Let’s Place It!

What is Place & Placemaking?

A place is more than a space, it’s where people feel a deep connection to and have a sense of belonging – you’re drawn to it and want to spend time there. It’s welcoming, enjoyable, and safe for groups of all ages, incomes, and lifestyles.

Placemaking is the process of using the community’s vision, aspirations, needs, and wishes to create places people will enjoy and feel connected to. Placemaking can be a small initiative like adding planters with flowers to spruce up an area or a large initiative like updating old bylaws to have a place-based approach.

Examples of Placemaking in Fort Saskatchewan:

  • Downtown Murals
  • West River's Edge (WRE)
  • Land Use Bylaw update

New Land Use Bylaw

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is creating a new Land Use Bylaw (LUB). The LUB is one of the most important bylaws for a municipality as it guides day-to-day planning and development activities. It will be a key tool in implementing the vision, objectives, and place-based approach of the new Our Fort. Our Future. Municipal Development Plan (MDP)

What is a Land Use Bylaw (LUB)?

A LUB is a key element of the planning framework for every municipality in Alberta. LUB’s impact the various places within our community and set the standards for development on private land in the municipality. This includes:

  • Adding a garage or suite to your residential property
  • Where a business or storefront can open in the community
  • What a building or property can be used for
  • Serves as a regulatory tool to implement policy direction from the MDP and other statutory plans

Why is a new LUB needed?

A new LUB is required to ensure consistency with the MDP’s strategy and approach. The MDP took a “place-based approach” with emphasis on the residents’ and visitors’ experience of various places in the city. Creating welcoming, enjoyable, and safe places for all ages, groups, and lifestyles will strengthen the city’s identity in the region.

Most land use bylaws emphasize the use of land over the built form. However, this approach to regulating land use poses limitations and is often a barrier to creating inclusive places. Which is why, the MDP recognizes different place types within the city, a significant change from the conventional approach to city plans.

Updating the LUB to incorporate the place-based planning within the MDP will enable the LUB to function as an effective implementation tool for the MDP. A place-based approach with an emphasis on design and flexibility ensures the LUB supports developments that meet the needs and aspirations of current and future residents.

If we create and design great places, we can attract talent, which will then in turn support our current businesses and bring new businesses to our community.

Business, Talent, and Place triangle 

The new LUB will also ensure compatible redevelopment and intensification in mature neighborhoods.

Mature neighbourhoods

The MDP also recognizes that some of our mature neighbourhoods are at a stage where further direction needs to be identified to facilitate sensitive redevelopment and intensification, to ensure that these neighbourhoods thrive. Mature neighbourhoods, that are home to existing homes, mature trees, services and many community amenities require a different approach than developing areas like Southfort and Westpark. We will be reviewing the mature neighbourhoods to gain a deeper understanding of the existing development and their unique characteristics, through data analysis and many conversations with residents. This will help shape the land use bylaw regulations that respect the context while achieving the objectives set out in the MDP.

Our Mature Neighbourhoods include some of the original development patterns in our community. Like people, neighbourhoods have different needs throughout different parts of their lifecycle. Depending on the neighbourhood, the speed at which they are developed, and the era of development, the timelines in the Neighbourhood Lifecycle will shift but the trends are consistent. Each neighbourhood is unique in this way, where Pineview only took 8 years to be fully built out, the Westpark neighbourhood started developing slowly in the 1990s and is still being built out today.

Lifecycle of a Neighbourhood

What is the relationship between the MDP and LUB?

Our Fort. ‘Our Future.’ Fort Saskatchewan’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP), is the plan to guide the City as it grows into a community of over 50,000 residents, over the coming decades. The plan establishes our objectives for growth, development and revitalization for various areas of the city.

LUB and MDP connection

The MDP is a high level, long term visionary plan for our community and the Land Use Bylaw regulates development. In other words, if MDP’s community vision is a destination, the Land Use Bylaw is a vehicle or a GPS to get to that destination.

