Directory of planning and development policies

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In making decisions regarding issues of planning and development, municipalities have much to consider, including federal and provincial legislation, environmental and historical impacts and the approved policies of the municipality itself. Section 638.2 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires all municipalities within Alberta to have a listing of all policies and bylaws not approved under Part 17 of the MGA that influence Planning decisions available on their public websites:

  • A listing of all the municipalities' approved policies which relate to planning and development (Part 17 of the MGA)
  • A summary of these policies, how they relate to each other and to other statutory plans and bylaws
  • Any documents incorporated by reference in any such bylaws

The following is a directory of all approved polices of the City of Medicine Hat, which relate to planning and development (Part 17 of the MGA) within the city.

Master Planning and Development Bylaws and Procedures:

All local statutory plans must be aligned with the Provincial South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. At the top of the municipal planning hierarchy there are numerous ‘high level’ master plans such as the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) and the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) that generally address the co-ordination of land use, future growth patterns and transportation and infrastructure.  These master plans are carried out through the adoption of other plans and bylaws that facilitate the implementation of the high level planning documents.

Development Authorities Bylaws:

Outside of the Land Use Bylaw, there are other bylaws that establish additional development authorities.  These authorities augment the City’s mechanisms for making decisions, but do not increase the City decision making authority.  These additional development authorities provide the public with increased accessibility to the decision making processes by allowing for more opportunities for the public to be engaged in processes.  

Additional Bylaws and Policies that influence development:

There are numerous policies and bylaws that relate to the finer details of land development and the issuing of development permits.  These policies are often related to construction practices and the enforcement of standards.  

Subdivision and Development Checklists

Area Structure Plans (ASP) and Concept Schemes: 

The purpose of ASPs and Concept Schemes is to provide a framework for subdivision and development (build-out) of a previously undeveloped area of land.  ASPs and Concept Schemes describe the orderly phasing of development, the land uses to be developed and their densities or intensity of development, and sets out the general location of major transportation routes and public utilities.  These plans would influence development permits and subdivisions applications. Policies may be taken into account when drafting these plans, or in some instances, the plans prompt the creation of new policies and procedures.  

Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP):

An ARP is a statutory plan that guides the redevelopment, preservation and rehabilitation of an existing neighbourhood.  ARPs provide a planning framework to guide redevelopment decisions within a defined area of the City with the aim of meeting the future challenges and goals for an area as it evolves over the long term.  These plans would influence DPs and subdivision approvals.

Transportation and Infrastructure:

Transportation is linked to all aspects of daily life in Medicine Hat.  The community’s economic and social wellbeing depends greatly on its transportation system providing safe, efficient and sustainable modes for the movement of people and goods.  The City has a number of plans, studies and bylaws that aim to achieve a safe, efficient and sustainable transportation as the City grows and changes over the long term.  These plans would influence development permit applications, subdivision approvals, and the preparation of statutory plans. 

Parks and Recreation:

There are a number of plans that reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to aim to meet the parks and recreation needs and desires of its residents.  These plans aim to guide the City’s decision making processes in a way that will meet the evolving needs and desires of residents into the future over the long term. These plans would influence ASPs, ARPs, LUB and the MDP. 

 Municipal Heritage Resources and Historic Designations:

The Heritage Resources Policy, Heritage Resources Committee Bylaw and the Municipal Historic Resources Designation Bylaws combine to provide the principles, goals and structure by which the identification, protection and preservation of heritage resources within the City.  A municipal heritage designation would influence planning decisions because the buildings on a site would be subject to restrictions regarding maintenance of external elements of the structure, construction of new additions and improvements, and the demolition of existing buildings and the redevelopment of the site.