Improved process for land-use planning

Year: 2013


Whereas Saskatchewan is experiencing unprecedented economic development and a growing population; and Whereas this economic and population growth is occurring primarily in and around Saskatchewan’s urban centres; and Whereas it is incumbent on those urban governments to undertake land-use planning to ensure adequate resources and land are available to meet growth demands; and Whereas the protection of urban fringe areas, being areas of common rural and urban interest, is essential for the long-term infrastructure and economic sustainability of Saskatchewan's large urban growth centres; and Whereas a rural government neighbouring an urban centre may initiate land-use planning or make decisions that impact the planning and growth potential of the urban centre; and Whereas The Statements of Provincial Interest Regulations direct land-use planning documents and decisions to establish inter-municipal processes for managing land in areas of common interest; and Whereas there is currently no requirement for a rural government to consult with an urban government regarding land-use planning that may negatively affect urban land-use planning and growth potential in areas of common interest; and Whereas should a dispute arise between an urban and rural government regarding a planning document or decision, there is no legislative requirement to participate in a dispute resolution process; and Whereas an established process for consultation, mediation or arbitration is regarded as a best practice between municipal planning authorities in a land-use planning dispute; and Whereas Clause 122(1)(f) of The Planning and Development Act, 2007 generally regards the urban fringe as being 5km from a City and 2.5 km from other urbans; Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA communicate to the Ministry of Government Relations that all rural governments must consult with an urban government when considering land-use planning documents or decisions within the urban fringe, being an area of common interest for land-use planning and urban growth; and Be it further resolved that any dispute regarding land-use planning documents or decisions in an urban fringe area must go to a prescribed mandatory dispute resolution process that considers the urban government’s land-use planning and long term growth potential.

Provincial Response

Current legislation contains options and tools for joint planning, decision-making and dispute resolution processes. The ministry continues to strongly encourage mutual cooperation and coordination between municipalities for land use planning documents and decisions within urban/rural fringe areas through the formation of planning districts, planning authorities, inter-municipal development agreements and joint servicing agreements. In the event of a dispute between municipalities, the ministry encourages parties to follow existing dispute resolution and appeal processes prescribed by the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.

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