Land use planning seeks to regulate and manage the use of land within a given area.
It is a dynamic process that systematically assesses land potential for different uses to achieve a desired pattern of land use and physical form.
Within Edmonton, City Council and administration use land use planning to:
- ensure orderly, economical and beneficial use and development of land;
- maintain and improve the quality of the built environment;
- ensure development decisions, now and in the future, reflect the values, needs, wants and desires of citizens; and
- reduce the likelihood of land use conflicts that would negatively affect the quality of life enjoyed by citizens.
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the provincial legislation which gives Alberta municipalities the power to guide growth and development within their boundaries. Under the MGA, municipalities are required to create a Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and adopt a Land Use Bylaw.
The MGA also sets out the subdivision process and guidelines for the creation of other land use plans.
Land Use Plans
In Edmonton, the Municipal Development Plan is known as The Way We Grow. It is a legal document, which establishes land use, growth and development objectives and policies for the entire City. The MDP presents an overall vision for future land use and guides how and where Edmonton can grow and develop.
Edmonton has additional plans that direct growth at the community level, neighbourhood level, and area level. These include area structure plans (ASP), neighbourhood area structure plans (NASP), neighbourhood structure plans (NSP) and outline plans (OP).
These plans are legal documents that comply with the Municipal Development Plan and provide additional direction on the pattern and timing of land development.
It is important to refer to any plan that may apply to your property prior to initiating a development, subdivision or rezoning.
The MDP and other land use plans can be viewed in Strategic Plans and Policies.
Land Use Bylaw
In Edmonton, the Land Use Bylaw is called the Zoning Bylaw. The Zoning Bylaw implements the policies in the City’s Municipal Development Plan and other land use plans by establishing zoning and a development permitting process that regulates the types of uses and buildings that are allowed on a property.
Any development that would result in a change of use, substantially modify a building, or construct a new building must comply with the zoning regulations in the Bylaw. To regulate these types of developments, the City requires a development permit.
Under the Zoning Bylaw, all properties in Edmonton have a zone that defines the building regulations and uses that are allowed on the property. The Zoning Bylaw also includes Overlay Districts that apply to larger areas of land and may alter the regulations of the underlying zones.
Verify Zoning of a Property
To view the zoning of a property, visit the City of Edmonton offices or use the City’s online mapping system.
- Proceed to ‘Zoning’ located on the right side of the photo;
- Review the disclaimer and accept it with ‘Ok’;
- Proceed to ‘Locate Title by Address’ and enter the property’s address;
- Go to ‘Search’ to view its zoning and any overlay information
- To access a particular zone, proceed to “Part II – Zones, Direct Control Provisions, Overlays and Special Areas” within the left-hand navigation column and choose the industrial zoning category. Choose the industrial zone you are looking for from the list.
If a proposed application cannot meet the regulations of both the zone and overlay a development permit cannot be issued, and the property must be re-zoned to allow for the proposed use.
Rezoning applications are reviewed by City Council with respect to how they comply with the Municipal Development Plan and any land use plans in effect for the area.
If you know the type of use you would like to operate and want to know which industrial zones provide for that use, the City’s Zoning Matrix allows you to search for zones by use.
Industrial Zoning and Neighbourhoods
There are four standard types of industrial land use zones under the Zoning Bylaw:
- IB - Industrial Business Zone
- IL- Light Industrial Zone
- IM - Medium Industrial Zone
- IH - Heavy Industrial Zone
Other specific industrial zones include:
Edmonton has four industrial districts, and an eco-industrial park, strategically located along major transportation corridors within the city.
The subdivision process is used to legally divide a large piece of land into smaller properties. The smaller properties can then be sold separately. The subdivision process is governed by the MGA and the Subdivision and Development Regulation, which gives municipalities the power to subdivide land. In Edmonton, City Council delegates this power to a group called the Subdivision Authority.