Land Use Bylaw honoured with APPI award

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

High River Land Use Bylaw honoured with award of merit from Alberta Professional Planners Institute

The Town of High River received a provincial Award of Merit yesterday from the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) for the 2017 Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

The award was presented to Khalid Mohammed, manager of planning and development services for the Town of High River, at the APPI conference awards luncheon on Monday, October 1 in Kananaskis.

“Our Land Use Bylaw has now won a national and a provincial award,” says Mohammed. “I am extremely proud to receive this award on behalf of the Town and hope that High River will continue to be recognized as an innovative development community, making great contributions to the planning profession.”

The LUB was awarded in the Comprehensive and Policy Plan category and was selected for its contribution to advances in the field of planning and increasing the profile of community planning in the province. The award also recognized the Town’s partner for the development of the Land Use Bylaw, McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.

The Town of High River adopted its new Land Use Bylaw in April 2017. This ground-breaking bylaw consolidated the Town’s previous 41 land use districts into six and serves as the Town’s rulebook to guide all future development in High River.

“In the years since the Alberta floods, High River has utilized a ‘build it back better’ mentality and made several innovative improvements,” says Mohammed. “These include wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, naturalized parks and green spaces and incorporating flood mitigation into existing pedestrian and cycling pathway systems for beautification and functionality.”

The new bylaw is intended to offer more flexibility and opportunities for collaboration between the Town, developers and High River citizens, in order to help the Town build communities that are sustainable, and better serve the needs of its people.

“Improvements have been made that remove parking requirements for new developments and eliminate the need for a lengthy and restrictive approval process for changes of use, such as building additional dwelling units formerly referred to as secondary suites,” says Mohammed.

The Town’s Planning and Development Services Division partnered with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., in early 2016 to perform a major review of the existing Land Use Bylaw. The new version is more permissive than prescriptive and offers a strong digital component to make viewing and searching the document simpler.

Each year the Alberta Professional Planners Institute recognizes exemplary planning within the planning profession. Awards acknowledge meritorious plans and projects, undertaken in whole or in part by members of the Institute, that significantly contribute to the livability of communities in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

To learn more about the Town’s Land Use Bylaw, please visit

Photo (L-R): Maire McNamee of McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., Khalid Mohammed from the Town of High River, and Erin O Neill, APPI President.


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