Sturgeon Valley

The Sturgeon Valley is a unique residential community that will provide various housing options to meet the needs of current and future residents through their different life stages.

Growth will take place south of the existing neighbourhoods, between the cities of St. Albert and Edmonton. Development will include various housing options, new shopping and employment areas, new community services, recreation opportunities, and more.

The vision for the Sturgeon Valley was solidified in 2021 following extensive public input. Council adopted three bylaws that approved the Sturgeon Valley South Area Structure Plan and amended the Sturgeon Valley Core Area Structure Plan and the Municipal Development Plan.

Most of the County’s future growth will occur in the Valley. This will happen slowly, over several decades. The rate of growth will depend on market conditions and the investment interest of local landowners and developers.

Aerial view of the Sturgeon Valley

Sturgeon Valley South

Sturgeon Valley South will incorporate elements that drive a clean energy economy, reduce our carbon footprint, and protect the natural environment. This community will have trails that connect to parks, natural spaces, and key commercial hubs throughout the community.

It will be the most densely populated area in the Valley with an average of 35 dwelling units per net residential hectare. This means the lots will be smaller than existing residential areas in the Valley and will include a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, duplexes and multi-family apartments.

There will be transitions to provide a “buffer” between existing residential communities and more densely populated future neighbourhoods. Closer to Edmonton and Anthony Henday Drive, development densities will transition up to 45 units per net residential hectare. This aligns with the requirements of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan, which Sturgeon County must conform to.

Over a 25-year period, the population is expected to increase by 8,300 residents.

Sturgeon Valley Core

Most existing neighbourhoods are in the Sturgeon Valley Core area. Most of this area has been developed at a density of two housing units per net residential hectare and most are large single detached homes. In recent development areas such as River’s Gate, density is closer to 10 housing units per net residential hectare. The maximum density will be 20 dwelling units per net residential hectare. Development will preserve, protect, and enhance the rural and natural landscape as much as possible. 

Over a 25-year period, the population is expected to increase by 5,500 residents.

Together, these planning documents guide development of the Sturgeon Valley area by: 

  • Specifying residential densification targets – as required by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan – including measures such as transitions to provide a “buffer” between existing residential communities and more densely-populated future neighbourhoods.  
  • Detailing areas for new residential and commercial development.  
  • Planning for the infrastructure and transportation improvements needed to support growth. 
  • Supporting a growing network of trails, parks and open spaces for recreational use and environmental protection. 
  • Protecting prime agricultural lands. 

Through planning for growth in Sturgeon Valley, the County has taken steps to respect the interests of existing residents and neighbourhoods, protect against future annexations, diversify Sturgeon County’s taxation base, and capitalize on the area’s location and existing infrastructure. At the same time, the County is enabling the creation of unique and distinct neighbourhoods that will meet the future needs of local and regional residents.

What’s Happening Now and How to Get Involved

All opportunities for public input related to the Sturgeon Valley will be included below.

County-Initiated Changes

The County is updating technical documents like the Land Use Bylaw and the General Municipal Servicing Standards to reflect the vision and urban character of the Sturgeon Valley.  

When the County proposes Land Use Bylaw amendments, it holds a public hearing to gather input from the public. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media.

Developer-Initiated Changes

To develop neighbourhoods in the Sturgeon Valley South area, developers must create specific neighbourhood area structure plans. These are sub-plans that support the area structure plan and provide general details about the development, including density. Developers must hold public engagement sessions about the plan before applying to the County for approval. These plans need Council approval. Council holds a public hearing to gather input from the public before considering approval. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media. Development in the Sturgeon Valley Core area does not need a neighbourhood area structure plan. 

If approved, developers must create outline plans. These neighbourhood-level plans detail housing types, road networks and community trails and parks. Developers must hold public engagement sessions about the outline plan before applying to the County for approval. These plans need Council approval. Council holds a public hearing to gather input from the public before considering approval. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media.  

How We Got Here – The Our Future Valley Project

Aerial view of Sturgeon Valley, including farmland

The vision for the Sturgeon Valley was solidified in 2021. Council adopted three bylaws following extensive public input. These bylaws approved the Sturgeon Valley South Area Structure Plan and amended the Sturgeon Valley Core Area Structure Plan and the Municipal Development Plan.

The Our Future Valley project included significant public engagement and communications between November 2020 and April 2021, prior to the adoption of the planning documents. 

We will continue to engage the public on the future development of the Sturgeon Valley.

