As a new Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is prepared for Rocky View County (RVC), several public consultation sessions have or will take place throughout the municipality.
“The MDP is a very significant document to the County,” said Matthew Wilson, manager of Planning and Development Services. “It outlines things like the future from a planning perspective, where growth will be, rules and regulations, things like that. Principally, it’s a guide to development in the County."
The current MDP, known as the County Plan, was adopted in 2013 and intended to last 10 years. However, earlier this year, council began the process that led to the development of a new MDP, first directing administration to undertake both a targeted and comprehensive review of the County Plan on Jan. 22, before scrapping those projects March 12 and opting for a new MDP.
“The world has revolved a good few times since , and council determined that it’s an excellent opportunity to go out and take a completely new look at development in the County and produce a new MDP,” Wilson said.
According the County, RVC will “likely grow by at least 15,000 people in the next 20 years…. The MDP will help all residents and landowners understand how their land may be used now and in the future, and ensure that growth meets the needs of the community.”
Consulting group O2 Planning and Design Inc. has been hired to complete the project, with County administration advising, Wilson said.
Information sessions have taken place in Langdon, Bragg Creek and Bearspaw, he said, and additional sessions are scheduled Sept. 10 at Springbank Park for All Seasons, Sept. 11 at Chestermere Christian Fellowship in Conrich, and Sept. 12 at County Hall in Balzac.
Wilson said the open houses follow a “drop-in format” and will feature a number of information boards, along with staff from both RVC and O2.
“There’s some opportunity for [residents] to provide information around things they really like about the County, things they’d like to see improved,” Wilson said. “There’s a general message board that they can put information on – suggestions, perhaps areas that they’d like to see grow in the County, perhaps things they’d like to see not change.”
RVC is also hosting an online survey, Wilson said, which allows residents to provide feedback without attending an open house.
According to Wilson, the project is currently in its preliminary stage, which is anticipated to finish in October, and is targeted for completion in May 2020. Growth strategies will be established, beginning in November, and a draft of the MDP is expected in March or April 2020. After that, a public hearing will be set and council will either approve or refuse the plan.
He added further consultation will take place as the project progresses, and emphasized the importance of public participation throughout the process.
“The MDP is, at least at the County level, the most important statutory document when it comes to the planning of the municipality,” he said. “From a planning perspective, it’s incredibly crucial that the interests of the community are represented in the document. If they aren’t represented in the document, it’s difficult for the document to be successful.”