New plan guides St. Albert's future growth to north and west

·2 min read

The future of St. Albert will have more density and growth to the north and west, according to a new planning document released by the city.

During Monday’s council meeting, the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) – a foundational guide for what the next decades of city growth will look like – was released to the public and residents can now see where and how growth will happen in the city.

St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron said the plan provides the city with a vision for the future.

"The MDP is probably the most critical piece of statutory planning any city has," Heron said.

The MDP is the underlying document influencing all other city planning documents, from area structure plans to building permits, and the current plan is around 20 years old. New development trends and direction from council could conflict with an outdated MDP, spelling trouble for city staff trying to plan, Heron added.

She described the new MDP as progressive and said it brings in a lot of new ideas on urban planning and urban growth. Heron said the new document is more flexible in terms of how housing development is approached and uses the Complete Streets approach to planning roads – which enables safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.

The north and west of the city will see much of the future growth and Heron said putting together the MDP while working on an annexation agreement with Sturgeon County was good timing.

"It was nice to do this in alignment with the annexation and in alignment with the conversations about the recreation facility," Heron said.

"I think that is something new that we didn't have before – this prioritization of growth. And so as the next councils come and go and they're asked to make an investment on a road on this side or that side of the city, they'll go with the priority side of the city."

Council passed the first reading of the MDP unanimously on Monday and Heron said the document will come back in March for the public to weigh in on.

To see the full plan visit stalbert.ca/dev/mdp

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette