Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw Project Update
February 1, 2023
The topic of land use bylaws in Alberta has been a focus among some groups on social media in recent days. Many municipalities, including Westlock County, are currently reviewing their Land Use Bylaws and Municipal Development Plans to be consistent with provincial legislation and their statutory plans.
“The reason for the Land Use Bylaw is for all residents to have a voice where things should be located. You decide where you want your agricultural lands, commercial lands, hamlets, landfill, acreages.. etc. You help decide what is acceptable on those lands through workshops and open houses. It is nice to see the residents are involved, they can go and ask questions, voice your concerns and/or gain knowledge and understand why, and take time to read the bylaws and pay close attention to the Land Use areas. Council will consider the input of the residents before their consideration of the bylaw for adoption.” Reeve Christine Wiese stated. For further information please visit, the Planning and Development page.
What is a Land Use Bylaw?
A Land Use Bylaw establishes regulations for specific and general types of development, such as what types of developments are allowed or prohibited, and the decision-making processes for subdivision and development applications.
Why update a Land Use Bylaw?
Municipalities regularly update their Land Use Bylaw to ensure the regulations are consistent with current provincial legislation, properly address current development trends, strategic planning priorities, and consider available environmental and demographic information. This is usually done every 5 to 10 years. As development trends change and new technologies emerge, Land Use Bylaws must be updated to ensure the regulations properly address the land uses being proposed.
Does the Land Use Bylaw Update Include Public Engagement?
Yes, the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires a public hearing be held prior to the adoption of any amendment or changes to a Land Use Bylaw by Council. Municipalities must provide notice of the public hearing. Anyone impacted by a proposed change to the Land Use Bylaw can speak at the public hearing, where Council
must consider the input prior to their consideration of the bylaw for adoption. Major Land Use Bylaw update projects typically include a public engagement program that includes in-person and/or virtual open houses, workshops, surveys, social media postings. These engagement tools will be used for Westlock County’s Land Use Bylaw update projects.
What is a Fifteen-Minute City/Community/District?
The general intent of the “fifteen-minute communities” is to encourage a “community of communities,” or “small towns within a big city,” where people can meet many of their daily needs within a 15-minute walk, transit trip or bike ride from where they live.
The fifteen-minute community concept is not being considered for any geographical area of Westlock County.
As this project moves forward throughout the year, residents can look forward to opportunities to participate in open houses. Residents can also look on our website, social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and the Westlock News for further information and updates regarding this project.