Flourish: Growing to 100K is the City of St. Albert's new Municipal Development Plan (MDP). The plan will set a clear path for how St. Albert will grow into the future. The City’s existing MDP, CityPlan, was approved in 2000.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MDP?
The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is a long-range planning policy document. It sets a clear path for how St. Albert will grow into the future (where the growth will take place, what type of growth and what growth looks like). It contains guiding principles, goals, and objectives to ensure that the Community Vision is realized. The MDP is also a legislative document required by the Municipal Government Act. It must be approved by St. Albert City Council and the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board, of which we are a member.
Why update the MDP?
As part of Council’s Strategic Plan, the City of St. Albert is committed to developing a robust policy framework to guide growth in our community. The City’s existing MDP, CityPlan, was approved in 2000. While a minor update was completed in 2007, a comprehensive and thorough revision needs to be undertaken to address issues such as:
- strategic growth (growing in the right way, at the right pace, in the right areas, in the right order of priority);
- environmental conservation (living in harmony with the natural surroundings and protecting those things that make St. Albert special);
- movement and connectivity (ensuring we can move throughout the community safely, efficiently, and effectively);
- economic development (ensuring support and growth of local businesses that contribute to the tax base, employ residents, and provide good-paying jobs);
- current and emerging trends (learning about and taking advantage of the latest best practices around the world);
- St. Albert’s regional role (being a good neighbour and fulfilling regional responsibilities as part of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board); and
- informed decision-making (this legislated plan connects future Council decisions to the Municipal Development Plan policies).
Why is the MDP important?
The MDP is important as it guides planning and development decision-making. For example, if there’s a proposal to change a site’s zoning or land use designation from commercial to residential, this proposal would be reviewed against the MDP policies for conformity. The MDP provides the foundation for other City documents, including all Master Plans and the Land Use Bylaw (LUB). While the MDP is a policy document, these policies should be informing changes to the LUB, which has development-specific regulations. The MDP can be used to measure progress or change and will incorporate performance indicators to measure if the goals and objectives are being addressed, and how well they are being met.
What topics does the MDP cover?
The MDP must address the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requirements, including:
- Future land uses and development
- The provision of transportation systems
- The provision of municipal services and facilities
- The provision of land for parks and schools (reserve lands)
- Protection of agricultural operations.
Based on MGA requirements, the document may also address:
- Economic development
- Environmental matters
- And other important matters as the community sees fit.
How will the MDP use the Community Vision and the Pillars of Sustainability?
The foundation building for the City’s Municipal Development Plan began in January 2014, with the initiation of a Community Vision called Cultivating Our Future. St. Albert’s most comprehensive and extensive engagement to date took place from 2014 to 2015. More than 6,000 residents shared over 15,000 ideas to help create a Community Vision and Pillars of Sustainability, which set the stage for discussions through the Flourish: Growing to 100K process about how the city should grow and how it can become an even better place to live and work.
Why is community engagement important for this project?
With the foundation set through the Community Vision, it’s time to determine the next level of detail to help realize this vision. Resident, business community, and stakeholder participation will be an integral component in this continuous process, as we work together to create the MDP and solidify our future. As the MDP is forward-thinking, it will be vital to engage youth as their input will be important in shaping policy direction. At the same time, the project will build upon the past. We must benefit from the experiences of seniors, who have lived through the growth of the city and have unique perspectives to share.
How will the community be consulted and informed?
The community will have numerous opportunities throughout the process to provide input and feedback. Opportunities will include a City Summit, pop-up events, open houses, workshops, questionnaires, and videos.
What has changed since the previous MDP was approved in 2000?
- The population of St. Albert has grown by over 14,000 residents.
- The population of seniors has increased significantly compared to other age groups.
- Major retailers such as Costco and Walmart have made St. Albert home.
- Major transportation roadways such as Anthony Henday Drive and Ray Gibbon Drive have been built.
- St. Albert Trail has been identified as a future Light Rail Transit corridor, based on the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan and the City’s Transportation Master Plan.
- Autonomous vehicles are on the horizon, which will change how people move around the city.
- Campbell Business Park has been mostly developed, leaving little available land for office and industrial development.
- The communities of Erin Ridge, Oakmont, North Ridge, and parts of Jensen Lakes, Riverside, and Erin Ridge North have developed.
- The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) was created, along with a unified vision for the region. As one of the EMRB’s 13-member municipalities, St. Albert’s participation has enabled the City to make great strides in its intermunicipal relationships with Sturgeon County and Edmonton.
- There have been significant technological changes.
What is the timeline for MDP development?
The draft MDP will take approximately 18 months to develop and is expected to be submitted to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board for review in December 2019.
How does annexation affect the MDP process?
As part of Council’s Strategic Plan, the City of St. Albert is committed to developing a robust policy framework to guide growth in our community. As the annexation process and MDP process will be occurring at the same time, the City will ensure that the two projects complement and inform one another, ensuring that the City is well-positioned to accommodate future long-term growth. As a decision on annexation is expected to follow completion of the MDP, any changes to the City’s boundaries will be incorporated into the new MDP.
Last edited: November 12, 2019