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Town of Rocky Mountain House
5116 50th Avenue
Box 1509
Rocky Mountain House, AB
T4T 1B2
Ph: (403) 845-2866
Fx: (403) 845-3230
Draft Joint Development Area Agreement and Intermunicipal Development Plan Update

In the fall of 2014, the Town Council and 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. 

See the Town-County public release on this process for more information. 

Draft Joint Development Area (JDA) Agreement:

The Draft Joint Development Area Agreement was adopted in principle by both Town and County Councils on May 17, 2016. This agreement sets the vision for the Joint Development Area as an area for both the Town and County to utilize for prommoting economic development and diversification in our region. The JDA Agreement will encourage commercial and industrial development, primarily from private developers. Included are provisions for all new development requiring to connect to the Town's water and sewer systems, the requirement for a Major Area Structure Plan to be adopted by the County, the tax sharing formula for municipal taxes collected from the JDA, and reference to a Joint Servicing Agreement currently being drafted that will be reviewed on an annual basis. 

  • A copy of the Draft Joint Development Area (JDA) Agreement can be found here
  • Schedule A - which provides a map showing the limits of the Joint Development area can be found here.

Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) Update:

In order to accommodate the new Joint Development Area proposed by the Town and County, a review of the current Rocky -Clearwater Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) adopted in 2007 was required. A commercial and industrial development area in the location of the proposed JDA was already envisioned as part of the original IDP plan, as well as a section providing policy direction on joint development initiatives (section 4.0). 

In addition, the Town has also identified two long-term annexation (north and south) areas the public consultation process of which will be initiated immediately. The annexation areas are identified in both Map 1 - Policy Areas, and Map 2 - Land Use Concept forming part of the proposed IDP amendments below. 

Furthermore, the updated IDP includes the following proposed changes:
  • A conceptual arterial road lay-out for the Joint Development Area and North Annexation area.
  • Removal of the proposed ring road option for Highway 11, upon consultation with Alberta Transportation.
  • Conversion of some future industrial growth area of the Town's to residential in the North Annexation area.
  • In conjunction with the JDA Agreement, the Town cannot annex lands within the Joint Development Area. 

Public Consultation:

The first steps in the public engagement process will include meetings with affected landowners and a joint Town /County open house for the public to be scheduled in June. The Town and County will be notifying the public on
 future dates of public information sessions/open houses available in the near future.

For more information:

Brad Dollevoet,
Director of Planning and Community Development
Town of Rocky Mountain House

---- OR -----

Keith McCrae,
Manager, Planning
Clearwater County

----- OR ----

Meghan Jenkins,
Planning Manager
Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS)