CRP Regional Ecoplan

 

CRP Regional Ecoplan

A project to outline how the region’s valued ecological features and functions could be maintained, and to do so by identifying measurable targets, describing specific actions that can be taken by the Calgary Regional Partnership and its members

The Issue / Idea

How can municipalities maintain their valued ecological features and functions in the face of  population growth?

The Project

In 2014, Miistakis began working with the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) on an implementation plan for the Calgary Metropolitan Plan’s first principle: “Protecting the natural environment and watershed.”

In a region that is projected to receive another 1.6 million people over the next 60 years, it was recognized it would be a significant challenge to determine how to actually approach achieving this principle, as well as how to know if it has been accomplished.

The Ecological Conservation and Protection Plan (later renamed the CRP Regional EcoPlan) was created to outline how the region’s valued ecological features and functions could be maintained, and to do so by identifying measurable targets, describing specific actions that can be taken by the CRP and its members at both the regional and local level, and by integrating directly with the Calgary Metropolitan Plan.

The Ecological Conservation Themes – the backbone to the plan – were established and, as well as the plan framework, and the target-setting approach approved by the CRP Executive in September 2017.


CRP Regional EcoPlan: A Summary of the Ecological Conservation and Protection Plan

CRP Regional EcoPlan: Themes – Detailed

Measuring Up: A Preliminary Assessment of Potential CRP EcoPlan Sub-Theme Measures

CRP EcoPlan: Strategies Catalogue: Summary Description

Proposed Target-setting Process for the CRP Regional EcoPlan

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2017

Supporters

Calgary Regional Partnership

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

Municipal Powers, Land Use Planning, and the Environment: Understanding the Public’s Role

 

Municipal Powers, Land Use Planning, and the Environment: Understanding the Public’s Role

Exploring the nature of citizens’ rights to participate in municipal decisions related to the environment

The Issue / Idea

What is the nature of citizens’ rights to participate in municipal decisions related to the environment?

The Project

Municipalities exercise a broad range of powers that have significant direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Alberta’s cities, towns, and rural municipalities are already key players in waste management, water and wastewater treatment, and land use planning and development. They have the authority to assume a greater role in the regulation and management of natural areas including wetlands, air and water quality, toxic substances, redevelopment of contaminated lands, water conservation, wildlife, and other aspects of the environment within the municipality.

This Guide outlines the legal rights of citizens to participate in decision making on issues related to the environment. The Guide also provides approaches citizens can take in participating in municipal decisions.

It is important to note that there have been some amendments to the Municipal Government Act since this guide was published in 2005. These amendments may have implications for certain aspects of public participation. See the ELC website for further updates on the Municipal Government Act changes.


Municipal Powers, Land Use Planning, and the Environment: Understanding the Public’s Role

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Completed in

2005

Supporters

Alberta Law Foundation

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

Ecological Values Mapping

 

Ecological Values Mapping

Providing a visual representation of a municipality’s collective community and conservation values

The Issue / Idea

How does a community accurately map and communicate its most important values?

The Project

In 2007, concerned over mounting development pressure and threats to the landscape and traditional lifestyle of the region, the MD Ranchland approached the Miistakis Institute to help them identify community and conservation values that are important to the MD, and then to map these values as accurately as possible.

Through an open and inclusive process, Miistakis worked with the MD staff, council and residents to identify these values and then express them in a spatial/GIS context. The same methodology could easily be applied to different municipalities, and would be expected to result in the identification of different values.


MD Ranchland – Community & Conservation Values Mapping Project – Phase III Report

One Pager and Previous Phases


Community and Conservation Values Mapping
Phase I: Municipal District of Ranchland Data Scoping Project – Summary of Findings
Phase II: Municipal District of Ranchland Data Scoping Project – Summary of Findings

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

Phase I – data scoping completed in 2007; phase II – mapping tool and user guide completed in 2009; Phase III – enhanced mapping and communication support report completed in 2011

2011

Supporters

Municipal District of Ranchland

Alberta Municipal Affairs’ Municipal Sustainability Program

Municipalities and Brownfields

 

Municipalities and Brownfields

Part 4 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities need to better understand what authority they have to regulate brownfields within their boundaries.

The Project

Brownfields are located throughout Alberta and can contaminate the environment, detract from the appeal of communities, and hinder economic and social development. Meanwhile, brownfield redevelopment can provide environmental, economic and social benefits for Albertans. The fourth and final publication in the Environmental Law Centre’s Municipalities and Environmental Law Series explores when and how municipalities can manage and regulate brownfields and their redevelopment.


Report: Municipalities and Brownfields

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

June 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Municipal Management of Industrial Development

 

Municipal Management of Industrial Development

Part 4 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities need to better understand what they have to regulate industrial development within their boundaries.

The Project

The interface of municipal planning and industrial development poses a challenge for municipalities. The third publication in the Environmental Law Centre’s Municipalities and Environmental Law Series explores the sources of, and challenges to, municipal authority to regulate industrial development within its boundaries.


Report: Municipal Management of Industrial Development

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

May 2018

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

 

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Part 1 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities may be unclear as to the role they can play in environmental management.

The Project

Municipal decision-making is increasingly vital to effective environmental management. Today’s municipalities play a central role in developing human settlements and green spaces, managing water bodies, and regulating the ways in which these are impacted. In order to do so, municipalities rely on a variety of legislation that empowers them to make decisions and take action in this regard. The following publication is intended to clarify the sources and the scope of municipal authority with respect to the environment.


Report: The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

November 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation