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Review restrictions before making real estate transactions

When making any major decision, it is important to conduct research before coming to a conclusion. Making the effort ahead of time may save a lot of trouble down the road. That's the realization an Alberta man has no doubt come to about real estate transactions after his recreation plans became snarled in red tape.

On Oct. 19, 2016, a Calgary man showed up at a Willow Creek council meeting with hopes of changing the zoning restrictions for his newly purchased property. On the advice of a real estate agent, the man had bought a 2.5 acre parcel of land about an hour south of Calgary. His intention was to use the property for camping and star-gazing. He hoped to provide space for up to 50 campers at a time.

Unfortunately, much of the property is a former gravel quarry, and the council indicated the property would require reclaiming to bring it up to zoning standards, and it would also need potable water to allow such heavy usage. It also came out that the property was formerly owned by the province of Alberta and had been offered for sale to the municipality. There are now some questions as to how the property could have been sold without the quarry being reclaimed. In the meantime, though the proposed rezoning to rural recreational has been declined, he will be allowed to build a personal structure for star-gazing.

It is no doubt disappointing for the man that his plan for providing camping space to star watchers will go unrealized without major expenditures on the property. All properties have stories to tell, and it is important to dig deep before making a move on a purchase. For those considering major real estate transactions such as this, it may be worth consulting with a law firm that deals exclusively with real estate law before making any concrete decisions.

Source: Macleod Gazette, "Calgary man's star gazing dream becomes bureaucratic nightmare", Lawrence Gleason, Nov. 9, 2016

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