Municipal Planning Documents

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.

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. 
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.
  • To view the approved IDP's affecting Clearwater County, click here to go to the documents page.

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. 

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.

Land Use Bylaw

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.
Clearwater County’s Land Use Bylaw (714/01) has been in effect since September 25, 2001, and needs renewal to align with the revised 2023 Municipal Development Plan (MDP) for improved clarity and user-friendliness. Minor amendments were made over the years to align with the 2010 MDP and other necessary changes since its approval in 2001.