All Planning and Development activity in Alberta is authorized by and legislated under the Municipal Government Act.

Part 17 of the Act provides the regulations and requirements that apply specifically to Planning and Development in municipalities.

All planning decisions must comply with the regulations outlined in the Act and/or any documents or bylaws that are derived from or required by it.

Planning Structure in Alberta

Mission Statement

The Planning and Development Department at the County of Newell strives to provide effective and consistent information and guidance, based on sound planning practices and documents, in assisting landowners with their planning and development needs.

In working towards the mission statement, Planning and Development staff has identified 4 Core Services that the department provides to County landowners.

Core Service One:  Permit Review and Processing
The department is responsible for ensuring all applications are properly processed, which includes assisting the applicant in completing the application, circulating and advertising the application, and then ensuring that it is reviewed by the appropriate body.

The purpose of the permit process is to ensure that development occurs in such a way that it is safe and suitable for the applicant, adjacent landowners and the County. 

Goal: to provide quality information and service to applicants, particularly in relation to development application processes and requirements.

Goal: to provide development services in a timely and consistent manner.

Goal: to ensure development in the County proceeds in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, the County of Newell Land Use Bylaw and any other applicable legislation.

Core Service Two:  Information and Notification
The department is responsible for ensuring that proposed development, including subdivisions, land use amendments and other planning-related items are circulated and advertised according to the requirements of the Municipal Government Act and the County Land Use Bylaw.

The purpose of these notifications is to provide affected landowners and referral agencies the opportunity to submit information and/or comments concerning a proposed development. This input is critical in helping the Development Authority make appropriate and informed decisions.

Notifications of all proposed development in the County are provided on the home page of the County website (In Your County), and under Development Notices.

Goal: to provide notifications about proposed development in the County to landowners and referral agencies (where applicable) in a clear and timely manner.

Goal: to provide accurate and appropriate information to the Development Authority so that they may make an informed and clear decision about the application.

Core Service Three:  Monitoring and Enforcement
The department is responsible for monitoring proposed and existing development within the County to ensure it is compliant with the appropriate bylaws and legislation, including the following:

In monitoring development, staff must confirm that the applicant has met the terms and conditions of the decision made by the Development Authority. These conditions help ensure that the development is safe and suitable for the applicant, adjacent landowners and the County as a whole.

During the monitoring process, staff will provide additional information or assistance where needed, and will proceed with enforcement when required.

Goal: to ensure that proposed development, approved by the Development Authority, complies with the terms and conditions of a permit decision.

Goal: to ensure that existing development complies with the requirements of the County bylaws and other legislation listed above.

Goal: where development does not comply with the terms of a permit decision, or the requirements of the planning legislation, to follow through with enforcement procedures in an expedient manner.

Core Service Four:  Preparation of Planning Documents
The department is responsible for preparing and updating documents related to planning and development in the County, including the Land Use Bylaw, the Municipal Development Plan, and Intermunicipal Development Plans.

In addition, the department will assist in the preparation of required Area Structure Plans and Concept Plans, and then review and circulation them as required.

Goal:  to ensure that all planning documents relevant to the County are current and meet the County’s needs.