Land Use Bylaw Monitoring Program

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The Town of High River has launched a two year monitoring program to measure the success of the innovative new Land Use Bylaw that was adopted by council in April 2017.

“The new bylaw is a shift from traditional land use planning, where everything is based on the segregation of land uses with a particular focus on low density development,” said Khalid Mohammed, manager of planning and development services with the Town. “The new bylaw focuses on more efficient use of land and resources through higher density and mixed use development based on smart growth principles.”

The underpinnings of the new Land Use Bylaw are: less regulation, not more; a user friendly, web-based, interactive system; simpler language and processes; creation of a resilient community by supporting growth and development within an environment that removes barriers and maximizes the opportunities for success.

“To achieve high quality, sustainable buildings and neighbourhoods, the development community is encouraged to apply creativity and innovation, and to work in collaboration with the Town of High River to ensure those positive outcomes are achieved,” said Mohammed.

Some of the most significant changes were consolidating the Town’s 41 previous land use districts into 6 districts, removing minimum lot sizes, eliminating parking requirements, and allowing the opportunity to build an additional dwelling unit on the same lot.

“It is very important that we evaluate the bylaw’s effectiveness,” adds Mohammed. “Our intent is to encourage sustainable and high quality development in our community and municipalities across the country and the planning professional institutes will be interested in our results.”

The monitoring program will evaluate the following metrics for achieving predetermined targets: customer service and understanding of the bylaw; consistency of decisions; tracking infill development; mixing of land uses; innovation, quality and creativity of development projects; processing timelines; and economic impact on the community.

The planning department will be engaging with a variety of audiences to assist in the monitoring process, and identify any elements of the bylaw that may need further review or revision. These audiences will include High River residents, the development community, the business community, realtors, consulting firms, Town staff and council.

Data will be collected through focus groups, surveys, stakeholder interviews, staff observations and comments from applicants.

The two year monitoring program will run from October 2017 until October 2019. A final report will be presented to council on the study’s findings, as well as any recommended changes to the Land Use Bylaw. Interim reports may also be presented to council throughout the process to address any time sensitive elements of the bylaw.

Status updates on this project will be provided periodically on the Town of High River website. If you would like to provide your input, request a meeting or additional information, please contact the project manager Khalid Mohammed, manager of planning and development services by:

Phone: 403.603.3408.
Mail: High River Town Office,
309B Macleod Trail SW, T1V 1Z5