+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 8-11F

Alberta Transportation Support for Highway Intersection Improvements Resulting from Subdivision Approvals

January 1, 2011
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2014
Active Status:
Sturgeon County
3 - Pembina River
Transportation and Infrastructure
Intent Not Met
Vote Results:

WHEREAS Section 9 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation requires that every proposed subdivision have direct access to a road or lawful means of access; and

WHEREAS Section 14 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation details Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s jurisdiction in reference to subdivision applications, in particular, within 800m of the centre line of a highway; and

WHEREAS Section 15 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation details service road requirements and indicates that such service roads can be dedicated by caveat, survey or may need to be constructed; and

WHEREAS Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s policy is to set no such requirement when it approves the “first lot out” of a quarter section, but that for anything more than that, caveats are required and its policy statement TCE-STS-5008, approved October 10, 2007, indicates who should pay for highway improvements; and

WHEREAS municipalities do not have the authority to approve subdivisions near a highway for uses not listed in section 14 without a variance from Alberta Transportation; and

WHEREAS under Section 16 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation, a waiver to these limitations may be granted by the Minister of Alberta Transportation; and

WHEREAS costly intersection improvements and service roads are frequently identified as a condition of subdivision according to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s Highway Geometric Design Guide (Chapter 1), in particular when the concentration of subdivisions within and beyond 800m of the highway approaches or exceeds ten (10); and

WHEREAS municipalities have not and were not forewarned of these intersection improvement cost implications, and in many cases no longer have the ability to turn to approved subdivisions to recover these costs, resulting in an unfair burden on rural Alberta;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC work with Alberta Transportation on behalf of its various jurisdictions to (i) calculate the foregone revenue; (ii) commit to a cost sharing approach; and (iii) assist in building a fund that ensures all residents of Alberta enjoy safe and effective highway intersections regardless of whether they live ½ mile off a highway or in an urban setting.

Member Background:

The current applicants for subdivisions, and the taxpayer at large are covering the cost of intersection improvements as the number of subdivisions and the resulting traffic trigger the need for intersection improvements, as defined by provincial policy.  Municipalities require assistance in funding these intersection improvements in order that rural Albertans do not carry the full burden of intersection improvements resulting from traffic.

RMA Background:

In response to Resolution 15-09, the AAMDC developed the position paper entitled Building a Highway Network: Who Pays For Highway Improvement as a Result of Development. The paper outlined four recommendations:

  • Creation of a provincial cost-recovery regime akin to off-site levies but restricted to provincial infrastructure costs.
  • Distribution of a copy of policy TCE-TS 509 to all municipalities.
  • Ensure the policy is applied consistently.
  • When implementing this policy, ensure the long-term development of the area is taken into account when deciding who is responsible for the improvement costs. This can be achieved by allowing a legal instrument to be filed on title to lots that will impact traffic flows at the improved intersection, but are yet to be developed

Resolution 15-09S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties support the recommendations of Building a Highway Network: Who Pays for Highway Improvement as a Result of Development; and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC Board and administration develop an implementation plan and targeted advocacy strategy pursuant to the recommendations within Building a Highway Network: Who Pays for Highway Improvement as a Result of Development.

Resolution 3-08S (expired): THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to reconsider Policy TCE-TS 509 and that a policy paper on the implications associated with the application of the policy and position on who pays for highway development be established.

Resolution 9-07F (expired): THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urges the Government of Alberta to:

  1. 1. provide increased resources to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation to allow for proper planning and management in areas where provincial highway construction is or will be occurring, to ensure that Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and municipalities can meet their short and long term planning goals; and
  2. 2. be responsible for upgrading or expansion of provincial highways to accommodate development.
Government Response:

Alberta Transportation appreciates the costs that intersection improvements can impose on municipalities and subdivision applicants. The ministry is open to further consideration of this issue in cooperation with the AAMDC, recognizing that any solution would have to allocate costs fairly among the responsible parties, enable timely completion of provincial highway improvements, and not serve as an undue barrier to development.  


The AAMDC had originally accepted the government’s response in principle as the AAMDC was invited to participate in a collaborative review and redevelopment of Policy TCE-TS 509 entitled “Who Pays for Highway Improvements caused by Single Developments, Multiple Developments or in Support of New Developments, Identified by the Department as Future Work”. A consultation meeting took place in September 2012; however, the province provided no indication of support for improving municipal challenges for funding of highway developments. In addition, despite recommendations from stakeholders that additional consultation was needed, the province has not made any attempt to hold more meetings and as such, the province’s response to this resolution is Unsatisfactory.

Provincial Ministries:
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