Policies and Plans

Planning Documents

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Land Use Planning in Alberta follows the regulations and guidelines from each level of our government. All policies and plans made by regional or municipal governments must follow legislation from the higher levels of government.

It is important to review all planning documents carefully. They will guide you through the various planning regulations to ensure that your development meets the necessary requirements.

To regulate land use and development in Edson. The Town of Edson has created planning documents, including municipal bylaws, plans, and policies.

Municipal Development Plan (MDP)

Link to: Municipal Development Plan (MDP) (Bylaw No. 2172)

As a primary land use planning document, the Municipal Development Plan provides policy direction and offers land-use guidelines for the Town of Edson.

The Town of Edson MDP was adopted in January 2016. According to the Hierarchy of Land Use Plans that were established in the amendments to the MGA. If there are any inconsistencies or contradictions between the plans, and IDP prevails over an MDP with respect to any lands included in the IDP and an MDP takes precedence over Area Structure Plans or Area Redevelopment Plans.

Municipal Development Plan Implementation Policy (D-P-13)

According to Section 632 of the Municipal Government Act, all municipalities with a population of 3,500 or more must, by bylaw, adopt a Municipal Development Plan (MDP).  Our Plan is adopted under Bylaw 2172. The MDP identifies several implementation tasks.  Policy D-P-13 rates these tasks according to priority, but does not assign mandated timelines associated with them.

In Alberta, the Land Use Framework created seven regions that are congruent with the province’s major watersheds and aligned with municipal boundaries. The regional plans are intended to:

  • integrate existing provincial policies and strategies
  • align policies with regional economic, environmental and social outcomes
  • provide clear policy direction for land users and land-use decision-makers
  • follow a cumulative effects approach

The relationship between municipalities and regional plans is established in both the ALSA and the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) states that municipal plans and bylaws must be consistent with an approved regional plan. The MGA requires that municipalities and municipal planning authorities must each carry out their function and responsibilities in accordance with any adopted regional plan. This provision comes into effect immediately upon the adoption of the regional plan. Each regional plan sets out a specific time frame within which municipalities within the area covered by the regional plan must complete a review of their plans and bylaws and amend them where necessary to ensure consistency with the regional plan.

This section provides regional planning documents that must be reviewed to ensure land use proposals align with these regulations.

Title Descriptions

Upper Athabasca Landscape Assessment

A Regional Forest Landscape Assessment provided detailed information such as administrative boundaries, physical conditions, landscape patterns and structure, landscape disturbance and succession, and land use.

Upper Athabasca Region

The Upper Athabasca Regional Plan provides policy direction from decision-makers at the federal, provincial and local levels of government. This document supports local and regional policies and strategies that guide areas including land and natural resources management, long-term economic growth, and environmental and social goals. Currently, this document is not available.

Intermunicipal Development Plan

An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) outlines policies about land use, economic development, environment, infrastructure and municipal facilities in the fringe area between the Town of Edson and Yellowhead County, providing a framework for making decisions within the respective municipalities. The IDP’s goal is to facilitate and sustain long-term strategic growth and to identify joint development opportunities.

IDP Amendments:

Provincial land use planning is centered on the Land Use Framework, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act and the regional plans authorized under this Act.

Title Descriptions

Land Use Policies

The Land Use Policies supplement the planning provisions of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the subdivision and development regulation. The Land Use Policies contain information on the planning process, planning cooperation, land use patterns, the natural environment, resources conservation, transportation, and residential development.
Provincial Land Use Framework

The Land-use Framework adopted in 2008 sets out an approach to managing public and private lands and natural resources to achieve Alberta's long-term economic, environmental and social goals. It provides a blueprint for land-use management and decision-making that addresses Alberta's growth pressures.

Alberta Land Stewardship Act

In 2009, the Government of Alberta adopted the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA). ALSA enables served of the strategies identified in the Land Use Framework to be carried out by establishing:

  • Seven regions that cover the entire province for the purpose of establishing a regional plan.
  • The position of the Stewardship Commissioner to oversee the development and implementation of regional plans.
  • The scope of regional plans and the process for their preparation and adoption.
  • Provisions for the establishment of tools for conservation and stewardship on public and private lands.
  • A process for compliance and enforcement of regional plans.

Municipal Government Act

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the second-largest piece of legislation in Alberta and governs 352 municipalities across the province. The Act focuses on three areas: governance and administration, assessment and taxation, and planning and development.

The authority for municipal land use planning is set out in Part 17 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Part 17 provides for the preparation and adoption of plans, subdivision and development approval, and a variety of tools through which municipalities can achieve land use planning objectives. The MGA establishes a hierarchy of plans beginning at the inter-municipal level and proceeding through a plan for the municipality as a whole and plans at the sub municipal level. Furthermore, the MGA requires that Municipal Development Plan (MDP) be consistent with an Inter-Municipal Development Plan (IDP) and that an Area Structure Plan (ASP) or Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) be consistent with MDP and IDP for the land that is common to these plans. In the event of any inconsistency, the IDP prevails over MDP, ASP or ARP and MDP prevails over ASP or ARP.


