Transfer of Development Credits

 

Transfer of Development Credits

A tool to help communities deal with rapid conversion of their valued landscapes, while simultaneously promoting appropriate landscape development

The Issue / Idea

How can municipalities deal with the rapid conversion of their valued landscapes, while simultaneously promoting appropriate landscape development?

The Project

The Transfer of Development Credits (TDC) tool is designed to help communities deal with the rapid conversion of their valued landscapes, while simultaneously promoting appropriate landscape development. The tool allows for the transfer of development potential from areas less suited to development (based on a community desire to see its character and function maintained), to areas more suited to increased development (based on their capacity to accept greater development activity).

The TDC website was developed as a resource for Alberta communities, to assist them in better understanding what a TDC program is, and how it can be used to conserve valued landscapes.


A Practical Guide to Transfer of Development Credits (TDCs) in Alberta

 

Organization

This project was undertaken by

Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2013

Supporters

Alberta Real Estate Foundation

Anonymous Donor

Cost of Community Services

 

Cost of Community Services

How many dollars of revenue does a municipality get for every dollar of service expenditure for different types of land use? The Cost of Community Services (COCS) methodology assesses this.

The Issue / Idea

Because different land use types generate vastly different revenues, it can be difficult to know which if any one of them ‘pays for itself’ relative to the costs it incurs for the municipality.

The Project

The Miistakis Institute explored this question by undertaking a “Cost of Community Services Study” for Red Deer County. After a detailed review of background documents and financial records, and extensive interviewing of all Red Deer County Managers and Directors, Red Deer County’s audited financials for a single year were re-allocated based on land use. Expenditures and revenues were divided between four land use categories (Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Agricultural) and the results were used to create revenue/cost ratios.

The intent of this study is to support the development of land use planning approaches which best serve the community. Red Deer County can use this study with other information to maintain a healthy balance of land uses for the County. At the policy level, the study can assist in the development of a vision for the community; at the operational level, it can help assess whether resource allocations match policy priorities.


The Fiscal Implications of Land Use: A “Cost of Community Services” Study for Red Deer County: Main Report

The Fiscal Implications of Land Use: A “Cost of Community Services” Study for Red Deer County: Report 3: Methodology

The Fiscal Implications of Land Use: A “Cost of Community Services” Study for Red Deer County: Report 4: A Comparative Analysis of the Red Deer County COCS Study and Previous COCS Studies

The Fiscal Implications of Land Use: A “Cost of Community Services” Study for Red Deer County: Report 5: Detailed Data

The Fiscal Implications of Land Use: A “Cost of Community Services” Study for Red Deer County: Appendices

Report on the “Cost of Community Services” Multi-Municipality Workshop

Presentation Slide Deck: “Cost of Community Services” studies: What are they?

The Fiscal Implications of Land Use in a Rural Municipality

Organization

This project was undertaken by

Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2007

Supporters

Alberta Real Estate Foundation

Red Deer County

Renewable Energy for Rural Municipalities

 

Renewable Energy for Rural Municipalities

A project to help municipalities municipalities understand their environmental, social, economic concerns and opportunities, and what support tools they may need to process applications for large scale (over 1MW) solar and wind development in their municipality

The Issue / Idea

What tools do municipalities need to balance development considerations with high value agricultural, ecological, and cultural lands?

The Project

“By 2030, renewable sources like wind and solar will account for up to 30 per cent of electricity generation,” says Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan.

To achieve this goal, large scale wind and solar developments are being proposed and are likely to have direct impacts in rural jurisdictions that have the land base to support them. In discussions with several municipal staff, it has become apparent they are uncertain how renewable electricity regulations and development will affect them. What is their role in the regulatory and approvals process? How do they balance competing interests between agriculture, ecology and renewable development? What do they need to know to make informed decisions?

Miistakis is working with municipalities to understand their environmental, social, economic concerns and opportunities, and what support tools they may need to process applications for large scale (over 1MW) solar and wind development in their municipality. Miistakis will then collaborate with stakeholders to develop the support tools required to inform decision making at the local level.


Renewable Energy Development: Ecological Fact Sheet for Municipalities

Renewable Energy Development: Regulatory Resources for Municipalities

Rural Municipal Wind and Solar Decision Support Tools: Regulatory Context Background Paper

Survey Report: Large Scale Wind & Solar Decision Support Tools for Rural Municipalities Project

Rural Municipalities and Renewable Energy Development: Education Session (January 23, 2018, Brooks, AB)


Rural Decision Support Tools for Renewable Energy Development: Progress Update (Miistakis Institute)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2018

Supporters

Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties

Wheatland County

Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST)

 

Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST)

A project to help municipalities identify where renewable energy (and other land uses) is most suitable in consideration of high valued agricultural, ecological, and cultural lands

The Issue / Idea

How do municipalities balance development considerations with high value agricultural, ecological, and cultural lands?

The Project

When municipal governments consider industrial scale solar or wind energy development, it immediately becomes clear that not everywhere is suitable for those activities, and not everywhere is unsuitable. For some areas it is a clear-cut ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but most areas sit somewhere on a continuum between those two extremes.

The Miistakis Institute and the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) developed the Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST) to assist the Municipal District of Pincher Creek in identifying where renewable energy development is most suitable in consideration of high valued agricultural, ecological and cultural lands.

