Bremner Area Project FAQs
Bremner Area Project FAQs
1. When was the Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan adopted?Permanent link to When was the Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan adopted?
On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Council voted to adopt the Bremner and Local Employment Area ACP (Area Concept Plan).
2. Where can I view the Bremner financial information?Permanent link to Where can I view the Bremner financial information?
The Financial Viability Analysis was made public on April 10, 2019 and can be accessed here.
3. What is the difference between the financials provided with the Bremner Growth Management Strategy and the financials provided with the Bremner Area Project?Permanent link to What is the difference between the financials provided with the Bremner Growth Management Strategy and the financials provided with the Bremner Area Project?
The information from the Bremner Growth Management Strategy was very high level and therefore the number in the Financial Impact Assessment reflected this. The Bremner Area Project is more detailed; therefore, the resulting numbers are more detailed than the previous study. Overtime, as the staging of development occurs, these numbers will continue to be refined.
4. When is the infrastructure needed to be constructed to service Bremner?Permanent link to When is the infrastructure needed to be constructed to service Bremner?
There is a lot of infrastructure required for a new development like Bremner - things like roads, water mains, sewer lines and fire halls. Bremner is being planned as a sustainable community and the infrastructure plan is a big part of that. Some infrastructure, like roads, must be built before people can move to a neighbourhood. Other infrastructure, like recreation centres, can wait until there are enough people there to need it. Sherwood Park has been building-out over the past 65 years and has evolved from a single neighbourhood in the 1950's to what it is today. Decisions were not made day one, but over time based on the needs of the community as we grew. Similarly, it could take over half a century for Bremner and the Local Employment Area (LEA) to reach full build-out, with future infrastructure and development requiring consideration and approval by future Strathcona County Councils.
5. How is the infrastructure going to be funded?Permanent link to How is the infrastructure going to be funded?
Regional infrastructure, such as interchanges, will be a shared cost between provincial and federal governments as well as developers. Historically, interchanges have been paid for by provincial and federal governments. On-site infrastructure, such as local roads, water and wastewater servicing will be constructed at the cost of developers, which is standard practice. The County will pay for infrastructure such as fire halls, reservoirs, recreation centres and operations facilities, in line with our current practice. County funded infrastructure is paid for through taxes, grants, utilities fees, operational revenue and user fees.
Approval of the Area Concept Plan does not result in Council approving funds on future infrastructure development for the area. Decisions on potential costs for future infrastructure and development will require consideration and approval by future Strathcona County Councils.
6. Why the change in population projections from the original Bremner Growth Management Strategy population numbers?Permanent link to Why the change in population projections from the original Bremner Growth Management Strategy population numbers?
The Bremner Growth Management Strategy projected a population for Bremner of 54,000; however, that number was based on a lower population density than what is now required by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan. The updated population of 79,000 is based on the newly required density of 40 dwelling units per net residential hectare and more detailed analysis regarding land use and infrastructure for the area. To provide context, the existing area of Sherwood Park south of Highway 16 has an estimated density of 20 dwelling units per net residential hectare.
7. What is the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan?Permanent link to What is the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan?
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan (EMRGP) ensures that all members within the region collaborate and coordinate to manage growth responsibly.
As Strathcona County is an Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) member municipality, it is required to submit statutory planning documents that meet the submission criteria, such as the Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan, for EMRB approval.
The EMRB uses the Regional Evaluation Framework (REF) to implement the EMRGP. Under the REF, the board reviews and approves statutory plans, such as the Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan, to ensure regional planning decisions are coordinated and consistent with the direction and intent of the Growth Plan.
As the Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan conforms to the Growth Plan, it was approved by the EMRB on July 31, 2019.
8. Why is 75 years being used in the model?Permanent link to Why is 75 years being used in the model?
The financial model has been set over a 75 year period. Projecting a timeline past the ultimate build-out of Bremner provides a better understanding of lifecycle costs regarding infrastructure renewal and replacement as infrastructure is built over time, as opposed to just the capital costs. For example, when a road is built, there is a capital cost; however, the road will age and may need upgrades in the future. This needs to be understood for roads built in year one as well as year 39.
If debt is incurred for a capital cost such as a recreation centre, this would be paid back over a 25 year term, which is current County practice. For example, debt was incurred to pay for a portion of the Emerald Hills Leisure Centre as well as the Community Centre, and will be paid back over 25 year terms.
9. Why does Strathcona County need to grow?Permanent link to Why does Strathcona County need to grow?
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is a desirable place for people to live, and Strathcona County is a major employment generator. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board has projected that the region will double its population reaching 2.2 million people and 1.2 million jobs by 2044. Strathcona County’s population is anticipated to grow by between 40,000 to 60,000 people in that time. If a city is a desirable place to live, people will come whether the growth is planned or unplanned. Managing growth can be a challenge, but it also brings opportunities, including a population and tax base that supports a broader range of services, amenities and housing choices. Since Sherwood Park will likely be built out within the next decade, we recognize that planning for Bremner must begin now.
10. Where exactly will new urban growth take place in Strathcona?Permanent link to Where exactly will new urban growth take place in Strathcona?
Through the Bremner Area Project we have created our detailed plan for growth north of Highway 16 and East of Highway 21.
11. What is the Bremner Area Project and how will it help guide urban growth in Strathcona?Permanent link to What is the Bremner Area Project and how will it help guide urban growth in Strathcona?
The community built a vision through the Bremner Growth Management Strategy, and the next step was to create a more detailed plan for urban growth through the Bremner Area Project.
The County follows a planning hierarchy that determines the order in which various levels of planning take place. The Bremner Area Project consisted of developing an Area Concept Plan, along with supporting detailed engineering plans, agricultural impact assessment, biophysical assessment and financial viability analysis.
What is an Area Concept Plan?
An area concept plan is a statutory plan that provides a comprehensive planning framework and a generalized future land use concept to guide subsequent area structure plans undertaken by developers.
The Bremner and LEA Area Concept Plan provides Strathcona County with a planned growth area to accommodate Strathcona County’s share of future population growth in the region.
13. What is the public engagement process for the project?Permanent link to What is the public engagement process for the project?
The Bremner Area Project included three phases of public engagement. Visit our public engagement page for more information on public engagement for the project.
Smart growth is growth that minimizes the development footprint and optimizes existing and new infrastructure by creating complete communities that take advantage of increased density and compact design.
It focuses on walkable neighbourhoods with a diversity of land uses and housing, transportation choice, preservation of natural landscapes, and cost effective development.
Density refers to the number of people living within an area.
The Bremner area will be planned for a density of 40 dwelling units per net residential hectare and align with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan.
Density and compact development supports logical, efficient and financially sustainable growth and supports local business. There are also health and wellbeing benefits of increased density such as increasing opportunities for using active transportation to local destinations, reduced social isolation and increased safety.
17. Who will pay for the infrastructure to support future growth? Will my taxes increase?Permanent link to Who will pay for the infrastructure to support future growth? Will my taxes increase?
Strathcona County has traditionally required that growth pay for itself through development levies and developer-funded infrastructure. It is assumed that this will also occur for the development of Bremner. The financial viability analysis completed as part of the Bremner Area Project concluded that due in large part to the assumptions regarding industrial growth, the Bremner and the LEA will have a nominal impact on taxes.
18. What is happening to current Bremner residents?Permanent link to What is happening to current Bremner residents?
Development is driven by landowners and developers - following the approval of area structure plans. Current and future residents will have a say in the future of their land. No current residents are required to sell their land.
19. What types of land uses are planned for Bremner?Permanent link to What types of land uses are planned for Bremner?
Bremner is intended to be built as a complete community with a variety of housing opportunities, shopping, institutional uses and employment.
20. What considerations were given to the Bremner area's prime agricultural land?Permanent link to What considerations were given to the Bremner area's prime agricultural land?
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan outlines that Agricultural Impact Assessments are required for new urban growth areas. The Agricultural Impact Assessment for the Bremner Area Project provides information on planning and contextual factors, agricultural viability, and potential impacts to agriculture and mitigation measures.
As part of the Bremner Growth Management Strategy process, it was recognized that due to the increased density that Bremner is required to achieve compared with historic growth, lands north of Pointe-aux-Pins Creek could remain agricultural land, and were removed from the Bremner Urban Reserve Area. Through the Bremner Area Project, additional lands northwest and southeast were also removed from the Urban Service Area.
21. What is the Local Employment Area (Development Expansion Area)?Permanent link to What is the Local Employment Area (Development Expansion Area)?
The Local Employment Area (Development Expansion Area) is located across from Bremner on the south side of highway 16, and is being planned for as part of the Bremner Area Project.
The area is anticipated to accommodate required infrastructure, interchanges and flyovers across highway 16. This area was previously identified for future light and medium industrial development.
When will development begin?
There is no set timeline for development to begin. The timing of development will depend on the market and pace of remaining development in Sherwood Park, and development in Cambrian Crossing (to the west of Bremner).
Before any development can occur, developers must submit Area Structure Plans to the County for Council approval.
Events over the past number of years have created a framework for where growth would be best accommodated in Strathcona County. In 2007 the Municipal Development Plan identified Colchester as a “Rural/Urban Transition Policy Area” and Bremner as an “Urban Reserve Policy Area” and directed that Growth Management Strategies be prepared for both areas.
In 2010, the Province approved the Capital Region Growth Plan which included both Colchester and Bremner within two of seven “Priority Growth Areas” across the region slating both of these areas for urban level development. To make an informed decision about where in the County to grow next, Council required unbiased information on both areas. A growth management strategy for Bremner was completed in 2014, and a growth management strategy for Colchester was completed in 2016. Only the Bremner Growth Management Strategy was endorsed by Council to proceed to the next stage of planning.
How many people will live in Bremner?
The Bremner Growth Management Strategy projected a population for Bremner is of 54,000; however, that number was based on a lower population density than what is now required by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan. An update to the population will be estimated through the Bremner Area Project based on the newly required density of 40 dwelling units per net residential hectare and more detailed analysis. The build-out of a new community will not happen all at once and will gradually occur over several decades.
Coordinator, Long Range Planning