Background on JDA Preparation and IDP Updates
In the fall of 2014, the Town of Rocky Mountain House Council and Clearwater County Council agreed in principle to work toward developing a framework that would encourage land development and economic development in the region, in a manner that would benefit both municipalities. Over the past 18 months, Town and County staff and the IDP Committee have worked to identify what changes are required as well as undertake preliminary engineering relating to the sharing of Town water and sewer services and the potential for tax sharing.
Subsequently, the Town and County IDP Committee members and Town and County staff began a process of policy review. This review also took into account aspects of the respective Town and County Strategic Plans as well as the vision set out in the Stronger Together: An Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework.
In accordance with Section 4 of the current Rocky – Clearwater Intermunicipal Development Plan, (IDP, adopted July, 2007), the IDP Committee and staff identified a Joint Development Area (JDA) that targets specific industrial and commercial growth for this region.
Industrial and commercial land ready for development has been identified as a priority of both the Town and County in past strategic plans. The Town’s 2012 – 2015 Economic Development Strategy identified as Goal #1 to increase the availability of commercial and industrial land. As well, industrial land development was identified as a regional target of the Inter-municipal Collaboration Committee (ICC) as part of the Stronger Together regional governance model. The proposed JDA meets this goal with the addition of over 600 Hectares of serviced commercial and industrial land ready for development. For comparison purposes, the Town currently has a supply of 32 Hectares of industrial land within its boundary, none of which is serviced.
The JDA will utilize the Town’s assets of water and wastewater facilities, as well as the County’s assets of availability of land and non-residential tax rate in order to encourage economic development. As well, by planning for an industrial/commercial area for future growth, the Town and County are better prepared to move developers through the planning approval process expediently; as plans, zoning, and preliminary engineering will have been already completed for the area. Furthermore, the JDA may stem the fragmentation of agricultural land within the County, as the area may consolidate future industrial/commercial development and prevent one-off subdivisions occurring in many areas of the County.
In conjunction with the JDA, the Town has identified two long-term annexation areas that will help in furthering its growth in urban residential and highway commercial development located north of the Town and south of the Airport Road (Township Road 40-0) and south of Town and north of the Hwy. 752 – Hwy. 11 connector road. These annexation areas will allow for the orderly expansion of residential and commercial development within Town.
Click here view the draft Joint Development Area Agreement.
Click here to view the complete Joint Council Meeting agenda package, including draft updates to the IDP.
Click here to view the Open House Ad for June 15.
For more information:
Manager, Planning - Clearwater County
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Director of Planning and Community Development - Town of Rocky Mountain House
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Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS)