> Home > Municipal Government > Municipal Departments > Planning and Development Department > Planning Hierarchy

Planning Hierarchy

Municipal Government Act (MGA):

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides the legislative authority for the municipality to make land use planning and development decisions within its boundaries. Specifically, Part 17 of the MGA addresses Planning and Development, defining the purpose and requirements of statutory plans, the Land Use Bylaw, and the subdivision process. All municipal plans and processes must conform to the requirements of the MGA.

Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP):

The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan is a long-term regional plan that sets the stage for robust growth, vibrant communities, responsible resource development and a healthy environment within the region. The Alberta Land Stewardship Act provides the legal framework for the LARP. Municipal planning authorities are required by the Municipal Government Act to ensure that all statutory plans align with the policies of the LARP.

Municipal Development Plan (MDP):

The Municipal Government Act requires every municipality to adopt a Municipal Development Plan.  Section 632(3) requires that the MDP must address:

  1. The future land use within the municipality,
  2. The manner of and the proposals for future development in the municipality,
  3. The coordination of land use, future growth patterns and other infrastructure with adjacent municipalities if there is no intermunicipal development plan with respect to those matters in those municipalities
  4. The provision of the required transportation systems either generally or specifically within the municipality and in relation to adjacent municipalities, and
  5. The provision of municipal services and facilities either generally or specifically.

Municipal Development Plan (MDP)


Area Structure Plans (ASPs) and Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs):

Area Structure Plans (ASPs)

Council may adopt an ASP for the purpose of providing a framework for the subsequent subdivision and development of an area of land.  ASPs must describe:

  1. the sequence of development proposed for the area,
  2. the land uses proposed for the area, either generally or with respect to specific parts of the area,
  3. the density of population proposed for the area either generally or with respect to specific parts of the area, and
  4. the general location of major transportation routes and public utilities.

An ASP may also contain any other matters that Council may consider necessary.

Area Structure Plan Page 

Area Redevelopment Plan (ARPs)  

Council may designate an area of the Municipality as a redevelopment area by adopting an ARP.  ARPs must describe: 

  1. the objectives of the plan and how they are proposed to be achieved,
  2. the proposed land uses for the redevelopment area,
  3. if a redevelopment levy is to be imposed, the reasons for imposing it, and
  4. any proposals for the acquisition of land for any municipal use, school facilities, parks and recreation facilities or any other purposes the council considers necessary.

An ARP may also contain any other matters that Council may consider necessary.

Both ASPs and ARPs must be consistent with the Municipal Development Plan, any Intermunicipal Development Plans and the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan.

Land Use Bylaw (LUB):

The Municipal Government Act requires all municipalities in Alberta to adopt a Land Use Bylaw (LUB). The LUB regulates the use and development of land and buildings within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. 
The purpose of the LUB is to: 

  • Divide the Municipality into land use districts.
  • Determine the set of rules for each land use district, including permitted and discretionary uses.
  • Establish the development permit and rezoning process. 
  • Regulate standards for the height, size and location of buildings.
  • Determine parking, landscaping and building design standards.
  • Implement the vision of the Municipal Development Plan and area structure plan

Land Use Bylaw Page

Outline Plans:

An Outline Plan is a non-statutory planning document that is approved by Administration.  These plans provide guidance for future development of lands and are prepared by a landowner(s) and/or land developer(s). An emphasis is placed upon defining a detailed Land Development Concept that includes but is not limited to: land use, road network, servicing, and community design. 

Outline Plans Page

FLOOD RECOVERY: Information and resources