Foothills County is raising plenty of concerns about the growth plan being put together by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board and the board itself.

Division Two Councillor Delilah Miller says the board and the growth plan are very restrictive to all the municipalities in the CMRB.

"Some of them don't believe it will affect their municipalities but it affects all of us because of the taxation, that the huge factor in here that nobody in the planning stage wants to talk about," she says. "That's proven in the Greater Toronto Area, when they instilled some of those, what they called 'Improvements in Transportation' it cost all the taxpayers in that region and that's why their taxes for small municipalities doubled."

Miller says the board is a fourth layer of bureaucracy for businesses to deal with when the provincial government is supposed to be cutting red tape.

"It basically creates a fourth layer of forced regionalization that was instigated by this (provincial) government, instead of reducing red tape it's created a lot more red tape, especially when the government's priority is to bring business back to Alberta," she says. "This plan, we feel, stifles the growth and sterilizes land outside of the joint planning areas resulting in a huge increase in the land prices for any business that wants to be in the region and that will probably force businesses out of our region instead of bringing it to the region."

She says it'll impact the growth of towns like High River and Okotoks as well as Foothills County.

Miller says any business wanting to set up shop in the region or in any of its member communities, like High River and Okotoks, will have to go through the regional board.

"I and the rest of our council, and hopefully we'll get some other allies from our other partners, but I know Rocky View County, Wheatland and Foothills are firmly aligned with our concerns about the CMRB," Miller says.

She says Calgary has a monopoly on the board because it has, by far, the largest population, and local taxpayers will have to pick up the tab for Calgary's transportation and land plans.

Seven of ten member municipalities on the board need to approve of a plan before it can go forward along with two-thirds of the population base.

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