City updates development plan

The City of Lacombe is updating its Municipal Development Plan, and it needs your help.

  • Nov. 14, 2013 5:00 p.m.

The City of Lacombe is updating its Municipal Development Plan, and it needs your help.

Lacombe’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is outdated and in need of revision. As such, the City has begun the process of updating the plan and is hoping to spread awareness and get the community at large involved in the project.

Lacombe’s MDP is difficult to explain for a number of reasons, officials say.

First, it is a very broad plan which can make it seem vague. It is also very complex, as it relates to most every other plan made by the City.

Finally, as Manager of Planning and Development for the City of Lacombe Lyla Peter puts it, the MDP is a dry, even uninteresting document for many people to read, particularly when residents may not see how changes to it can affect them.

“The MDP is, for most people, rather a dull document,” said Peter.

Jen Kirchner, planner for the City of Lacombe, explains the MDP as a tree that gets more defined as it branches out.

At the top is the MDP, which sets the guidelines for the how developments should be done in Lacombe.

Below that are the Area Structure Plans (ASPs), all of which must follow the Guidelines of the MDP, that outline how development should be done in specific areas of Lacombe.

Below them are the developments themselves, which must adhere to the ASPs.

It is important to understand that revising the MDP does not mean the City is looking to immediately develop any areas or change existing developments.

Instead, the MDP deals with what developers do wish to develop within the City.

The MDP also looks at when those developments should take place and what developments should look like years down the road.

That is not to say that updating the MDP will not encourage development either. Peter said that she hopes revising the MDP will make things easier for developers, which in turn may encourage them to develop in Lacombe.

“We would like to think that what this will do is help developers out in terms of what our expectations are,” said Peter.

Currently, the City is very much in the beginning stages of the MDP revision.

Peter said that right now, City Hall is immersed in a research phase of updating the plan.

She added that part of this is letting the public know what is going on as well.

Through a series of informative ads currently running in the Lacombe Express, the City hopes to introduce some topics related to the MDP and discuss how the MDP deals with them.

Peter said that the key focus of this now is to spread awareness about the MDP, so that people can understand how the MDP might affect them.

However, awareness and discussion go hand-in-hand, so the City is also looking for some feedback and hoping to create a bit of discussion between the City of Lacombe and its citizens about the MDP.

To encourage that involvement, the City is also doing a scavenger hunt related to the promotion of the MDP revision.

Each week a new clue for the scavenger hunt will be released within the informative ad running in the Lacombe Express, relating to that topic.

The prize for the hunt is a one-year family pass to the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre.