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Background

The current Wheatland County Municipal Development Plan (MDP) was approved by Council in 2013 to provide the County with a vision for 30 years. Today, the County wants to ensure the vision, policies and objectives within the MDP are being met and remain relevant, through a comprehensive review and update.

The “MDP Review” process will include a significant public engagement process to provide multiple opportunities for County residents and stakeholders to participate and share their ideas.

Focus Areas

The County will be focusing the MDP update around the following key areas:

  • Servicing
  • Residential growth
  • Sustainability
  • Agriculture & environmentally sensitive areas

Engagement

Throughout the MDP update, the County wants to hear from as many residents, business owners and stakeholders as possible to make sure the new MDP reflects the ideas and desires of those it matters to and impacts the most.

Phase 1) SETTING THE STAGE (November – December 2019)

Phase 2) COMMUNITY VISIONING (January – March 2020)

Phase 3 & 4) GROWTH STRATEGIES AND DIRECTIONS & DRAFT (2021-2022)

Phase 5) COUNCIL (Fall 2022)

Phase 1: Setting the Stage (COMPLETE)

In Phase 1, we asked County residents to tell us how they wanted to be engaged throughout the MDP review process. Approximately 40 people shared their ideas by either completing an online mapping exercise, calling or texting their ideas to a project phone number. The majority of respondents were in favour of online surveys/maps and public open houses.

Phase 2: Community Visioning (COMPLETE)

In Phase 2, Wheatland County hosted a two-part webinar series to discuss key policy sections of the MDP, their intent, and if any changes or amendments should be considered.

We want to hear your thoughts and ideas to ensure the MDP reflects your vision and aspirations.

 

Phases 3 and 4: Growth Strategies and Directions & Draft Plan (COMPLETE)

County staff have reviewed the feedback that was received throughout Phase 2 and have prepared an Engagement Summary, which is available below.

Wheatland County MDP Review – WWH Report (December 22, 2020)

The feedback indicates that the goals and objectives of the current Municipal Development Plan generally align with residents’ interests. Detailed review of the policies within the Plan, however, indicate that improvements could be made in order to help achieve these goals. The proposed updates aim to promote:

  • Agricultural business opportunities and protection of agricultural land
  • Economic growth and diversification
  • Small business opportunities
  • Responsible development and mitigation of potential land use conflicts

Staff have prepared a document detailing the proposed amendments with these aims in mind. This, as well as a section-by-section summary, is available below. The primary intent of the amendments are to:

  • Reflect current legislation, demographics, and development trends
  • Clarify and streamline the document to enhance ease of use
  • Ensure that policies within the Plan align with the County’s growth and development goals

Phase 5: Council (Fall 2022) 

Over the summer of 2022, the revised MDP document was circulated in order to provide all County residents and various stakeholders the opportunity to review and provide comment. While the majority of respondents had general enquiries regarding the purpose of the project, some comments raised attention to areas where improvements could be made. Additional amendments were made to the draft MDP in response. The final draft and revised Update Summary are available below.

With the final draft prepared, the MDP project will enter the final stage, Council consideration. A Public Hearing is anticipated to be scheduled on November 1, 2022. County residents will be advised of the date via post, and invited to provide comments or attend the hearing to share their comments in person.

Your feedback regarding the proposed amendments is welcome and appreciated. Comments, as well as any questions, can be directed to:

stefan.kunz@wheatlandcounty.ca

FAQs

A Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is the primary vision for the County and addresses many topics including: land use planning and development, agricultural and environmental protection, and transportation. An MDP is required for all municipalities. The MDP sets the vision, sustainability principles, goals, and policies for the entire County. It guides and directs many of Council’s major decisions, particularly those that impact land and development. The County must consider all future plans and development applications in relation to their conformity to the policies and vision outlined within the MDP.

We’ve completed a short video explaining what an MDP is and why we’re reviewing it.

The 2013 MDP includes direction for the County to undergo a standard review every five (5) years to ensure that it remains current to the philosophy of Wheatland County. In addition, new provincial legislation and the inclusion of the County within the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board requires the County to review and update the MDP.

In 2013 the County completed both a Regional Growth Management Strategy (RGMS) and an update to their MDP. The Regional Growth Management Strategy (RGMS) is similar to the MDP, but looks forward 40 years. The RGMS complements the MDP by looking more technically at how and where future growth and development can be accommodated within the County. The RGMS data helps inform the policies of the MDP.

Specifically, the RGMS explores growth, infrastructure, municipal services, economic, and environmental impacts. It examines where and how the County should grow, how growth will affect the natural environment, and what impact growth will have on infrastructure. Using this information, this document outlines how decisions regarding planning and development within Wheatland County should be made.

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