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."This debate has been long and difficult for administration, our citizens and members of five different councils," says Strathcona County Mayor Roxanne Carr. "This Council has delivered on its promise to make a decision. We remain committed to supporting logical, efficient and financially-sustainable smart growth. This approach minimizes the footprint of development, while optimizing exisitng and new infrastructure."
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
According to the Capital Region Board, the region is expected to grow by more than 620,000 people by 2044 and Strathcona County is anticipated to grow by between 45,000 and 67,000 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, our only urban community, will likely be built out within the next decade, we recognize that planning for our next urban community must begin now. The Bremner Growth Management Strategy provides a strong foundation as we move through the process and more detailed planning.
A number of events over the past 12 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.
There is no set timeline for development to begin. An Area Concept Plan could take up to several years 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.
Development would be 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.
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 feasibility 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 in Bremner. 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.
The Bremner Growth Management Strategy recommends a variety of densities of residential development from single family homes to low and mid-rise apartment buildings in certain locations, as well as retail, office, institutional and potentially other employment uses. It also identifies areas that will not be required for urban development within the lifetime of the strategy and which should remain agricultural land for this time.
The study recognizes and considers the area’s prime agricultural land by balancing the population and density of future development with the conservation of farmland. The amount of land required for development was determined based on population projections and historic growth. Due to the increased density that Bremner is required to achieve compared with historic growth, it was concluded that development could be concentrated south and west of Pointe-aux-Pins Creek to accommodate growth for at least the next 40 years. The land north of Pointe-aux-Pins Creek would therefore remain agricultural land for this time.
The projected population for Bremner is 54,000. The build-out of a new community in Bremner would take several decades. Based on a high-level analysis full build out would not occur until by 2054.
Coordinator, Long Range Planning