Project Update

It has been several months since the last round of engagement events that took place in October 2022 regarding the St. Albert West Area Structure Plan (ASP). Since then, the City received inquiries regarding the project, and they are summarized below.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to work on this project.

What is the status of the St. Albert West Area Structure Plan?

Policy review is currently ongoing, and we are working on completing the Transportation Impact Assessment and Servicing Design Brief for the ASP, as well as additional review and analysis of natural features within St. Albert West. New information has also been recently received that will require updates to the technical studies.

For status updates of the St. Albert West project timeline, please refer to the ‘Project Status’ on the right-hand side of this webpage.

What does the technical study and analysis of the natural features in St. Albert West entail?

Buffers will be established for the natural areas that are recommended for retention, including Carrot Creek and Big Lake. For wetlands and waterbodies, the setbacks will be determined using Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Developments’ variable buffer analysis called Stepping Back from the Water (SBFTW). This methodology determines site-specific development setbacks and riparian buffer management in consideration of several factors such as slope, wildlife habitat, and sensitive species for pollution prevention and waterbody protection. As part of the analysis, there will also be a review of key wildlife habitat and potential restrictions associated with Big Lake and the Important Bird Area to incorporate into the setback. Findings from the environmental analysis will inform the policies within the St. Albert West ASP.

What happened at the meeting with the Standing Committee of the Whole (SCOW) on February 14, 2023?

Administration shared an update of the project schedule, a high-level summary of what we heard from the public engagement held in October 2022, and latest revisions to the land use concept based on feedback from the engagement events and policy review. The update also included a discussion regarding the Municipal Reserve dedication along Carrot Creek and the north shore of Big Lake, and a preliminary assessment of the municipal land needs on the City-owned Badger Lands and the City-owned lands within Lakeview Business District.

  • February 14, 2023 SCOW Agenda Report: HERE
  • February 14, 2023 Recording (approximately 35:00 to 2:46:00): HERE

The land use concept shared in October 2022 identified the designation of ‘Alternate Jurisdiction’. However, the updated land use concept shared at the SCOW meeting in February 2023 shows that ‘Alternate Jurisdiction’ has been removed. Why?

Alternate Jurisdiction (AJ) means lands that the City of St. Albert has no jurisdiction over. In St. Albert West, the subject lands identified as AJ are either owned by the Government of Alberta or road right-of-way of Ray Gibbon Drive where the Government of Alberta has purchased additional lands to protect the ROW for future expansion.

Development of the lands designated as AJ would still require alignment with the Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Growth Plan (EMRGP) and the City’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) which shows the subject lands as Planned Employment Area and Employment Areas / Major Open Spaces, respectively.

  • See Schedule 3B of the EMRGP: HERE
  • See Map 3 (Urban Structure and General Land Use Map) of the MDP: HERE

Rationale for the removal of Alternate Jurisdiction:

  • This revision is based on the policy structure of the St. Albert West ASP where policies related to provincial purposes have been dispersed throughout the ASP document in appropriate sections to reduce redundancy amongst policies in the document. Also, policies regarding Employment Areas and Major Open Spaces would still apply to the subject lands, in alignment with the MDP. To be clear about how the ASP policies are applied, it helps to show land use designations on map, as it is important to review policies and maps in conjunction with each other.
  • While the Government of Alberta purchased additional lands for road right-of-way (ROW) for the future expansion of Ray Gibbon Drive, the ROW is still owned by the City of St. Albert today. As such, identifying the lands as Alternate Jurisdiction, given its definition, would be inconsistent. At this time, Ray Gibbon Drive is a Planned Freeway (as per the City’s Transportation Systems Bylaw) to which there may be a future consideration of transfer of ownership and operational control from the City to the Province.

Would the removal of the designation, Alternate Jurisdiction, impact the southern lands owned by the Government of Alberta?

The extent of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park (LHCPP) is defined by the Province through an Order in Council. While adjacent lands are currently owned by the Government of Alberta and identified as LHCPP, the subject lands have not yet been identified as part of the park through an Order in Council. As these lands are developable, they are currently identified as an Employment Area, in keeping with the EMRGP and MDP. This designation will not preclude any future park development work, should the Government of Alberta proceed with park expansion plans.

Should the provincial lands in the south area of St. Albert West receive formal approval as LHCPP, the St. Albert West ASP, and other associated documents, can be amended to identify the subject lands as Major Open Spaces. Should ownership change for the subject lands, they will remain as an Employment Area.

[Update: In January 2024, the Government of Alberta issued an Order in Council to officially include their remaining lands east of Big Lake and north of 137 Ave NW, as part of the LHCPP. The draft St. Albert West ASP will reflect this update.]

Will there be future public engagement opportunities?

There will be no more public engagement events prior to Council. However, the draft St. Albert West ASP and supporting technical studies will be posted on this webpage prior to Council first reading. Those who were notified of the past engagement events as well as those who attended the events, will be informed when the draft St. Albert West ASP and technical studies are posted. Please note that it is extremely critical that the proposed figure depicting the land use concept be reviewed in conjunction with the ASP policies.

The public hearing date for the St. Albert West ASP will also be shared on the project website as soon as it is scheduled.

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