Title Descriptions 
Off-site Levy (OSL-1) The Town of Edson has adopted levies to pay for all or part of the infrastructure required in respect of lands to be subdivided or developed (i.e. roads, water, sanitary sewer, and storm water). This document outlines the processes that the Town of Edson has adopted to guide when to assess levies to developers, when levy amounts are payable, when and how front-end infrastructure construction will be assigned to developers, and when and how developers front-end construction will be reimbursed.
Addressing Bylaw 1690 The Town of Edson's Planning department assigns addresses for all properties in the Town. This addresses bylaw provides for street and housing numbering and regulates addressing in the Town of Edson.
Naming of Structure, Streets, Parks, and Other Public Places
This policy provides a guideline for the naming of structures, streets, parks, and other public spaces when a numbered municipal address is not to be used.
Duplex, Triplex, Four plex & Multi Family Service Control and Regulation
Division 3 of the Municipal Government Act specifically addresses Public Utilities.  A Town owns the public utility and may decide such matters as connections to the utility, installation of meters and curb cocks among other things.  Town Bylaw No. 2172, the Municipal Development Plan, also outlines what will be required of different types of new development.  The Town, in accordance with our Strategic Plan, endeavors to continue with well planned, sustainable development while outlining clearly our expectation of developers.
Development Permit Securities (D-P-8) According to Section 683 of the Municipal Government Act, all development requires a permit unless otherwise provided for in the Land Use Bylaw.  This policy establishes a development security protocol that ensures the Developer’s obligations and conditions as outlined on the permit are met prior to the release of securities.   Policy D-P-8 lists what form and how much securities will be charged.
Certificate of Compliance (D-P-9)

This policy was written to create consistent system to process Certificates of Compliance while requesting up to date and accurate information from the Applicant.  The Certificate of Compliance relates to whether the property complies with the Town of Edson Land Use Bylaw (LUB) No. 2070.

The issuance of a Certificate of Compliance does not absolve the property owner from the responsibility to meet the requirements of any valid permits or agreements pertaining to the development of the property.  It also does not certify any compliance under the Safety Codes Act, i.e. Building, Plumbing, Gas or Electrical Permits.  The Certificate of Compliance does not certify if development permit conditions have or have not been met.
Encroachment (D-P-10)

An encroachment means development that extends outside a titled property onto Town of Public property. An encroachment can be any of but not limited to the following:  buildings, sheds, fences, driveways, retaining walls.  This policy identifies a consistent approach to protecting both landowners when encroachments have been identified.  A Caveat, or formal notification, can then be registered under the Land Titles Act to notify prospective buyers and others that an agreement for the encroachment is in place.

Complaint Handling

This policy establishes a consistent process to respond to complaints on planning related matters.  If a resident wishes to make a complaint, this policy states clearly what manner the complaint must be registered.

Planning Fee Waiver

Pursuant to Sections 362 and 363 of the Municipal Government Act, eligible community groups and not for profit agencies can receive a property tax exemption.  This policy allows Administration to waive planning fees for those organizations that qualify for the property tax exemption in order to make development more affordable for these groups.

Municipal Development Plan Implementation

The purpose of this policy is to identify the implementation tasks identified in the Town of Edson Municipal Development Plan adopted in accordance with Bylaw No. 2172, and rank them according to priority. These implementation tasks do not have mandated timelines associated with them.

D-P-13 Municipal Development Plan Implementation (Schedule A)

Residential Front Access Driveway

According to Section 639 of the Municipal Government Act, all municipalities must pass a land use (zoning) bylaw.  Included in Town of Edson Land Use Bylaw 2070 are rules relating to when front access to a property will be allowed, leaving much to the discretion of the Development Officer.  This policy was brought into effect in order to allow for a consistent method for the Development Officer to use when making this decision.  Policy D-P-14 assists in transparency and clarity of our expectations, which is addressed as a priority in our Strategic Plan.  This policy is also in line with our Municipal Development Plan Section 12 regarding accesses.

Subdivision Securities

According to Section 655(1) of the Municipal Government Act, a subdivision authority may impose conditions permitted to be imposed by the subdivision and development regulations on a subdivision approval issued. This includes monies held in trust to promote full Developer compliance, as well as ensure that those works and projects which are integral to effective and enjoyable community functioning are completed with minimal financial risk to the Town.

Home Builder’s Incentive Program

The Town of Edson recognizes that it plays a role in creating economic opportunities within our community, including opportunities for business and residential growth and development. The purpose of this Policy is to aid and promote timely development through the incentivised sale of specified Town owned residential properties to registered home building companies for the construction of urban housing.

Without limiting Council’s discretion and authority under the Municipal Government Act, RSA 2000, c M26, as amended, and including section 347, this Policy sets out the Home Builders’ Incentive Program that Council considers equitable to institute.