The Municipal Government Act requires all municipalities in Alberta to adopt a Land Use Bylaw. The Land Use Bylaw must divide the municipality into districts (often called zones in other parts of Canada and the United States).
For each district, the uses of land permitted, or allowed only at the discretion of the development authority, must be described. The decision process must also be clearly outlined. That process must clearly determine how development permits are issued, and the number of dwellings permitted on a single parcel of land.
From time to time, an amendment will be made to the bylaw as new policies are developed that affect land uses. On occasion, a new district will be proposed to better accommodate a new use of land in the County. Land use amendments most often refer to the process of changing the current land use district to another designation. Lac Ste. Anne County's Land Use Bylaw was finalized on December 2, 2015.
A landowner can apply to change the district of their land to allow for a change in the use of that parcel of land. Changing the current land use district to another designation is referred to as redistricting or rezoning.
Redistricting is required when a proposed development cannot be allowed because the current land use district does not allow for that particular development, land use, parcel size or density. Each of these applications is considered an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw and requires a public hearing to be held in open Council before a decision can be made. County staff keep the Land Use Bylaw updated to reflect these changes.
While most land use amendments are to redistrict lands, amendments to the text of the Land Use Bylaw are also sometimes required to provide clarification, redefine, add or amend land uses or specific regulations.