Delivered June 2014 – Model Land Use Bylaw: Lakeshore Environmental Development Provisions
Why a Topic to create a Model Land Use Bylaw?
What we do on the land is reflected to a large degree in the water quality of the lake. People did not know the impacts, but now we know. There are smart ways for us to use watershed land that the lake needs, because how we use the land, and the health of the land is reflected in the health of the lake.
The Model Land Use Bylaw (MLUB) has been written to help municipalities around the watershed to know and to incorporate into their bylaws so smart land use decisions are made.
Of the 12 municipalities around the lake, few have regulations to guide and control human land uses on the private lands to reduce nutrient loading into the lake, or to protect the nature environment and water resources such that the environment can reduce the nutrients and pollution that goes into the lake.
In some ways, the closer to the lake the greater the impacts on the lake, so this committee has focused on the 800 metres of land from the water.
More formally the purposes for creating this bylaw is to:
1. Provide a model land use bylaw to the Pigeon Lake municipalities to implement and enforce.
2. Enable the Summer Villages and Counties to regulate and control the redevelopment of private lands and buildings along the lakeshore to reduce the nutrient loading into the .
3. To raise awareness amongst the municipalities and others around the lake about the “best management practices” that might be used to improve the water quality in Pigeon Lake.
4. To encourage community values for appropriate land use around Pigeon Lake for the health of the lakes’ aquatic and land systems for current and future generations.
See the full Land Use Topic Committee Terms of Reference .
What is the goal?
To produce a Model Land Use Bylaw for Lakeshore development provisions fort he conservation and management of riparian lands and uplands to minimize the nutrient loading and pollution of Pigeon Lake.
The objectives of this subcommittee were to:
1. Identify current practices by a range of watershed stakeholder groups, which would have a detrimental effect on lake heath and water quality.
2. Identify specific questions related to the topic.
3. Research current public attitudes and perceptions about current practices, their connection to lake health and the need for changes (in conjunction with engagement program).
4. Research and provide clear scientific rational and justification for linkages between behaviours and lake health and the need to change behaviours and practices. And the relative importance for the changes identified.
5. Research a range of available beneficial management practices (BMP’s) and their success in different jurisdictions/watersheds.
6. Research mitigating factors such as legislation, legal, technological changes, industry changes (eg. development standards) that would influence the development of best practices.
7. Investigate the feasibility for implementing alternative strategies locally in the watershed, or provincially or industry wide.
8. Develop beneficial or alternate practices for different watershed stakeholder groups in the watershed.
9. Recommend indicators and monitoring and evaluation for success. Change in behaviour and risk profile.
10. Develop recommendations for targeted strategies to engage individual stakeholders or groups with outreach, education, technical support or legislation.
What results has the committee produced?
In the spring of 2014 the committee under the guidance of Judy Stewart, finalized and released a MLUB to provide guidance to the Pigeon Lake municipalities, developers and residents.
A public event dedicated to the understanding and gathering of feedback was held in August of 2013.
Judy was the PLWA 2013 AGM guest speaker.
The Summer Village of Grandview has brought in Land Use Bylaws based on the work of the committee.
Who was on the sub-committee?
A number of people attended the committee on a regular basis and a few irregularly. The regular attenders included:
- Don Davidson, Grandview Mayor and member of the APLM
- Susan Ellis, PLWA President
- Michael Gaian, PLWA Director
- Robert (Bob) Gibbs, PLWA Director & PLWMP Steering Committee Chair
- Ruth Harrison, Councillor, Leduc County & the County APLM Representative
- David Samm, Executive Director, Battle River Watershed Alliance
- Andre Legris, Leduc County Planner
- Greg Nelson, AESRD Planner
- Hugh Sanders, BRWA President and PLWA Director
Judy Stewart, a lawyer who primarily practices municipal and water law, was secured to provide leadership and support to the committee. Her Master of Laws at the University of Calgary thesis was about municipal tools to protect wetlands and riparian lands in Alberta.