The deadline for completing the survey on the draft Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is Sunday, June 21st. You can access the survey here.
Our overall reaction to the draft MDP, which will replace the current County Plan, is that most of its principles are solid and consistent with the earlier feedback received from residents. However, we have serious doubts whether its policies are designed to actually achieve its objectives. In fact, many of the MDP’s policies appear to be inconsistent with its key principles.
The MDP emphasizes the importance of responsible growth and fiscally sustainable growth. Despite this, it proposes to significantly expand the approved growth areas for both residential and commercial/industrial development well beyond existing ASPs. Worse, it proposes no policies to direct development in an orderly manner within its “priority growth areas”.
The MDP provides no information on how it aligns the expansion of priority growth areas with the reality that existing ASPs have well over 100 years of residential development still available and have substantial commercial/industrial lands that have yet to be developed. Council has repeatedly stated it wants to move towards a 65-35 residential to commercial property assessment ratio. Although the MDP acknowledges the importance of this for fiscal sustainability, it fails to explain how its substantial increase in priority residential growth areas can be reconciled with this commitment.
The MDP’s residential development objectives state that it will “support higher density residential development where appropriate”. However, there are no policies that determine where or when this would be “appropriate”. It also fails to explain how this is consistent with the public feedback that emphasized the importance of maintaining Rocky View’s rural character.
A more detailed analysis of the draft MDP can be found here. It includes the maps for residential growth areas from the current County Plan and the draft MDP – the differences are noticeable.