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File #: PH-21-001    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Public Hearing Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 1/6/2021 In control: City Council
On agenda: 3/15/2021 Final action: 3/15/2021
Title: Bylaw 20/2020 MDP Public Hearing and 2d & 3d readings Presented by: Katie Mahoney, Senior Long Range Planner, Planning & Development
Attachments: 1. Previously Distributed, 2. Attachment 2 EMRB Report, 3. Attachment 3 Phase 4 Engagement Report -, 4. MDP Bylaw 2020, 5. Proposed Second Reading Amendments to Flourish, 6. MDP Incorporating Proposed 2d Reading Amendments, 7. Additional Public Input - Bylaw 20_2020




Bylaw 20/2020 MDP Public Hearing and 2d & 3d readings

Presented by: Katie Mahoney, Senior Long Range Planner, Planning & Development





1.                     That the public hearing on Bylaw 20/2020 be closed.


2.                     That Bylaw 20/2020 be read a second time.


3.                     That Bylaw 20/2020 be amended as set out in the document entitled "Proposed 2d Reading Amendments to Flourish" which is Attachment #5 to the Report entitled "Bylaw 20/2020 MDP Public Hearing and 2d & 3d Readings"


4.                     That Bylaw 20/2020, as amended, be read a third time.




This report discusses the proposed new Municipal Development Plan (MDP), Flourish - Growing to 100K, as background information for Council in preparation for the mandatory public hearing prior to second reading of Bylaw 20/2020.



Council Strategic Plan:


Strategic Priority #1: Growth Policy Framework: Develop a robust policy framework to guide growth.


1.1                     Complete revision of the Municipal Development Plan.



Long range policy planning - the development and advancement of long range policy planning documents which proactively plan for and shape new growth and development in the city.



All municipalities in Alberta must, by bylaw, adopt a Municipal Development Plan (MDP). Section 632(3) of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) sets out the matters that an MDP must address (including the future land use within the municipality) and the matters that it may address. The legislation further stipulates that an MDP must be consistent with any Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) in respect of land that is identified in both the MDP and the IDP. To ensure compliance with this provision, the bylaw that adopted the 2001 IDP between the City of St. Albert and Sturgeon County was repealed on December 7, 2020. In addition to the requirements legislated through the MGA, section 5.6.3(j) of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan (EMRGP) requires St. Albert to update its MDP by October 26, 2020. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and associated impacts to public engagement, the Minister of Municipal Affairs granted the EMRB’s request to extend this deadline to June 1, 2021.


The following was approved at the December 21, 2020 City Council Meeting:



That Bylaw 20/2020, being a bylaw to adopt a Municipal Development Plan, be read a first time.



Please refer to Attachment 1, entitled Previously Distributed, which includes the 1st  Reading report from December 21, 2020.


A new MDP must be approved by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) before Council can pass the implementing bylaw. The required referral (REF) to the EMRB was submitted after first reading, and on February 1, 2021, EMRB Administration issued a report (Attachment 2) recommending that the EMRB approve the new MDP. The issuance of that report triggered a 28-day period during which any other municipality in the Region could appeal the new MDP to the Board itself. If no appeal is filed within the 28 day appeal period, then the matter does not go to the Board and the EMRB Administration's recommendation stands as official EMRB approval with no further rights of appeal. Council is then free to conduct the public hearing and consider second and third readings of the implementing bylaw. No appeals were filed by March 1, 2021 regarding St. Albert’s Municipal Development Plan. As such, St. Albert Council may proceed with its debate.


Proposed 2d Reading Amendments


The new MDP as presented at first reading of Bylaw 20./2020 is found in Attachment #1 to this Report entitled "Previously Distributed".   Administration is now proposing some relatively minor amendments to the new MDP, summarized in Attachment #5 to this report entitled "Proposed 2d Reading Amendments to Flourish".  These amendments would not affect the substance of the document, but would add clarity around future interpretation and implementation.   As such these amendments can be made by Council without the need to re-visit the approval by the EMRB.


The final version of the new MDP as it will look if Council makes the recommended 2d reading amendment motion, is found at Attachment #6 to this report.   Please note that the Attachment #6 version also corrects some minor typos that were discovered in the first reading version, and employs improved graphics for a more polished look in a number of section headers and maps -- all of which is within the discretion of Administration to implement without the need of a second reading amendment.



Please refer to Attachment 1, entitled Previously Distributed, which includes the 1st Reading report from December 21, 2020.


