Approval of Bremner
On March 22, 2016, Council endorsed the Growth Management Strategy for the Urban Reserve Area (Bremner). On May 24, 2016, Council held a public hearing and gave first reading to Bylaw 15-2016. The purpose of this Bylaw was to clearly identify within the County’s Municipal Development Plan the inclusion of Bremner into the Urban Service Area of the County.
As required by the Capital Region Board, after receiving first reading of Bylaw 15-2016, the Bylaw was sent to the Capital Region Board for Regional Evaluation. On July 25, 2016, Bylaw 15-2016 received approval from the Capital Region Board as it was deemed to be in conformance with the principles and policies of the Capital Region Growth Plan.
On October 25, 2016, Council gave Bylaw 15-2016 second and third readings, approving and clearly identifying within the County’s Municipal Development Plan the inclusion of Bremner into the Urban Service Area of the County.
On March 22, 2016 Council endorsed the Urban Reserve (Bremner) as its next area for urban development. Now administration will develop an Area Concept Plan as the next step in more detailed planning for Bremner.
As a result, Council has directed administration to include consideration of land use options within the rural/urban transition policy area (Colchester) in the current Municipal Development Plan Update.
More information regarding the Bremner Area Concept Plan will be provided in the coming months. The July 12 Priorities Committee Meeting agenda can be found here providing Bremner Area Concept Plan next steps. Although the document has been endorsed, the Area Concept Plan must be completed prior to the county accepting any new applications for Area Structure Plans, rezoning or subdivision within the boundaries of the Urban Reserve (Bremner) area.
Growth Management Strategies
Following the completion of Growth Management Strategies for both the Bremner and Colchester areas, a comparison matrix of the two growth nodes was provided to Council on March 22, 2016 to assist in their decision on where to grow. Although growth management strategies were completed for both the Bremner and Colchester areas; only the Bremner Growth Management Strategy was endorsed by Council to proceed to the next stage of planning.
View the Bremner Growth Management Strategy
A growth management strategy is a high-level document that describes and illustrates a vision, community design concept and set of policy directions intended to guide more detailed planning should the county decide to proceed with development.
It identifies potential locations for residential neighbourhoods, commercial areas and employment areas. It also identifies potential locations for major roads and other infrastructure networks, such and water and wastewater servicing.
Information in the growth management strategies assisted Council in comparing how growth could occur between different areas in the County. The growth management strategies also provided a foundation that will inform the process moving forward.
Growth Management FAQs
1. Why does Strathcona County need to grow? Permanent link to Why does Strathcona County need to grow?
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 41,000 and 63,000 people in that time. 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. The Bremner Growth Management Strategy provides a strong foundation as we move through the process and complete more detailed planning through the Bremner Area Project.
2. How did we get here? Permanent link to How did we get here?
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.
3. When will development begin? Permanent link to When will development begin?
There is no set timeline for development to begin. The Area Concept Plan is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete. The timing of development will also depend on the pace of remaining development in Sherwood Park, and development in Cambrian Crossing (to the west of Bremner).
While planning for the future begins now, it will not be rushed. We want to ensure the appropriate level of study so the best decisions are made for the County as a whole.
4. 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.
5. 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 a new community. A financial viability analysis will be completed as part of the Area Concept Plan for Bremner. A Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIA) was used to evaluate the cost of growth for the Bremner Growth Management Strategy. The FIA produced in March 2016 concluded that the Residential tax rates were projected to remain relatively stable over time, meaning that growth in Bremner would have a neutral impact on taxes.
6. 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.
7. 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 will provide 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 the 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.
8. How many people will live in Bremner? Permanent link to 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