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What is a Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law?

A municipal planning strategy guides the development and management of the Municipality. The municipal planning strategy has the long-term vision of community, sets the guiding principles on a variety of sectors, and is written in general terms. To further this purpose, the municipal planning strategy establishes

1. policies which address problems and opportunities concerning the land development and the effects of the development;
2. policies to provide a framework for the environmental, social, and economic development within the Municipality;
3. policies that are consistent with the provincial interest on drinking water protection, agricultural land conservation, flood risk mitigation, infrastructure management, and housing promotion; and
4. specify actions necessary for implementing the municipal planning strategy.

Each municipal planning strategy has a land use by-law that implements the policy statements in the municipal planning strategy. The land use by-law is written in more detail, and definitive terms, so there is a clear understanding of what you can and cannot do with your lands. If your property is within one of the 8 plan areas (visit the “Building & Planning Applications” webpage), your proposed development must meet all applicable rules in the land use by-law, in order to receive a development permit. Although some exceptions may apply, those are also written in the land use by-law. In addition to listing the uses permitted in each zone, each zone may have one or more of the following requirements:

• Lot area and frontage requirements;
• The location, size, and height of structures;
• Permitted signage, outdoor storage, parking;
• Erosion control standards such as setback from watercourses.

Development Agreement

Sometimes in a land use by-law, a certain use that would not normally fit the existing land use pattern may be permitted by Development Agreement. A Development Agreement is a legal contract between a landowner and Municipal Council that controls various aspects of the development, such as hours of operation, amount of parking, and landscaping.

A Development Agreement allows Council to exercise more specific control over the development to ensure that it conforms to the character of the existing community.

Public consultation [ pdf Policy 066 (150 KB) ] is required by law for entering into a Development Agreement. This provides the community with an opportunity to have input into how a development occurs within their community.

  pdf Development Agreement Application Form (18 KB)

By-law Amendment

As time goes by, changes happen to market forces, population characteristics, and the types of development. To reflect such changes, the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law can also change. If any individual is looking to apply for an amendment, an application to amend a planning Strategy or Land Use By-law is required.

  pdf By-law Amendment Application Form (67 KB)

Secondary Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws

Notice 1: We are rewriting our Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law to consolidate all the existing Secondary Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws, and to expand zoning regulations to the entire Municipality. For more information, please visit our dedicated webpage on “MODL2040 Project” and https://engage.modl.ca/.

Notice 2: A new Secondary Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law will take effect in Hemford Forest Plan Area in 2021. The public consultation will happen in November 2020. For up to date information, please visit https://engage.modl.ca/hemford-forest-planning.