The RPGA Planning District has approved the Altona Fringe Area Secondary Plan and is recommending that its member municipalities, Altona and Rhineland Municipality, do the same.

The document has been a year in the making and is designed to provide direction and guidance on the location and nature of potential future development along Altona's perimeter.

That area surrounding the town consists of about 7 sections of land immediately north, east and south of Altona's boundaries.

"Some people think that we will be implementing this plan in the next year," said Altona mayor and RPGA chair Melvin Klassen. "This is strictly about future development, so that we don't have livestock barns coming right up against the town, or that we don't have areas becoming residential where we want commercial development. It's all about having a plan in place. It just makes so much sense."

The document was unveiled to the public in late July at a hearing where an overall view was provided on how the fringe area will be developed over the next couple of decades.

"When we started this process we felt that there needed to be a plan in place, because some businesses were locating their operations right up against the town's boundaries. So, both municipal councils wanted to see a plan in place so that there was some order to what was going up in certain areas in the fringe," said Klassen.

The secondary plan calls for a portion of the north fringe area to be developed primarily as an industrial and agri-industrial sector, the east fringe area fronting Highway 30 would be used for potential highway commercial activity, while the south fringe area located west of Highway 30, and includes the village of Old Altona, would be designated for residential development.

The RPGA board's approval is basically a recommendation to both councils for Altona and Rhineland.

The secondary plan will now go back to those two bodies for their approval.