Land Use Planning and Community Engagement

If you have specific questions about land use planning, please contact our Planning and Development department by email or 780-939-8275.

Our Approach to Land Use Planning

Sturgeon County is open and transparent with the public. We involve the public when creating new bylaws or making changes to the Land Use Bylaw.

In the last few years, we’ve made changes to the Land Use Bylaw that were requested by the community or sought to position Sturgeon County as a tremendous place to live and do business. These changes have focused on enabling growth, respecting landowner rights, protecting quality of life, streamlining processes and improving customer service.

A major review of Sturgeon County’s Land Use Bylaw was completed on July 10, 2017. There are no plans in the immediate future to conduct another full-scale review. All Alberta municipalities must have a land use bylaw, as per the Municipal Government Act (section 640(1)). Land use bylaws regulate the use and development of land and buildings, and set standards for design, population density, the development of land and buildings, and the protection of agricultural lands and watersheds.

We also create or amend bylaws in response to provincial requirements or public needs, such as the recent diversified agriculture bylaw. This bylaw supports agricultural producers who want to expand their revenue sources with agribusiness and agritourism activities, while respecting neighbour interests, supporting public safety, aligning with provincial or federal codes, and protecting municipal infrastructure. This bylaw was recommended by a task force of community members and was informed by public input.

How You Can Get Involved and Have Your Say

Here’s how you can get informed, raise questions and get involved:

  • We include proposed bylaws and bylaw amendments in Council meeting agenda packages; these are published on the Friday before the Council meeting. Unless otherwise advertised, Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, starting at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers. Members of the public are encouraged to attend/listen.
  • We hold public hearings for proposed bylaws and bylaws amendments related to land use planning matters.
    • We advertise public hearings in local newspapers and on our website.
    • You can provide input to Council in person, via videoconference, or in writing. Council relies on this input to make decisions.
  • We host information sessions and open houses so you can get information, ask questions and provide feedback. These are posted on our events calendar, and are often shared on other communication channels.

15-Minute Communities

The 15-minute community is a planning concept often adopted by urban centres. The concept focuses on having key services and amenities – such as work, shopping, healthcare, and leisure facilities – within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from home. For many reasons, this planning concept is not practical in rural environments.

Sturgeon County is committed to responsible development that meets the unique needs of residents and the environment. This includes the Sturgeon Valley region, which will be a mix of residential development, multi-use trails for both recreation and commuting, commercial and light industrial, and potential for future transit, making it a forward-looking community with options.

Other Municipal Bylaws

We’ve heard allegations that municipal land use bylaws, animal control bylaws and community standards bylaws are an attack on residents, farmers and other agricultural producers. Bylaws like our Animal Control Bylaw only apply to non-agricultural properties. This means farmers and other agricultural producers are not restricted by the County’s animal control bylaw. Learn more about animal control in Sturgeon County. Many regulations on animal housing, feed and numbers are provincially or federally regulated.

Our Community Standards Bylaw gives landowners and residents rules to follow so all residents can enjoy their home in Sturgeon County. The only section that applies to agricultural producers relates to noise.

Smart City Alliance

We’ve received questions about Sturgeon County’s involvement with the Smart City Alliance. Sturgeon County is not a member of this group. Further, we have confirmed this group is no longer in operation.

Protecting Agricultural Land

We know the value of the agricultural sector and are committed to preserving agricultural land for generations to come. We worked with 12 other municipalities in the Edmonton region to create the Regional Agriculture Master Plan (RAMP), which recently received approval by the provincial government. This is a plan that supports the future of agriculture and the agriculture sector and puts measures in place to protect agricultural land.

In Sturgeon County, RAMP will protect prime agricultural land. It will help ensure adjacent land uses are compatible with the agricultural land and creates a framework for urban agriculture. We look forward to involving the community more on these important topics over the next two years when our Municipal Development Plan is updated.

For more information about RAMP, contact the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board.

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