Municipal Planning Documents

At first glance it would seem that municipal land use planning is very dissimilar to other departments of Clearwater County. In reality, one leads to another.  Through the shared use of information, we strive to promote principled, orderly development of property in Clearwater County. It also allows us to assist various County departments, levels of governments, citizens, and Clearwater County's Council by providing geographic information for enhanced decision making.
Municipalities enact statutory plans to guide future development and to facilitate local planning. Statutory plans include a municipal development plan (for the County as a whole), intermunicipal development plan (a joint plan for adjacent municipalities), and area structure plan (a plan for a new community). A statutory plan must meet requirements for public notification or engagement, and is adopted by Council bylaw.

Municipal Development Plan (MDP)

The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) provides a policy framework to guide decision making to achieve a vision of what the community of Clearwater County desires to be 25 – 30 years from now. The MDP guides future land use and community development decisions through a series of goals and policies that address environmental, economic and social components. It confirms Clearwater County’s desire to remain predominantly rural with outstanding employment and recreational opportunities.

The MDP provides landowners and developers with a policy framework to assist their individual assessment of possible land use changes they may want to pursue. As well, the MDP provides Clearwater County’s requirements, guidelines and directions for the preparation of local area plans and applications for re-designation, subdivisions and developments. Click here to view the updated MDP approved by Council on May 9, 2023. To view project history and archived material, click here. 

Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP)

Intermunicipal planning is an ongoing effort between two or more municipalities to make land use planning decisions in a manner that reflects the mutual and individual interests of the affected municipalities. An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) is one of the main tools used in this effort. To view the approved IDP's affecting Clearwater County, click here to go to the documents page.
Clearwater County and the Town of Rocky Mountain House cooperate extensively on economic development, tourism, recreation and the delivery of municipal services. The Town and County have adopted independent Municipal Development Plans to guide future land use decisions and development within their municipalities. There is a natural and logical extension of the cooperation between the two municipalities into the area of land use planning pertaining to the undeveloped portions of the town and an area beyond the town boundaries considered to be of mutual interest.

Area Structure Plans (ASP)

An Area Structure Plan (ASP) is a long-range planning document and is the first step in obtaining planning approval for a new community. The purpose of the ASP is two-fold:
  1. It refines and implements Clearwater County's broad planning objectives and policies of the Municipal Development Plan and other policies by promoting logical, compatible and sustainable development.
  2. It guides and directs the specific land use, subdivision and development decisions that collectively determine the form the plan area will take. This includes making decisions on land uses, the sequence of development, and the provision of essential services and facilities.

Clearwater County is currently in the process of developing ASPs for the Hamlets of Condor and Leslieville, click here to learn more.

Furthermore, ASPs for the Development Nodes are expected to be drafted in 2023 for public feedback, click here to learn more.

Land Use Bylaw

Clearwater County’s Land Use Bylaw (714/01) has been in effect since September 25, 2001. It outlines the rules and regulations for development of land and buildings within Clearwater County for each district (zone) as well as the process of making decisions for development permit applications.
A Land Use Bylaw is required for every municipality in Alberta as per the requirements in the Municipal Government Act (MGA). This includes the division of the municipality into land use districts (zones).

An updated Land Use Bylaw will need to take place as much has changed in the last 20 years. 

Now that the new MDP is approved, the next step will be updating the County's Land Use Bylaw 814/01 to reflect the changes made in the MDP document. Click here to view the project webpage as kick-off open house dates start in late September 2023.

 See folder (below) for other Planning & Development documents.