Land Use Bylaw Rewrite

What is a Land Use Bylaw (LUB)? 

A Land Use Bylaw (LUB) is a regulatory tool that outlines the rules for the development and use of land and buildings within Clearwater County for each land use district (i.e. zoning) and identifies the process and authority for land use redesignations, subdivision, and development permit applications. Alberta’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires all municipalities in Alberta to have a LUB. The MGA provides guidance on what is included in a LUB but it is up to the individual municipalities to create and administer their own documents.

Why is the County updating the LUB?

The existing Clearwater County Land Use Bylaw 714/01 (LUB) was approved in 2001 and requires renewal to be consistent with the updated Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and to enhance clarity, readability, and user-friendliness.

Much of the content in the 2001 version was carried over from the original 1987 Bylaw. Through the process of review and revision, both the County Administration and residents will have the opportunity to evaluate current standards, which might have become outdated, and integrate fresh standards that align with the evolving trends in land use observed over the past two decades. This re-envisioning of the Land Use Bylaw aims to enhance clarity, readability, and user-friendliness.

Project Goals:

  • Align the land use regulations with the County’s MDP and with Council’s Strategic Plan. 
  • Better align land use designations with community standards and priorities. 
  • Reduce ambiguity by having clearer definitions. 
  • Provide a more streamlined user-friendly document. 
  • Make the bylaw easier to navigate online.

Public Engagement Plan

With an inclusive public engagement strategy, the Land Use Rewrite initiative aims to offer numerous avenues for the public to contribute their insights, ensuring they feel adequately involved in addressing the challenges currently associated with the document. Our proposed approach includes a series of launch events, featuring in-person public open houses in Nordegg, Rocky Mountain House, Caroline, and Leslieville, supplemented by an online virtual event for those unable to attend in person. Beyond these gatherings, we intend to establish both a Public Advisory Committee and a Council Steering Committee, serving as ongoing sources of guidance throughout the development of the project. These committees will convene during key project phases to provide input on the direction of the rewrite and address emerging topics and concerns. Furthermore, focused meetings with specific stakeholder groups will be conducted to gather feedback from identified stakeholders.

To conclude the process, a series of final public open house events will be organized to review the draft LUB. These events will encompass in-person sessions in Nordegg, Rocky Mountain House, Caroline, and Leslieville, supplemented by an online virtual event for those who are unable to participate in person. Read the full draft communications and engagement plan in the August 22, 2023, Regular Council meeting agenda (click here).

Next Steps

Many people might be wondering what is happening with the project since the kick-off events from September 26-October 2. 

Here’s what the team is working on:

  • We held our first Public Advisory Committee meeting and look forward to future meetings.
  • We attended the 2023 Cattlemen’s Day to spread awareness and seek feedback from the farming community.
  • We are currently working on scheduling stakeholder meetings to gain additional topic specific feedback. Some of the topics we plan to explore include:
    • agriculture,
    • aggregate resource extraction,
    • industry, 
    • tourism, 
    • home based business, 
    • short term rentals, 
    • home builders/developers, and 
    • realtors. 
  • We are conducting research on critical topics identified during the kick-off meetings.

Why should you get involved?

As a local resident or business owner, your valuable experience and understanding of your community is crucial. By contributing to the project and staying updated, you help capture the community’s values and insights. 

We will continue to accept landowner feedback via the project email address ( or the website feedback form (see below). Feedback from Clearwater County residents and businesses is an important element in creating our new LUB, please share your comments today. Once we have an early draft to share, we will be looking to you for more of your thoughts and ideas.

Project updates will be made available on the County’s official social media channels, website, local newspapers and newsletter.

Areas of Review

The following areas will be reviewed during the LUB project:

  • Definitions
  • Aggregate Resource Extraction
  • Removal of Telecommunication Towers regulations
  • Secondary Suites / Bonafide Need
  • Recreational Vehicle Use
  • Comprehensive review of the Permitted and
  • Discretionary uses in all districts
  • Compliance with existing County Policies including new 2023 Municipal Development Plan
  • Compliance with Provincial Legislation
  • Readability of entire document – added graphics were possible.
  • Mapping Updates
  • Ag Districts – General and Intensive
  • Animals, including Wild Boars and Game
  • Farming
  • Campgrounds 
  • Childcare 
  • Density 
  • Development Permit Exceptions 
  • Flood Hazard Area 
  • Home Based Businesses 
  • Land Use Districts – permitted / discretionary, lot coverage, building heights, housing types, setbacks 
  • Lot Grading Permit 
  • Floor Area – Max and Min 
  • Nordegg Specific – land uses, parking, lot sizes 
  • Sea Cans 
  • Short Term Rentals 
  • Signage 
  • Renewable Energy 
  • Temporary Development 
  • Transportation 
  • Variances


Last updated: January 8, 2024