As the City of Lacombe continues to revise its Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and seek input from the community by spreading awareness about it, it is important to understand some of the specifics the MDP deals with.
“The MDP will talk about, to some extent, how neighbourhoods should be designed,” said Manager of Planning and Development for the City of Lacombe Lyla Peter.
She added in the last 20 years, Lacombe has seen a number of different designs.
She said that the revised MDP should provide a bit more guidance to developers when dealing with some of Lacombe’s key issues.
One example Peter gave was water.
She said Lacombe has a number of storm water ponds and lakes, meaning many developments will have to be built around wander somehow.
The MDP will lay out some guidelines to assist developers in deciding how to do that.
Roads and how they are laid out will also be examined in the MDP. Whether or not lanes will be required, if the roads should be arranged in a grid and how many cul-de-sacs should be included are examples of items that will be included within the plan.
Developers are also required to dedicate at least 10% of develop land in any development as park space which is donated to the municipality. This is known as a municipal reserve or MR.
Planner Jennifer Kirchner said that the MDP also looks at how these spaces are used.
Each area of the municipality will have different suggested uses for its municipal reserves that will be defined in the MDP.
Kirchner added that higher levels of government have some say in what is done with these spaces as well. For example, should the provincial government wish to build a new school in an area, that would be a priority option for the municipal reserve, said Kirchner.
The decisions as to what things should go where and how the MDP addresses them are based on a number of things. Legislation, type of land and what it can support as well as existing uses for that land and nearby areas all go into what the best options are for any area said Kirchner and Peter.
Peter said that things like these are the parts of the MDP that create something tangible residents of Lacombe will notice.
As such, they want Lacombians to be involved with the revising of the MDP, which is right now in a research phase, and share their ideas with the City.
“We want to know what the public thinks,” said Peter. “Whether it’s new, as in it hasn’t been built yet, or existing, how do they want their neighbourhood to be?”