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Resolution 19-15F

Amendment to the Municipal Government Act for the Dedication of Environmental Reserves in Specific Cases

Date:
November 26, 2015
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2018
Active Status:
Expired
Sponsors:
County of Stettler
District:
2 - Central
Year:
2015
Convention:
Fall
Category:
Planning and Development
Status:
Intent Not Met
Vote Results:
Carried
Preamble:

WHEREAS a municipality that plans to provide multi-lot recreational residential development adjacent to a major water body has a responsibility to provide public access to the bed and shore of the water body, and often use Section 664(1)(c)(ii) of the Municipal Government Act to acquire a minimum of 6 metres of land adjacent to the bed and shore of a water body for the purpose of providing public access in the form of continuous and inter-connected pathways; and

WHEREAS Section 663 of the Municipal Government Act provides an exemption to the ability of a municipality to require reserve dedication when one lot is subdivided from an un-subdivided quarter section of land and/or when land is to be subdivided into lots of 16 hectares or more and is to be used only for agricultural purposes; and

WHEREAS the exemptions in Section 663 stated above may be detrimental to the municipality’s ability to provide public access in the form of continuous and inter-connected pathways;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties advocate to the Minister of Municipal Affairs to amend Section 663 of the Municipal Government Act by the following addition:

(e)      except when, in the case of when one lot is to be created from a quarter seciton of land or land is to be subdivided into lots of 16.0 hectares or more and is to be used only for agricultural purposes, the land to be subdivided is adjacent to the bed and shore of a water body where the municipality has adopted by bylaw a statutory plan that identifies the future development adjacent to the bed and shore of the water body for the purpose of providing public access, in which case the subdivision authority may require environmental reserve dedication pursuant to Section 664(1)(c)(ii).”

Member Background:

Section 663 of the Municipal Government Act currently reads:

“Reserves not required

663       A subdivision authority may not require the owner of a parcel of land that is the subject of a proposed subdivision to provide reserve land or money in place of reserve land if

(a)      one lot is to be created from a quarter section of land,

(b)      land is to be subdivided into lots of 16.0 hectares or more and is to be used only for agricultural purposes,

(c)      the land to be subdivided is 0.8 hectares or less, or

(d)      reserve land, environmental reserve easement or money in place of it was provided in respect of the land that is the subject of the proposed subdivision under this Part or the former Act;”

Without amending section 663 through the addition of section (e) as outlined in the resolution above, there is a possibility that the County’s efforts to provide continuous and inter-connected pathways for the purpose of providing public access to the bed and shore of Buffalo Lake may be jeopardized when a first parcel is subdivided from two un-subdivided quarter sections within the identified growth area.

This issue could impact all municipalities with multi-lot recreational residential development adjacent to the bed and shore of a water body where pathways are planned for the purpose of providing public access adjacent to the bed and shore of the water body.

RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

Municipal Affairs: The Government of Alberta is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

Updates to environmental reserve provisions in the MGA are being considered. Policy changes will be introduced to the legislature in spring 2016 and stakeholders, including the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties and the public, will have the opportunity to provide input on the draft legislation before it is passed in fall 2016.

Development:

The revisions to the Municipal Government Act do not include this specific wording nor the intent of the language. This resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met

Provincial Ministries:
Municipal Affairs
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