Alix village council gave its initial nod to an important planning document which now goes out for public comment. The resolution was passed at the Jan. 17 regular meeting of council.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented councillors with a new municipal development plan (MDP) bylaw, noting in her report that the previous bylaw was a bit outdated.
“The village’s current MDP was passed in May of 2009,” stated White’s memo to council.
“There have been significant changes since that time, meaning an update to the document was necessary. The review process was started in 2021 but suffered many delays. A final draft is now ready for council consideration.”
The CAO stated it may have been a long time coming but the draft is satisfying.
“We’re pretty happy with it, actually,” said White.
During discussion White noted that an agreement with Lacombe County, the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP), had to be discussed in a public meeting before councillors had a chance to ponder the new MDP. White stated the IDP and proposed MDP now mesh nicely.
In her report the CAO also noted municipalities in Alberta are required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to adopt an MDP bylaw; such a bylaw is required to contain a number of details and the municipality must hold a public hearing to allow community feedback before the MDP bylaw can be fully adopted.
According to a fact sheet available on the provincial government’s website some of the required elements of an MDP include future land use within the municipality, the manner of and the proposals for future development in the municipality, the provision of municipal services and facilities either generally or specifically; an MDP must also contain certain policies that respect the protection of agricultural operations and lastly, an MDP may also address environmental matters within the municipality, conservation reserves, economic development plus many other details.
The draft bylaw contains sections such as growth management, economic development, downtown development, parks/recreation/culture and utilities, among many others.
The CAO noted the municipality in general will be affected by this bylaw; she further stated the public should understand this bylaw is geared towards future planning of Alix as a whole.
Coun. Ed Cole commented that after reading the draft bylaw he was happy to see it’s easy to understand.
The CAO further clarified that this bylaw’s development was delayed somewhat by Stats Canada’s release of census numbers.
As councillors discussed the draft bylaw, the CAO noted an MDP is also quite useful for potential developers who can read it and understand what the community is interested in.
Councillors unanimously passed first reading of the new MDP bylaw and set the date for the public hearing.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter