Planning Documents

LSR Planning Hierarchy

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.

The planning document diagram to the left outlines the order in which land use planning decisions flow through the various phases.

The subdivision and development authority is bound by the hierarchy of statutory plans when reviewing an applications for subdivision or development.

Provincial Land Use Framework

The Land-use Framework (LUF) sets out an approach to managing our province's land and natural resources to achieve Alberta's long-term economic, environmental and social goals. The LUF establishes seven new land-use regions and calls for the development of a regional plan for each.

  • Provincial Land Use Framework

  • Upper Athabasca Regional Plan (Pending)

    Until the Upper Athabasca Regional Plan is completed, the Land Use Policies document will guide local statutory plans and Land Use Bylaw.

  • Land Use Policies
  • Upper Athabasca Regional Plan (Pending)

  • Intermunicipal Development Plans

    IDPs are statutory land use plans prepared in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA) by two (or more) municipalities that share a common border. Each IDP addresses land uses that occur in proximity to two different municipalities and sets forth criteria for how future growth and disputes should be managed.

  • Tri-Council Regional Growth Plan Background Report
  • Tri-Council Regional Growth Plan Policies and Agreements

  • Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

    An Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) provides a framework for collaborative ventures between adjacent municipalities and provides a forum to work together. The primary goal of ICFs is ensuring neighbouring municipalities work together regarding service delivery and cost-sharing.

  • 2018-09 ICF - Opportunity
  • ICF Documents (Pending)

  • Municipal Development Plan

    The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is a high-level plan that establishes the vision for the future for the Municipal District. It is the goal of this MDP to protect and develop communities within the MD in accordance with the communities’ vision while providing the necessary opportunities for maximizing the economic use of the MD’s resource land base, and providing for industrial and economic diversification within the overall context of well-planned growth, change and development.

  • Municipal Development Plan

  • Area Structure Plans

    Area Structure Plans (ASPs) are documents that have been approved by the MD of Lesser Slave River as bylaws. The MD'sASPs provide a framework that articulates proposed land uses; population densities; sequence of development; general location of major roadways; public utilities in the area; and any additional requirements that Council may require. An ASP is the first step in obtaining planning approval for a new community. MD staff work with stakeholders like community residents, landowners and developers to create these long-range documents

    Current MD Area Structure Plans for the MD of Lesser Slave River are available for viewing and download below in PDF format. For further information and assistance with ASPs, please contact the Planning & Development department.

  • Hamlet of Smith Area Structure Plan
  • Hamlet of Smith ASP Bylaw 2015-09 (Amendment 1)
  • Lesser Slave River Area Structure Plan
  • Marten Beach Area Structure Plan
  • Marten Beach ASP Bylaw 2012-03 (Amendment 34)
  • Poplar Lane Area Structure Plan
  • Smith Hondo Local Plan
  • Southshore Area Structure Plan (2001)
  • Waterfront Area Structure Plan

  • Land Use Bylaw

    The current Land Use Bylaw became effective September 22, 2004. The Land Use Bylaw sets out the rules for what kind of building or activity can take place on private property and it outlines the process for issuing Development Permits that gives approval for that new building or activity.

  • Land Use Bylaw

  • Engineering Documents (Municipal Servicing Standards

    The intent of the Municipal Servicing Standards Manual is to provide an information guide to set standards governing design, preparation and submission of plans and specifications for construction of municipal improvements in the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124.

  • Municipal Servicing Standards Manual

  • Policies

    Municipal policies provide guidance for Lesser Slave River Council and staff during the handling of local matters and procedures. In this spirit, all relevant policies that guide MD Planning & Developmenbt protocols are linked below.

  • Policy H1 - Certificates of Compliance
  • Policy H2 - Unsightly Properties
  • Policy H3 - Southshore Area Structure Plan - Minimum Lot Size Exemption
  • Policy H4 - Cost Recovery of Municipal Engineer Reviews in P D Matters
  • Policy H5 - Evaluation of Encroachments onto Municipal Lands
  • Policy H6 - Subdivision Approach Security
  • Policy H7 - Subdivision Time Extension
  • Policy E3 - Roads
  • Policy E4 - Approach Construction Guidelines
  • Policy E7 - Signs (private) on MD Road Right-of-ways
  • Policy E21 - Naming of Neighborhoods, Districts, Streets, Parks and Public Facilities

  • Bylaws

    Bylaws are created to address the issues and concerns of the residents, as well as to protect the environment, public health and public safety in the Municipality. MD bylaws relevant to Planning & Development are linked below.

  • 2014 Schedule of Fees (2005-11)
  • 2000-09 Offsite Levies (Pending)

  • Standard Agreements

  • Development Agreement - Long Version (Pending)
  • Development Agreement - Short Version (Pending)
  • Utilities Agreement (Pending)
  • Encroachment Agreement (Pending)
  • Compliance Certificates

    A Certificate of Compliance verifies whether or not the information on the Real Property Report complies with the setback requirements of the MD of Lesser Slave River’s Land Use Bylaw. The MD does not require people to obtain a Certificate of Compliance letter, but will provide the service at the request of an applicant.

    Below are some common questions and answers related to the Certificate of Compliance and Real Property Report request processes, and links to related documents.

    Why do I need a Certificate of Compliance letter?

    Certificate of Compliance letters are being requested when land is sold. Standard real estate purchase contracts often require the vendor to guarantee that the buildings on the property meet the Land Use Bylaw regulations and do not encroach onto easements, utility right-of-ways or onto other properties. Certificate of Compliance letters may also be requested by other agencies for the same reason.

    Why do I need a Real Property Report (RPR)?

    Compliance for a property is based on a portrayal of the development as it currently exists in the real world.