Project objectives

The new LUB will:

  • Reflect the vision and objectives of the MDP, focusing on built form and place types rather than use.
  • Focus on making places that are diverse and inclusive.
  • Include regulations that enable diverse housing and support redevelopment and intensification in mature neighbourhoods, while respecting community character.
  • Facilitate mixed-use areas to create vibrant communities and places people feel connect to.
  • Include regulations to facilitate intensification of highway commercial development that integrates with surrounding areas.
  • Include user friendly and gender inclusive language, with visuals for clarification.

Project objectives

How does this impact me?

If you are planning to develop or alter your existing property or change its use, the new Land Use Bylaw regulations will be applicable and potentially impact your property once adopted. This is the same as how the current Land Use Bylaw regulates development on all properties in the city. If you are not planning to develop or alter your existing property the Land Use Bylaw will have minimal impact until you decide to.

When a new Land Use Bylaw is in place it will identify your development rights. If these are different than your current development rights, as long as you are currently using your property legally, you can continue to use your property as you are.

Project timeframe
Pre-Land Use Bylaw Research 2021 Draft Land Use Bylaw 2022-23
2022
2023
  • Research & Information gathering
  • Starting conversations with Mature Neighbourhood residents
  • Mature Neighbourhoods conversations continued
  • Start citywide and key stakeholder conversations
  • Begin Drafting Bylaw content
  • Wrap-up community and  stakeholder conversation
  • Finalize draft Bylaw
  • Bring Bylaw to Council for decision

Stay connected

To learn more and to participate in upcoming engagement opportunities for the new LUB:

Work to date

Pre-Land Use Bylaw Research 2021

Administration researched different zoning approaches that could best serve the various parts of our community and gathering information. This included identifying challenges emerging from the existing Land Use Bylaw regulations and barriers to fulfilling different objectives, exploring how other communities have found success or challenges in addressing similar regulatory issues and compiling community information.

Mature Neighbourhood and Resident Engagement

June 2021 — Information Sessions

In June 2021, the City hosted project information sessions to initiate conversation with the residents of mature  neighbourhoods.

View the Engagement Summary Report

Working Groups

In 2021, working group sessions focused on building deeper understanding of residents’ experiences of living in and perspectives on their neighbourhoods. The sessions commenced in September and will continue throughout the new Land Use Bylaw Project.

Read the Mature Neighbourhood Working Group Series 1 Summary Report

Draft Land Use Bylaw 2022-24

Mature Neighbourhood Walking Tours

In August 2022, residents joined us for a walk through the mature neighbourhoods.

On our walk, we observed development patterns of the area, and the impacts they’ve had on how we use our spaces. In our discussions, you helped us better understand the existing characteristics of the development and the built form that give them their identity.

Read the Mature Neighbourhoods Walking Tours What We Heard Report

Frequently Asked Questions 

This section will be updated as the project progresses and questions are received.

What is the MDP Community Vision?

The MDP reads:

With 50,000 residents, our community of Fort Saskatchewan:

  • Provides a great quality of life within our neighbourhoods where everyone can grow, age, and stay.
  • Builds on its heritage, connects people, and fosters innovation.
  • Creates great places for residents and visitors to enjoy. Supports a resilient economy for everyone to achieve and thrive.

More information on the MDP

How we are growing

Pre 1960 - Today

How we are growing 1960 to Today
Click on the image to view more details

How does the LUB impact me?

If you are planning to develop or alter your existing property or change its use, the new Land Use Bylaw regulations will be applicable and potentially impact your property once adopted. This is the same as how the current Land Use Bylaw regulates development on all properties in the city. If you are not planning to develop or alter your existing property the Land Use Bylaw will have minimal impact until you decide to.

When a new Land Use Bylaw is in place it will identify your development rights. If these are different than your current development rights, as long as you are currently using your property legally, you can continue to use your property as you are.