Key Dates

December 2020 to September 2021

Council adopted three bylaws following extensive public input. These bylaws approved the Sturgeon Valley South Area Structure Plan and amended the Sturgeon Valley Core Area Structure Plan and the Municipal Development Plan.

December 2020 to May 2021

Sturgeon County initiated the Our Future Valley Project and developed the two Sturgeon Valley area structure plans. This included many opportunities for public input through virtual information and engagement sessions, which were promoted in newspapers, direct mail road signage social media and more. These sessions were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures. 

2019 and 2020

Sturgeon County consulted with landowners, developers and other groups to inform the future development of the Sturgeon Valley.

2019

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board approved policies for the development of the Sturgeon Valley. These set the following overall densities for undeveloped lands: 

  • Sturgeon Valley South area: average of 35 dwelling units per net residential hectare 
  • Valley Core area: maximum of 20 dwelling units per net residential hectare 
2017

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan was updated. It identified the Sturgeon Valley as a “special study area,” which meant the EMRB would determine its future growth once the growth aspirations for the cities of Edmonton and St. Albert had been set.

2013

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board identified the Sturgeon Valley as a key strategic area for future regional growth.

2011

The province approved the Capital Region Growth Plan that set limiting development densities for the Sturgeon Valley.

1999

Sturgeon County approved the first Sturgeon Valley Area Structure Plan that allowed for country residential and estate lot developments in the Sturgeon Valley. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Sturgeon County start planning for the Sturgeon Valley?

Sturgeon County began planning for the Sturgeon Valley because property owners were requesting better trail and community networks, and we needed to offer landowners certainty on the use of their properties. In addition, we needed to protect the Sturgeon Valley from future annexation and maintain control over planning for the area.

Is undeveloped land more likely to be annexed?

Undeveloped lands are more likely than developed lands to be annexed by another municipality. The Sturgeon Valley is surrounded by expanding cities, so Sturgeon County chose to guide the Sturgeon Valley’s growth itself rather than risk losing the land in the future.

What types of housing or densities can I expect in Sturgeon Valley?

Most of the Sturgeon Valley Core – where existing neighbourhoods are located – has been developed at a density of two housing units per net residential hectare and most are large single detached homes.

In recent development areas such as River’s Gate, density is closer to 10 to 15 housing units per net residential hectare. Remaining undeveloped areas in the valley core may develop to a maximum of 20 housing units per net residential hectare, subject to servicing availability.

In the Sturgeon Valley South areas (south and east of River’s Gate) the development density will vary with an average of 35 housing units per net residential hectare. Transitions will provide a “buffer” between existing residential communities and more densely populated future neighbourhoods. Closer to Edmonton and Anthony Henday Drive, development densities will transition up to 45 units per net residential hectare. This aligns with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan requirements, which Sturgeon County must conform to.

Development speed depends on market conditions and the investment interests of local landowners and developers. Sturgeon County expects development to occur over decades. Residents will be engaged throughout that process.

How can I share my thoughts about developments in the Sturgeon Valley?

The County is updating technical documents like the Land Use Bylaw and the General Municipal Servicing Standards to reflect the vision and urban character of the Sturgeon Valley.  

When the County proposes Land Use Bylaw amendments, it holds a public hearing to gather input from the public. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media.

To develop neighbourhoods in the Sturgeon Valley South area, developers must create specific neighbourhood area structure plans. These are sub-plans that support the area structure plan and provide general details about the development, including density. Developers must hold public engagement sessions about the plan before applying to the County for approval. These plans need Council approval. Council holds a public hearing to gather input from the public before considering approval. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media.

Development in the Sturgeon Valley Core area does not need a neighbourhood area structure plan. If approved, developers must create outline plans. These neighbourhood-level plans detail housing types, road networks, community trails, and parks. Developers must hold public engagement sessions about the outline plan before applying to the County for approval. These plans need Council approval. Council holds a public hearing to gather input from the public before considering approval. These hearings are advertised in local newspapers, posted to the Sturgeon County website and shared on social media.

What changes can I expect?

If you already live in the Sturgeon Valley, you can expect very little change aside from more trails and access to greenspaces. Those living closest to any new development areas could notice some change during and after construction, but for the most part, development near you will look very similar to what you already know.

In the southern areas of the Sturgeon Valley, residential development will be more consistent with residential development in the cities of St. Albert or Edmonton.

Related Links

Sturgeon County offices will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day. Offices will re-open Tuesday, February 20 at 8:30 a.m.

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