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Aligning Development With our Broader Goals

Land use planning is focused on overall community development and the coordination of private development on private property to contribute to the broader economic, social, cultural and environmental goals of the MD.

Land use planning in Alberta must follow plans at both the provincial and municipal level of government. With the implementation of the Provincial Land Use Framework and the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, some planning decisions will be made at the regional level as well. Land use may also be subject to other federal and provincial regulations.

Hierarchy and Relationship of Planning Documents

Rural and urban planning in Alberta is composed of multiple plans that work together to define future goals. Development control measures are the tools municipalities in Alberta use to achieve those goals.

Municipal Government Act

Applicants should review the property zoning, minimum and maximum lot size, and other requirements with the MD Planning Department. A meeting with the Planning and Development Officer is recommended.

Duration: 1 day

Provincial Land Use Framework

Applicants submit a detailed application that includes the following: required fees, proposed plan of subdivision, plan showing proposed driveway locations and potential building area.

Duration: 20 days

Upper Athabasca Regional Plan

The application is reviewed by several departments and agencies. The application is reviewed by the MPC who conditionally approves the subdivision.

Duration: 60 days

Intermunicipal Development Plan(s)

The applicant fulfills all conditions imposed on the subdivision by the MPC. Due to weather conditions it is recommended that the applicant does not leave road construction to the winter months.

Duration: up to 1 year

Municipal Development Plan

The subdivision is endorsed when all conditions are deemed complete by the Planning and Development Officer and the Municipal Engineer. The applicant’s surveyor then registers the plans at the Land Title Office.

Duration: 20 days

Before you consider subdivision, there are several factors that should be discussed with MD staff:

  • Size of the new lots. Several restrictions exist to the size of lots. For example, the maximum size for a farmstead subdivision is 2 ha (some exceptions apply).
  • Agricultural or Rural zoned lands cannot be subdivided into multiple lots without rezoning the parcel first.
  • Site conditions such as creeks, ravines, and valleys may cause environmental concerns – if your property has steep slopes or is adjacent to a creek or ravine, retaining those features in their natural state will be a priority during the subdivision process. If soil conditions warrant detailed geotechnical study, special conditions may apply.
  • Servicing – If available in the area of subdivision, all lots must be connected to municipal water, sanitary sewer, and storm drainage systems. Upgrade of these services and the adjacent road (curb, gutter, sidewalk, road surface, catch basins, fire hydrants etc.) may be required. The preliminary application review will identify the necessary upgrades. Applicants must also upgrade electricity and gas services to the new lots and should contact utility companies directly for these requirements.
  • For larger or potentially controversial projects, public consultation may be required.
  • Planning staff can help identify possible costs before the developer has invested too much money into the subdivision.
  • A subdivision must conform to statutory plans be and suitable for the intended use of land. Planning staff can help applicants tailor the application to conform to these plans.
  • Identify transportation issues, such as access to highway.
  • Identify restrictions to subdivisions i.e. oil and gas development or intense agricultural operations in close proximity to the land to be subdivided.
  • Inquire about the natural gas availability for the proposed lands of the subdivision. Not all subdivisions can be serviced by natural gas and knowing this prior to applying for a subdivision is vital. Typically, the gas company will not install lines through crown land.

Ultimately, the initial inquiry will help the developer have a better understanding of all the steps and costs involved so that a subdivision cost and feasibility calculation can be made.

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