The MLUST process took six months to complete, engaged municipal stakeholders, made use of existing spatial datasets, and produced a series of map products to inform planning at the municipal scale.

MLUST engaged the municipal council and staff to identify features they valued on the landscape. Each feature was scored by stakeholders to determine each features conflict with wind and solar energy development. The most suitable areas for renewable energy development coincided with low probable conflict rating of other land uses. Renewable energy development suitability areas were also informed by removing No-Go Areas based on provincial, municipal and organizational regulations and Non-Development Areas based on existing settlement and Infrastructure.

The MLUST process can be adapted to determine the most suitable lands for any type of land use, not just renewable energy.

Prior to the development of the MLUST process, a similar process was used with Wheatland County and the County of Newell called the Least Conflict Lands. This process was later refined to create the MLUST process.


Executive Summary: Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST) for Municipal District of Pincher Creek

Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST) for Municipal District of Pincher Creek

Executive Summary: Least Conflict Lands: Municipal Decision Support Tool for Siting Renewable Energy Development

Least Conflict Lands: Municipal Decision Support Tool for Siting Renewable Energy Development

Organization

This project was undertaken by

Miistakis Institute

Oldman River Regional Services Commission

M.D. of Pincher Creek

Wheatland County

County of Newell

Status

Least Conflict Lands Completed in

2018

MLUST Completed in

2020

Supporters

Energy Efficiency Alberta

Rural Municipalities of Alberta

The INTACT Foundation

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Community Energy Capacity Building Program

Wheatland County

County of Newell

Modelling Developable Lands in a Municipality

 

Modelling Developable Lands in a Municipality

A Planning tool to inform discussions around future development proposals and conservation planning facing municipalities today

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities are faced with development pressure on a continuous basis. How do they balance development considerations with conservation priorities?

The Project

The Developable Lands Planning tool was created to inform discussion around future development proposals and conservation planning facing the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. The tool overlays a series of user-selected map layers, then models them against ‘development considerations’ and ‘conservation priorities.’ Adjustments were done in real time in a multi-stakeholder workshop environment to help participants understand the consequences of various development strategies.


Developable Lands Planning One Pager

Developable Lands Mapping Tool Final Report

Organization

This project was undertaken by

Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2006

Supporters

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Rural Community Economic Development Program through the Crowsnest Pass Business Development Corporation and the Western Economic Partnership Agreement

Rural Residential Expansion Research

 

Rural Residential Expansion Research

Understanding and mapping rural residential expansion in southwestern Alberta

The Issue / Idea

What is the extent of rural residential expansion in southwestern Alberta?

The Project

In 2003, Miistakis published Spatial Analysis of Rural Residential Expansion in Southwestern Alberta. The report summarizes what we learned from analyzing half a century’s worth of municipal tax assessment data, and describes the patterns and possible drivers of exurban expansion in southwestern Alberta. The data and maps this project produced are some of our most frequently requested resources. In 2006, we revisited the original data in attempt to better understand the spatial distribution of this type of development. Our analysis suggests that rural residences are more likely to occur on sites with scenic views, and with close proximity to golf courses and urban centres. In 2011, Miistakis collaborated with Dr. Michael Quinn at the University of Calgary in an effort to update and expand the Rural Residential Data Set. Work was completed in early 2012, and we now have a complete historical record of more than a century of rural residential expansion for 12 Municipal Districts and Counties in southern and central Alberta.


Spatial Analysis of Rural Residential Expansion in Southwestern Alberta

Rural Residential Expansion in Southern Alberta

Mapping the Exurban Explosion: Rural Residential Expansion in Southwestern Alberta

Rural Residences Map Animation

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

Development of this report and dataset began in 2003 and was

updated and completed in 2012

Supporters

Alberta Ecotrust

Alberta Environment

Henry P. Kendall Foundation

University of Calgary

Alberta Summer Temporary Employment Program

ALSA Tools Webinars

ALSA’s Conservation Tools for Municipalities: A Webinar Series

Informational webinars on conservation easements, transferable development credits, conservation offsets, and conservation directives

The Issue / Idea

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act has conservation and stewardship tools that could be of use to municipalities, but it is unclear how they would work for municipalities.

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute organized a series of webinars on the four conservation and stewardship tools that are included in the Alberta Land Stewardship Act. Experts in each of the topics were asked to present a one-hour webinar, with each followed by a moderated Q&A session.

The webinars presented were:

Conservation Easements: Tuesday January 24, 2017
Kim Good, Legacy Land Trust Society

Transfer of Development Credits: Tuesday January 31, 2017
Guy Greenaway, Miistakis Institute

Conservation Directives: Tuesday February 7, 2017
Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre

Conservation Offsets: Tuesday February 14, 2017
Dave Poulton, Poulton Environmental Strategies Inc. & the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets

The webinars were well-received, with approximately 50 people attending each one. The follow-up evaluations saw the content rated as Excellent (9.5%), Very Good (57%), or Good (33%), with none rating the content as Poor or Fair.

Webinar Files

Conservation Easements (slide deck, video, resource)

Transfer of Development Credits (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Directives (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Offsets (slide deck, video, resource)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

The webinars were presented in

January and February 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation