilings, with the remainder of the rebuild to proceed once Bylaw 16/011 is formally repealed by Council on September 20, 2016.

Despite the ability to develop in Abasand and Beacon Hill, habitation will remain restricted until the completion of all demolition and debris removal, as per the CMOH’s recommendation.

This decision does not apply to Waterways where additional consideration needs to be given to flood mitigation in that area.

So far in all of Fort McMurray there have been more than 1,300 demolition permits issued, more than 220 demolition inspections completed and more than 40 rebuild permits issued.