What is an Intermunicipal Development Plan?

    An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) is a long-term and strategic plan between two or more municipalities that is required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The IDP’s purpose is to provide a coordinated and collaborative framework respecting land use, servicing and transportation on lands adjacent to the boundaries of the respective municipalities.

    The MGA requires that the IDP address:

    ·  future land use;

    ·  the manner of and the proposals for future development;

    ·  transportation systems;

    ·  proposals for the financing and programming of intermunicipal infrastructure;

    ·  the co-ordination of intermunicipal programs related to physical, social and economic development; and environmental matters.

    The MGA also requires that the IDP address matters relating to the administration of the plan, including a process to resolve intermunicipal disputes.

    Why is an IDP needed?

    When development occurs, it can have an impact on neighbouring areas. New commercial buildings can create more traffic on roads, new industrial could be a nuisance to neighbouring residences, new residences could trigger a need for more services and so on. Municipalities address these impacts through policies in their own plans and bylaws.

    When development occurs near the boundary of another municipality, a development in one municipality can have impacts in another municipality. As such, it is important for neighbouring municipalities to come together and agree to policies around development that they apply through a bylaw that they both adopt.

    What is this project about?

    Through the Municipal Government Act, the Province of Alberta requires that all municipalities adopt Intermunicipal Development Plans with their municipal neighbour. The purpose is to establish mutually agreed-upon policies relating to land development around the municipal boundaries. 

    The County initiated four separate IDPs between the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley and the Village of Hythe. The Sexsmith IDP was adopted in 2021 and the Hythe IDP was no longer required after the dissolution of the village. The County already had IDPs in place with Birch Hills County and the City of Grande Prairie.

    What land is affected?

    The County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) identifies a 2 mile (3.2 km) wide fringe area around Beaverlodge as shown in the map below. This fringe area will serve as the study area for the IDP. The study area boundary is outlined in a dashed red line.

    How will the IDP affect area landowners?

    Existing land uses and development rights are not affected by the IDP. The policies of the IDP are applied when a landowner is proposing to rezone and/or subdivide property for a different use.

    An IDP provides greater clarity about how the lands around Beaverlodge may develop in the future as the area grows. IDPs are long-term land use and servicing plans that address how Beaverlodge and the County are to address the future growth needs of these communities. The IDP also includes framework for annexation should it be necessary in the future. As these plans address long-term future land-use and development opportunities for these areas, it is important that landowners be involved in the process and provide input on the future use of these lands.

    Visit the Town of Beaverlodge and County website to learn more about existing Land Use Bylaws, Area Structure Plans and Municipal Development Plans. 

    County of Grande Prairie: www.countygp.ab.ca

    Town of Beaverlodge: www.beaverlodge.ca

    Are there any existing IDPs involving the County of Grande Prairie?

    The County of Grande Prairie has Intermunicipal Development Plans with Birch Hills County, the City of Grande Prairie, and the Town of Sexsmith.

    What is the process and how do I get involved?

    Public consultation is critical to the success of the project and in ensuring the IDPs are prepared to reflect the individual needs of the partner municipalities and the interests of landowners. Based on this understanding, the municipalities have placed an emphasis on community engagement throughout the project.

    Over the next few months, we will be asking each municipal council and administration, residents, business owners, and community stakeholder groups to share how each municipality should grow. There will be many opportunities for you to learn more, provide feedback throughout the process through various public engagement opportunities including open houses and through an online engagement website. Each of the IDPs will be prepared independently and will include policies that are unique to the needs and opportunities of each urban area and their partnership with the County.