What is the Land Use Bylaw?

The Land Use Bylaw is an important tool that the municipality has to implement the vision, goals and policies of the Municipal Development Plan.  A Land Use Bylaw controls development by categorizing properties into various land use districts. It prescribes how land and buildings can be used in those districts and establishes a system for issuing development permits.

Why Change the Land Use Bylaw now?

The primary intent of the land use bylaw project is to review the fundamentals and regulations of the land use bylaw, endeavoring to increase the flexibility and adaptability by reducing regulations where they are not necessary. Equally important, we will be improving the document’s usability and reviewing the related processes to improve our citizen’s experience.

Since the last review of the bylaw significant matters have arisen including the dissolution of the Town of Granum, increased renewable energy development, increasing demand for rural subdivision and development which threatens to fragment valued agricultural land and a need to update land use district permitted, discretionary and prohibited uses.

What will be reviewed as part of the Land Use Bylaw project?

The land use bylaw project will include the following matters:

  • Incorporation of the Town of Granum land use bylaw into the M.D. of Willow Creek Bylaw
  • Ensure that policies addressing renewable energy projects are complete
  • Review the current land use districts and consider new land use districts for gravel extraction, renewable energy, Willow Creek Business Park, Claresholm Airport as well as residential growth area and commercial / industrial growth area for Claresholm
  • Review Hamlet land use districts and uses
  • Develop Overlay Districts for Flood Damage and Reservoir Vicinity which will guide development decisions
  • Develop Subdivision policies in Rural General / Vacant
  • Develop criteria for Campgrounds
  • Examine Isolated industrial uses
  • Update administrative matters and definitions 
  • Other matters that will ensure the bylaw remains current and relevant  

How can the public participate?

Council and Municipal District Staff will engage with the community to seek feedback on proposed Land Use Bylaw changes.  Focused engagement sessions will seek to answer questions related changes to the Bylaw including: subdivision policies, land use district permitted and discretionary uses, how the bylaw seeks to preserve agricultural land and the ways a new bylaw will become more user friendly and understandable.

Draft Land Use Bylaw Regulations will be available for review and discussion by the public. Engagement will include the following attributes:

  • A dedicated web page for the Land Use Bylaw project which will provide information and feedback mechanisms for public engagement on each major issue. This website will provide a record of the issues, drafts, revisions and history of the project for future reference. The website is found at the following link: http://whatshappening.mdwillowcreek.com/
  • A segmented discussion of each major issue to permit a full and detailed review and discussion by Council and citizens. This will encourage an understanding of the issues by all parties and community derived solutions.
  • Social media, newsletter and local newspaper advertising to distribute information and solicit feedback.
  • Public Open House sessions across the M.D. to evaluate the Land Use Bylaw
  • A Public Hearing prior to adoption