What is the Land Use Bylaw Project?
A complete list of all proposed changes to the Land Use Bylaw is available here. (Click the image to enlarge)
Public engagement needed for proposed changes to Land Use Bylaw
High Level residents! Help shape the future of your town!
The Town of High Level is currently reviewing and developing their Land Use Bylaw. As part of that process, local residents are strongly encouraged to take part in the process and help direct future development in High Level.
What is a Land Use Bylaw?
The Land Use Bylaw is a vital document that lays out the rules and regulations for land development in our community. It breaks development down into districts – such as residential (housing), commercial (shopping), and industrial (working) and establishes rules for how properties can be developed in a safe and fair manner. Land use districts have certain uses that are permitted, others that are discretionary, and some that are not permitted. Through these rules, Town planners are able to manage the growth of the community.
The Land Use Bylaw outlines the rules for development on everything from sheds and decks to massive industrial infrastructure projects!
Why the changes?
Back at the beginning of 2020, Administration started reviewing the document and found many flaws with the current design, format, and content. These flaws have caused development issues for both residents and developers. In March 2020, the Town hired a consultant to complete the re-design of the Land Use Bylaw, and Administration decided to conduct the content review internally with extensive public engagement and Council input.
Improving the development process
Our end goal is to improve the Land Use Bylaw to make development as painless as possible. We don’t want red tape to stand in the way of growth and practicality!
“We approached this project with the view of helping citizens to more easily obtain and understand key information and guidance regarding development within the Town of High Level,” said Hayley Gavin, the Town’s Land Use and Planning Manager.
As part of the redesign process, a number of one-page infographics have been created to help local residents navigate some of the most common questions asked about the development process.
Whether you are thinking about building a new fence or deck, unsure whether you need a development permit or not, looking to install a helicopter landing pad, or to better understand the development decision-making process, we have a one-pager that briefly explains it all!
The development process can be an intimidating experience for many people - particularly for new homeowners or those who have never completed a development permit application before. The Town’s goal is to make the process easier for everyone to navigate and provide opportunities for residents to understand a bit about the process before going through it.
“Many homeowners choose to contact their realtor or developer for information on Town development rules,” said Gavin. “Our new Land Use Bylaw and one-pagers will also help relators and developers access the information faster.”
A number of changes have been proposed for the Land Use Bylaw. The Town will be releasing more information on these proposed changes in the coming weeks. Proposed changes include:
- Notification of decision by email
- Miscellaneous changes such as inclusion of Imperial measurements and revisions to definitions
- Changes to portable garage management, parking stall and parking lot sizing, and residential variances
- Simplifying landscaping requirements
- Addition of helicopter landing pads in the Town’s industrial area
Let us know what you think!
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to look at new ways to reach local residents. For Public Health reasons, the Town will not be holding open houses for community engagement. Instead, we are planning an expensive media campaign that will include one-page infographics that summarize major proposed changes and matching videos to highlight those changes. We will provide a summary package where those pages can be viewed as a collection both online and in a printed form.
“The videos and one-pagers are designed to peek the interest citizens to further engage in a discussion with the Town,” said Gavin.
Additionally, Administrative staff will be available to speak to local residents directly about their questions and concerns.
“The dedicated staff members to this project are Clark McAskile, Chief Administrative Officer, and myself – the Land Use and Planning Manager,” said Gavin. “We can be reached via phone, email or in person at the Town office.”
What are we looking for?
It is important to remember these are still only proposed changes, and that public engagement will further shape those changes. We are interested in hearing a wide range of ideas and thoughts on the project – both positive and negative.
Additionally, Administration will be floating a few ideas specifically for public consideration, including mobile home availability and how potential zoning changes could affect that availability. Another idea involves increasing the options for the Downtown Commercial area that could pave the way for brewery, winery, or distillery use.
“We are also seeking ideas from the public,” said Gavin. “We have put a lot of proposed ideas and changes forward in the new Land Use Bylaw, and we want to hear what ideas Town and surrounding area residents have for Administration and Council consideration.”
Development of the Land Use Bylaw will continue into 2021, with the goal of having the document ready for the 2021 development season.
For more information, please contact Hayley Gavin, Land Use and Planning Manager, by phone at 780-502-0778 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.