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Intermunicipal Development Plans Project

The County of Grande Prairie, in partnership with the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe, has engaged ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. to prepare Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) between the County and each of the partner municipalities.

The Province of Alberta is implementing new changes to the Municipal Government Act which now requires all municipalities that share a boundary with another municipality prepare a joint IDP by April 2020. These plans are intended to address future growth opportunities and other development-related matters of joint interest between the municipalities.  

Community engagement will occur at major milestones during the development of the four IDPs. Plan Area landowners, residents and other stakeholders will have key roles in the preparation of the IDPs. Your participation and feedback is important to help inform and shape the creation of the visions, land use policies and land use concepts for the four Intermunicipal Development Plans. There will be multiple opportunities for you to participate. Visit engagecountygp.ab.ca for more information.

What is an Intermunicipal Development Plan?

An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) is a long-term and strategic plan between two or more municipalities that is required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The IDP’s purpose is to provide a coordinated and collaborative framework respecting land use, servicing and transportation on lands adjacent to the boundaries of the respective municipalities.

The MGA requires that the IDP address:

• future land use;#

• the manner of and the proposals for future development;

• transportation systems;

• proposals for the financing and programming of intermunicipal infrastructure;

• the co-ordination of intermunicipal programs related to physical, social and economic development; and environmental matters.

The MGA also requires that the IDP address matters relating to the administration of the plan, including a process to resolve intermunicipal disputes.

What is this project about?

This project involves the preparation of four separate IDPs between the County of Grande Prairie and the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley and the Village of Hythe.

The Province now requires that all municipalities in Alberta prepare IDPs with their neighbours. Currently there are no IDPs in place for these municipalities. These IDPs are required by legislation to be completed between the partner municipalities by April 2020.

What land is affected?

The County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) identifies a 2 mile (3.2 km) wide fringe area around each of the partner municipalities as shown in the maps below. This fringe area will serve as the study area for each of the IDPs.

Beaverlodge Sexsmith Wembley Hythe

View an enlarged version of these maps.

How will the IDPs affect area landowners?

IDPs are long-term land use and servicing plans that address how the participating municipalities and the County are to address the future growth needs of these communities. The IDPs also include framework for annexation should it be necessary in the future. As these plans address long-term future land-use and development opportunities for these areas, it is important that landowners be involved in the process and provide input on the future use of these lands.

Existing land uses and development rights are not affected by the IDP.

Visit the participating municipalities’ websites to learn more about existing Land Use Bylaws, Area Structure Plans and Municipal Development Plans.

County of Grande Prairie: www.countygp.ab.ca

Town of Beaverlodge: www.beaverlodge.ca

Town of Sexsmith: www.sexsmith.ca

Town of Wembley: www.wembley.ca

Village of Hythe: www.hythe.ca

Are there any existing IDPs involving the County of Grande Prairie?

The County of Grande Prairie and the City of Grande Prairie have had an IDP since 1982. However, this Plan (Bylaw 2896) does not have any impact on the current IDPs Project as the study areas are not within the Bylaw 2896 referral area.

What is the process and how do I get involved?

Public consultation is critical to the success of the project and in ensuring the IDPs are prepared to reflect the individual needs of the partner municipalities and the interests of landowners. Based on this understanding, the municipalities have placed an emphasis on community engagement throughout the project.

Over the next few months, we will be asking each municipal council and administration, residents, business owners, and community stakeholder groups to share how each municipality should grow. There will be many opportunities for you to learn more, provide feedback throughout the process through various public engagement opportunities including open houses and through an online engagement website. Each of the IDPs will be prepared independently and will include policies that are unique to the needs and opportunities of each urban area and their partnership with the County.

What are the stages of this project?

The following is the proposed timeline for the development of IDPs:

• In Phase 1, the process begins with the review of background information, preparation of population and land requirement projections, the initial round of community engagement, and the preparation of a background report.

• In Phase 2, building on the information received in Phase 1, we will prepare preliminary land use concepts for each of the IDP areas, and the first draft of the IDPs.

• In Phase 3, we will gather feedback on the draft IDPs and make revisions as required.

• Finally, in Phase 4, we will finalize the plans and present them to the respective Councils for consideration.

View the detailed timeline here.


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