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Status of Municipal Government Act amendments affecting planning

Status of Municipal Government Act amendments affecting planning

Updated February 2019

Major amendments to the Municipal Government Act were contained in three recent pieces of legislation: Municipal Government Amendment Act (2015); Modernized Municipal Government Act (2016); and An Act to Strengthen Municipal Government (2017). Most of these provisions have come into force and the changes are reflected in the body of this document.

Action required

Amendments to the Municipal Government Act will require several actions by municipalities in the immediate future:

  • January 1 2019  - Develop and publish a list of plans and policies that may affect planning
  • April 1 2019 -  Subdivision appeal board clerks and members of a subdivision and development appeal board must have completed an approved training program
  • April 1 2020 -  Municipalities that are not members of a growth management board must have completed an intermunicipal cooperation agreement or entered into mediation with any municipality with whom they share a border.
  • April 1 2020 - Municipalities that are not members of a growth management board must complete an intermunicipal development plan with any municipality with whom they share a border.

A summary of all the changes that affected the planning part of the Municipal Government Act is provided below.  AUMA has developed a change management page to assist with responding to the recent amendments. It can  be found at this location.

Pending proclamation

A few provisions however have not been proclaimed nor has a specific date for these to come into force been announced. These provisions are summarized here:

  • Joint use planning agreements – An Act to Strengthen Municipal Government  These provisions would require municipalities to enter into a joint use planning agreement with any school board that operates within the municipality. The joint use agreement would address the planning, development and use of school sites on reserves; transfer of reserves; disposal of school sites; servicing of school sites and the use of school facilities.
  • Funding for future reserves – An Act to Strengthen Municipal Government  These provisions would allow a municipality to identify an area where it expects it will require money to purchase land to increase the size of the reserve and to service the land. The municipality may retain cash in lieu of reserves in a separate fund for this purpose. A subdivision authority may require an owner of land that is the subject of a subdivision application in this area to provide reserve lands in excess of the amount that would be due as reserves. The municipality must compensate the owner for this excess dedication of reserves for the value of the land as determined by the regulation.
  • Inclusionary housing – Modernized Municipal Government Act These provisions allow a municipality to include standards and requirements for inclusionary housing in a land use bylaw and to make the provision of inclusionary housing in accordance with the land use bylaw and the inclusionary housing regulation a condition of a development permit or subdivision approval. Inclusionary housing is defined as the provision of dwelling units or land or money in place of dwelling units or land for the purpose of affordable housing as a condition of subdivision approval or a development permit.