The draft Flourish plan was launched on November 10, 2020, for community review and comment. A live webinar was held on November 17, 2020, to provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the project, and the plan for future growth and development. In addition, a short questionnaire ran from November 10 - 30, 2020, to gather specific feedback during the final stage of the project.


The Phase 4 Engagement Report (Attachment 3) contains details regarding the events and feedback associated with the fourth round of community engagement. In addition, the report contains analysis of all the external written comments received on the draft Flourish plan.


All written comments on the draft plan have been compiled into spreadsheets and corresponding responses have been provided by the Planning Branch (Attachment 3). In total, almost 1,000 written comments on the draft plan were submitted. The external comments generally fall into two categories;


                     Comments from the Project Champions Team and UDI St. Albert resulting from a Spring 2020 circulation;

                     Comments resulting from a Fall 2020 circulation and the fourth round of public engagement.


Following significant internal policy work, the draft plan was shared with the Project Champions Team and UDI St. Albert in April 2020. For the Project Champions, about 70% of change requests resulted in a change to the plan. About 40% of requests for clarification triggered wording updates to policies. For UDI St. Albert, over 50% of objections and change requests generated a change to the plan, and about 70% of requests for clarification triggered wording updates to policies. Overall the analysis showed that stakeholder comments were highly impactful in advancing the draft.


Formal circulation of the draft plan and the fourth round of public engagement resulted in written comments submitted by a broad range of stakeholders, including UDI St. Albert, the Canadian Homebuilders’ Association, Alberta Health Services, the Big Lake Environmental Support Society (BLESS), and other utility stakeholders and residents. Intermunicipal neighbours including Parkland County, Sturgeon County, and the City of Edmonton also provided their comments during this round. One hundred thirteen comments were received in total. In general, commenters expressed interest in housing diversity and support for future work to enable missing-middle housing. Several comments expressed support for approval and implementation of Flourish. Updates have been made in response to comments requesting changes that support the overall goals and principles of the Plan. For example, clarity of the maps and Working Together section has been improved through minor changes requested by our intermunicipal neighbours. Some stakeholder comments requested major changes to the Urban Structure and General Land Use Map that would fundamentally change the direction of Flourish, resulting in significant implications later summarized. These requested mapping changes are not supported by Administration. 







Legal / Risk:


All municipalities in Alberta must have an MDP, and it must satisfy requirements outlined under Section 632 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Flourish has been reviewed by the Legal Department and by external counsel, to ensure that it meets the requirements of the MGA. In accordance with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan (EMRBGP), the City is required to update its Municipal Development Plan (MDP) to comply with the regional growth plan by June 1, 2021.


Program or Service


As Flourish provides direction regarding future growth and development, this will influence city service delivery areas. Key aspects include:

                     Updates to the Land Use Bylaw to align with policy direction in Flourish

                     Preparation and/or coordination of new and/or updated Area Structure Plans and Area Redevelopment Plans

                     Coordination and review of planning and development applications such as subdivision applications and development permits

                     Provision of municipal services such as parks, recreation, roads, utilities, fire, social, and other community services associated with growth




Flourish is a foundational document which will provide guiding direction for future decisions, investments, and complementary plans. Specifically, as it relates to land use planning decisions, Area Structure Plans (ASPs), Area Redevelopment (ARPs), and subdivisions must align with Flourish. The Plan’s overarching goals and framework will serve as the foundation for future complementary City plans (such as master plans) in conjunction with the corporate planning framework. Flourish also provides numerous opportunities, or starting points for other future city projects, initiatives, and actions.



1.                     Defer second or third reading of Bylaw 20/2020, as amended


Deferring second or third reading to incorporate changes will impact the MDP project schedule and other projects. It should be noted that any changes at this stage would have a ripple effect on the document, involving thorough reviews and likely triggering changes to other parts of the document. Depending on the type and extent of changes directed by Council, the timing and financial impacts will vary. It is anticipated that minimal minor wording changes could be accommodated within the existing project scope and be completed within four to six weeks. While the full scope of substantive changes to the document would need to be assessed, it is estimated that such changes would result in the following:


                     Subsequent EMRB review and approval

                     Subsequent plan circulation and community engagement

                     Deferral of the completion date for the MDP project to Q4 2021, with possible future adoption by the next Council

                     Deferral of complementary projects related to the MDP (Lakeview Business District ASP, Land Use Bylaw update, master plans)

                     Additional resources being requested, such as funding




Report Date: March 15, 2021

Author: Katie Mahoney 

Department:  Planning & Development

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer: Kerry Hilts

Chief Administrative Officer:  Kevin Scoble