    A Real Property Report is produced by an accredited survey firm that measures the development (buildings, etc.) on the land and produces a drawing of it in accordance with the survey industry standards.

    The MD of Lesser Slave River does not do a site inspection on compliance requests, so it bases the letter on the Real Property Report that is submitted with the application for compliance. A Certificate of Compliance is only as accurate as the Real Property Report. Caution should be used when submitting older Real Property Reports since they will not reflect any changes to the property since the date of the RPR.


    The MD of Lesser Slave River will typically process a compliance request in 7-10 days, depending on staff holidays. The MD does not currently provide "rush" service.

  • Compliance Certificate Policy H.1 (Pending)
  • Compliance Certificate Application Form (Pending)
  • Subdivision

    Subdivision is the legal division of a single parcel of land into two or more smaller parcels. By subdividing land, each parcel created is given a separate land title. Before being registered with Alberta Land Titles, each subdivision must receive subdivision approval and endorsement from the Municipality’s Subdivision Approval Authority.

    The Subdivision Approval Authority makes sure the land to be subdivided is suitable for its proposed use and that what is proposed complies with the statutory plans and the Land Use Bylaw of the municipality, as well as all provincial legislation, including the Municipal Government Act (RSA 2000) and the Subdivision and Development Regulation (43/2002). This is to protect residents and the community from developments that might not be appropriate, to reduce conflicts with other land uses, and to guide the orderly development of land in the community.

    When is Subdivision Approval Needed?

    Approval of the Subdivision Authority is needed to:

    • Split one parcel into two or more lots
    • Adjust or re-align property lines


    If you are planning on subdividing your land and are required to redistrict your land, both applications can be submitted at the same time. However, prior to receiving subdivision approval, Council must approve the redistricting application.

    Overview of the Application Process

    Regardless of how simple or complex subdividing will be, the Municipal Government Act and the Subdivision and Development Regulation require that a common process be followed. The following table describes the general steps that are followed during a typical application process.

    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 Applicants submit a detailed application that includes the following: required fees, proposed plan of subdivision, plan showing proposed driveway locations and potential building area. The application is reviewed by several departments and agencies. The application is reviewed by the MPC who conditionally approves the subdivision. 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. 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.
    1 DAY  20 DAYS  60 DAYS  UP TO 1 YEAR  20 DAYS


    General Inquiries

    Before you consider subdivision, there are several factors that should be discussed with Municipal District of Lesser Slave River 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.


    The MD provides public-use online mapping resources via Munisight for users seeking information such as zoning, dimensions and legal addresses. If you have questions or require help filling out the application, please contact the MD office at 780.849.4888.


    Municipal Servicing Standards

    Governing Municipal Growth

    The intent of the Municipal Servicing Standards Manual is to provide an information guide to set standards governing design, preparation and submission of plans and specifications for construction of municipal improvements in the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124. It is intended for use by Developers, Engineering Consultants, Utility Companies and Municipal District Departments.

    These standards are provided to set out the "minimum" allowable levels to which the requisite improvements are to be built. In instances where the standards do not cover a particular situation or occurrence, good engineering judgment shall be used. All development shall comply with the requirements of the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124, all applicable Land Use Bylaws and Provincial and Federal legislation.

    No departure from these standards shall be permitted without the written approval of the Director of Field Services. The Municipal District shall be the final authority on any disputed plans. Minor revisions may be given verbal approval by the Director of Field Services, but a change order shall be issued to record such revisions.

    Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

    The Lesser Slave River Region is almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island, but with just 1/15 the population. The Region includes the urban area of Slave Lake, as well as nine outlying communities: Flatbush, Chisholm, Smith, Hondo, Marten Beach, Wagner, Widewater, Canyon Creek, and Assineau. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
    Legendary Lesser Slave River

    Development Permits

    The MD's Planning & Development department provides public-use online mapping resources via Munisight for users seeking development-related  information such as zoning, dimensions and legal addresses. If you have questions or require help filling out the application, please contact the MD office at 780.849.4888.

    Development Permits are needed if you plan to: construct a building; replace a building; relocate or demolish a building; change the land by grading, excavating or stockpiling; operate a business; o otherwise change the intensity of the intensity of use of land for a building.

    Contemplating changes to your property? The guidance and resources on this page will halp you plan, document and manage a successful project.

    Applying for a Development Permit

    During the development permit application process, make use of the MD's online mapping resource Munisight to gather information such as zoning, dimensions and legal address. If you have questions or require help filling out the application, please contact the MD office at 780.849.4888. The following steps are recommended when completing your application.

    1. Determine what you want to build and verify that your land use zoning / district allows that development
    2. Draw a site plan
    3. Apply for a development permit
    4. Start the development within 12 months of the date of the development permit approval
    5. Complete the development within 3 years of the approval

    Visit the MD administration office in Slave Lake for a hard copy development permit application, or use the link below to download the interctive PDF version.

  • Development Permit Application [Interactive]

  • Appealing a Development Permit

    You can appeal a development permit in the event that:

    • The development permit is refused
    • The development permit is issued subject to conditions
    • A decision has not been made within 40 days

    In addition, any person claiming to be affected by the permit can appeal it.

    Other Requirements

    You may also need a Safety Code Permit for your construction project. Please contact the Alberta Safety Code Authority (ASCA) at 1.888.413.0099 or visit the Safety Codes Council Website.

    MD of Lesser Slave River

    Just a few hours due north of Edmonton, Lesser Slave River is a truly unique place to live, work and play. From breathtaking expanses of boreal forest and unspoiled natural wonders to a thriving economy and genuine work/life balance, opportunities abound. Here you'll discover a place of rugged beauty. A place of real people. A place you'll never want to leave.

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