Open houses planned to discuss Municipal Development Plan

Officials are seeking input from residents into planning process

  • Tue Mar 14th, 2017 5:00am
  • News

BY MARK WEBER

Several open houses, hosted by Lacombe County, are planned next month for residents to learn more about the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

Officials point out that this is an exciting time for Lacombe County, as staff are currently reviewing the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

“The MDP is one of the County’s most important documents as it provides guidance on how the County will develop over the next decade,” noted a release. “The LUB is the regulatory document which outlines specific requirements with regard to development, while supporting the policies of the MDP.”

As this all takes shape, County officials and council members want the public’s input as part of the process.

They are inviting residents to join them at one of several open houses to provide feedback on the draft plans.

”You, the public, have an important role in updating the MDP and LUB as your involvement is key in setting out a clear and shared vision for the future development of the County.”

The process of reaching out to the public for input and direction actually was launched last year, as there have two other rounds of discussions and opportunities for local residents to have their say, said Lacombe County Senior Planner Anita O’Driscoll.

Over the course of last year’s meetings, 256 people attended. Also, 286 filled out an online survey as well.

Over the months, several major themes surfaced including that of agriculture being the foundation of what the County is primarily about.

Also, environmental concerns were mentioned, as well as the importance of supporting home-based businesses in the agricultural community, she said.

The upcoming April open houses (held in three locations across the County) are an opportunity to review the draft Municipal Development Plan and draft Land Use Bylaw and tell staff members if they captured the vision for future development in Lacombe County, she said.

The first open house runs April 3rd in the Lacombe County office from noon to 8:30 p.m. The second will be held at the Gilby Hall on April 6th from 4 to 8:30 p.m. and the final open house runs April 10th at the Tees Hall from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

Folks don’t have to RSVP just feel free to drop by.

O’Driscoll said the meetings will be set up with information booths that focus on individual themes and topics, so residents can approach officials who will be able to speak to the specific issues that concern them.

“It’s really important for us to get that input the changes (in the MDP) come from the public,” she said, adding that because of that, local residents should certainly be able to help decide the direction in terms of where things go from here.

And for those unable to attend a meeting, they can join the conversation in other ways.

Go online at www.MDP.lacombecounty.com, call 403-782-8389, email planning@lacombecounty.com. Also, the County’s Twitter address is twitter.com/LacombeCounty and you can find them on facebook at facebook.com/LacombeCountyMDP.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com