Most development in Alberta is carried out by private land owners on private property. This may be a homeowner applying to renovate his or her home or build a garage or a development company proposing to subdivide a large parcel of land for housing and commercial development.
From advocating on evolving legislation to well-managed boards, we take a structured and strategic approach to change.
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As a councillor it is important to have a clear understanding of the role of council and the various planning authorities it establishes to carry out municipal planning responsibilities. It is also important for councillors to anticipate some of the challenges they will face as councillors in dealing with planning matters.
There are several limitations on municipal planning authority as noted below.
Federal government lands and undertakings are exempt from municipal planning authority. Examples include:
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides municipalities with planning authority and several key tools to successfully enact municipal plans and bylaws.
A person wishing to divide a parcel of land into two or more parcels must apply for subdivision approval from the municipality in which the land is located. A municipality may approve the application, with or without conditions, or may refuse the application.
Municipal sustainability plans
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs- Brundtland Report
Municipal land use planning is one of many activities for which the municipality is responsible. These activities all influence the style of land use planning and the specifics of the plans that are created. The figure below partially illustrates this relationship.
It is important to keep this context in mind when assessing or developing the tools and procedures for a specific municipality.
Intermunicipal planning and collaboration is a major theme of the recent amendments to the Municipal Government Act. Prior to these amendments, except for the Capital Region Board, intermunicipal planning and collaboration was entirely voluntary. Municipalities were only required to consider adjacent municipalities in their planning. Formal arrangements were left to each municipality.
Comprehensive regional infrastructure sustainability plans
Provincial land use planning is centered on the Land Use Framework, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act and the regional plans authorized under this Act.
While land use planning in Alberta is carried out by both the Province and municipalities, provincial land use planning and municipal land use planning differ significantly in their scope and application.