About 30 people got a chance to see how development in the immediate area surrounding Altona will proceed in next several decades.

The RPGA Planning District held a public hearing Tuesday evening to present the Altona Fringe Area Secondary Plan. Local residents from the town and municipality were in attendance including local farmers and representatives from the local agri-business sector.

The plan, which took about a year to complete, will provide direction and guidance on the location and nature of potential future development in the fringe area, which consists of about seven sections of land immediately north, east, and south of the Altona town boundaries.

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.

Dillon Consulting Limited in Winnipeg was hired to conduct the study, which included feedback from residents and stakeholders on what they want to see in the Altona Fringe Area.

Many of the questions raised at Tuesday's public hearing by local ratepayers were rather detailed in nature and pertained to their own personal property.

About 30 people showed for the public hearing

RPGA board chair Don Wiebe says the public hearing was basically to outline the big picture for the Fringe Area.

"This was all about concepts to give people some idea of how things might look and to create a vision for the future. I liked the turnout we had tonight, and I thought the comments were very good, but the details that people were asking about will be answered further down the road once the plan is implemented."

Consultant David Marsh, who works for Dillon Consulting, presented the final draft on Tuesday.

Marsh said the fact that many of the questions coming from local ratepayers were more property specific, tells him the initiative is moving in the right direction

"The mere fact that people are essentially diving into details and that there were no objections or major concerns about the plan as a whole, tells me we're on the right path."

According to the Town of Altona's website, annexation of the Fringe Area is not necessary to ensure organized development since a tax revenue and service sharing agreement is already in place between the town
and Rhineland Municipality.

The plan will now go back to the RPGA Planning District board of directors for second reading and eventual adoption.