Town and MD enter Intermunicipal Development Plan

The Town and Municipal District of Bonnyville held on open house on February 1st to start public feedback on an Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP). The collaborative effort between the Town & the MD will help outline future development for the two municipalities and plan for long-term growth.

The Town & the MD hired Stantec to head the project, which is estimated to take six months to complete. Bonnie McInnis, project lead with Stantec, spoke to a crowd of roughly 40 people at the open house and outlined what the intention of the IDP was for the municipalities. “It is a long-range plan, looking beyond 20 years,” McInnis explained that the two municipalities work together to outline where desired industrial, commercial, farm, or residential land may be, for future use “It ensure the desired long-term growth of the Town or MD is not compromised by land use or development decision made today.”

“The region has experienced significant growth fluctuation,” McInnis explains that the IDP will help should the growth in the area continue. The Town & MD had previous made an IDP; however it was over 20 years old, so it was time for an updated plan. Also, there are new provincial legislation regarding the environment, wetlands policy, ALSA, and the Municipal Government Act, that must be taken into account.

It was important for Stantec to receive community input for the IDP, says McInnis, “you (the residents) may spot something that we don’t know about.” McInnis encouraged the people in attendance to give feedback, leave notes and fill out a questionnaire before leaving. She also assured the public that no changes were being made, today, “no lands in the area are being rezoned as a result of the IDP.”

After receiving public input, Stantec will compile a baseline and context for the IDP. It’ll include an opportunities and constraints discussion with both councils, along with a report before moving into the third phase of the project; which includes vision, goals and scenarios. There will be another public open house once a draft of the land use concepts and policies are formulated, likely in April or May. More feedback from the public will be given, followed by a draft IDP.

In order for the IDP to take effect, there will be a joint council meeting between the Town and the MD, where both councils will vote to move forward with the plan. To find more information on the IDP, visit the Town of Bonnyville or the MD of Bonnyville online.