Fort Saskatchewan's New Land Use Bylaw

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Why a new Land Use Bylaw?

‘Our Fort. Our Future.’ Fort Saskatchewan’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP), adopted in January 2021, is the Plan to guide the City as it grows into a community of over 50,000 residents, over the coming decades. Through extensive community engagement throughout 2019 and 2020, the plan establishes our objectives for growth, development and revitalization for various areas of the city. The Plan, which is a blueprint for city building, recognizes that not all places within the city are same and therefore need different development approaches. More information on the ‘Our Fort. Our Future.’ Plan and its development process.

The Destination: MDP Community Vision

To achieve the objectives of “Our Fort, Our Future”, the City is initiating the process of creating a new bylaw that aligns with the new MDP and will serve the community’s needs into the future. 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. In order to make sure we have the best Land Use Bylaw to address the characteristics of your neighbourhoods while achieving the MDP objectives set for the area, we want to hear from you! More information on the objectives for mature neighbourhoods.

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

How we are growing

Pre 1960 - Today

How we are growing 1960 to Today
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Project timeframe
Pre-Land Use Bylaw Research 2021 Draft Land Use Bylaw 2022-23
2022
*Subject to Budget Approval
2023
*Subject to Budget Approval
  • 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
January to August 2021
Administration is researching different zoning approaches that could best serve the various parts of our community and gathering information. This includes 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. 
June to December 2021

Resident Engagement

In June, we will initiate the conversation with the residents of the mature neighbourhoods. Information about the project can be found through this website and webex information sessions that will provide an opportunity to ask question.

In Late summer-early fall, we will host the second round of conversations. At this stage, we will begin data sharing and data collecting exercises with the residents. We would like to learn from you and your experience of your neighbourhood and share with you data. His will form the quantitative and qualitative foundation of neighbourhood characteristics.

Engagement opportunities

Our focus for the first stage of the project is our mature neighbourhoods. This includes the Downtown Fringe and Established Neighbourhoods. Within the Land Use Bylaw, the City aims to establish a strategy for our Mature Neighbourhoods. If you are a resident of one of these neighbourhoods, we are hosting information sessions about the project and how you can get involved Sessions will be online using the Cisco Webex Platform, there will be a short presentation at the beginning:

Wednesday, June 23, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Thursday, June 24, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Friday, June 25, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

In these sessions we will explain the project, process and schedule, how you can be involved in the project, and review our preliminary development pattern map. Different areas within our mature neighbourhoods may require different regulations, the development pattern map will help ensure we are working at the right scale and that the regulations fit. 

Mature Neighbourhoods - Conceptual Development Map

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Stakeholder Engagement

We will share the ‘Land Use Bylaw Approaches – Discussion Paper’ with the stakeholders that are involved in the process of city building, and use the Land Use Bylaw on a regular basis. i.e. development and builders community.

Intent of this conversation is getting understanding of challenges of the City’s current land use bylaw or conventional land use bylaws in general and feedback on the potential new approaches to the Land Use Bylaw.

December 2021 
Subject to the budget approval, a project plan will be prepared for ‘Draft Land Use Bylaw’ preparation.
2022
Conditional on budget approval, Administration will proceed with Phase 2 of the Land Use Bylaw Project. This will include continued community and stakeholder engagement, while using information gathered in previous engagements, MDP content, and research, to begin drafting a new Land Use Bylaw.
2023
Conditional on budget approval, Administration will finalize the new land use bylaw and conclude community and stakeholder conversations. 
Frequently Asked Questions 

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

What is a Land Use Bylaw?

A Land Use Bylaw is a Bylaw that all Alberta municipalities are required to adopt. It identifies the development rights and regulations for private property throughout the municipality, the process for applying for developments and the associating requirements. If you intend on altering your property the current Land Use Bylaw is available online and we suggest you contact the City’s Planning & Development Department at 780-992-6198.

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.

What is the relationship between ‘Our Fort. Our Future.’ and the Land Use Bylaw?

‘Our Fort. Our Future.’ is the City’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP). All municipalities in Alberta are required to have an MDP, they are high level policy documents that outline the community’s aspiration for the future and provide policy direction to help Administration and Council pursue that vision. The Land Use Bylaw is a regulatory document that regulates development on private property in the City. As the document that regulates the specifics of development, it is important for the Land Use Bylaw to be aligned with the MDP so development decisions are in line with and support the aspirational future of the community.