LAND USE PLANNING
Within the province, there is a hierarchy of Land Use Plans. ranging from high-level (applied provincially or regionally) to local or municipal level.
There is a hierarchy to the planning documents:
Municipal Government Act (MGA):
The MGA is the guide to how municipalities operate and is one of the most significant and far-reaching statutes in Alberta. The MGA affects everyone in Alberta, the private sector and every ministry in the Government of Alberta. Virtual copy of the MGA can be found on here. The MGA, as a high-level provincial plan, mandates the creation for IDPs , MDPs, and LUBs when needed.
Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP)
Intermunicipal Development Plans are made when municipalities share borders to address cooperation regarding planning matters of joint interest, addressing land use concerns; procedures for dealing with development proposals, and other matters related to the physical. social or economic development of the area considered necessary. Rockyford currently shares an IDP with Wheatland County and can be viewed here.
Municipal Development Plan (MDP)
An MDP, like the IDP is a statutory document mandated by the MGA. MDPs are a high-level statutory document which is created to set out general plans, goals and policies to guide the future land development of the Village of Rockyford. An MDP was created for the Village and can be found here.
Land Use Bylaw (LUB)
A Land Use Bylaw is a planning document made by and for each municipality to regulate development within their boundaries. The Land Use Bylaw is consistent with the IDP and the MDP in terms of vision and goals and serves as the most hands-on set of rules for developers and community members to follow. The document defines each type of "land use" and those uses are either enabled or discretionary or permitted, or not allowed in each district. A district is a zone of the community which is categorized by their similar characteristics (i.e. commercial districts will contain different types of stores and restaurants). There are uses which are compatible with each other, such as accessory uses (i.e. sheds in a residential zone). There are districts which are not compatible with each other, such as having industrial uses close to residential areas, due to possible nuisances such as smell and noise. Control measures such as development permit, rezoning and subdivision applications are directly reviewed against the LUB before approval or refusal. The Village of Rockyford's LUB can be found here.
All of the above documents allow for the Village to plan for the future in a manner that makes sense. All the documents that are mandated relate to each other, some at a higher level than others but all strive for the same goal and that is to see the Village grow and succeed with thoughtful planning and strategies.