Planning Document Hierarchy

The framework for regional development activities

Planning Document Hierarchy

The framework for regional development activities

Land use planning in Lac Ste. Anne County focuses on the overall impact that development can have on the community. This requires coordination of development in ways that contribute to broader social, environmental and cultural goals.


Municipal Government Act

The Municipal Government Act (MGA)  is the legislative framework under which all municipalities and municipal entities across the Province of Alberta operate.

The MGA provides the governance structure for cities, towns, villages, municipal districts, specialized municipalities, and other forms of local government. The current MGA is one of Alberta’s largest pieces of legislation, containing 21 parts and more than 700 sections.

The MGA contains three major “themes” or areas of focus:

  1. Governance
  2. Assessment and taxation
  3. Planning and development
  • Click Here to view the Municipal Government Act.

Upper Athabasca Regional Plan

Development of this plan will support land and natural resource management to achieve long-term economic, environmental and social goals.


Intermunicipal Development Plans

Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) are statutory land use plans prepared in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA) by two (or more) municipalities that share a common border. Each IDP addresses land uses that occur in proximity to two different municipalities and sets forth criteria for how future growth and disputes should be managed.

Lac Ste. Anne County is voluntarily adopting joint plans called Inter-Municipal Development Plans (IDPs) with the Village of Alberta Beach and the Summer Villages of Val Quentin and Sunset Point. These plans address a range of issues and common interests between the municipalities. The IDP will serve as an important decision making tool for the Reeve & Council, administration, and stakeholders.

Municipal Development Plan

The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is a long-term strategic plan for managing regional growth over the next 20 years in our region. Based on population projections, we are expected to almost double by 2033. The MDP sets the vision on how to accommodate this growth responsibly. It will serve as an important decision making tool for the Reeve & Council, administration, and stakeholders.

It is the goal of this MDP to protect and develop communities within the County in accordance with community vision while providing the necessary opportunities for maximizing the economic use of the County's resource land base, and providing for industrial and economic diversification within the overall context of well-planned growth, change and development.

Area Structure Plans

Area Structure Plans (ASPs) are documents that have been approved by Lac Ste. Anne County Council as bylaws. The County's ASPs provide a framework that articulates proposed land uses; population densities; sequence of development; general location of major roadways; public utilities in the area; and any additional requirements that the Council may require. 

An ASP is the first step in obtaining planning approval for a new community. County planning staff work with stakeholders like community residents, landowners and developers to create these long-range documents.

Current Area Structure Plans for Lac Ste. Anne County are available for viewing and download below in PDF format. For further information and assistance with ASPs, please contact the Planning & Development department at 780.785.3411 (toll-free 1.866.880.5722).

Outline Plan

​​​​​Outline plans provide a more specific planning framework for an area included within an Area Structure Plan and conforms to the general principles and concepts established in the ASP.

Land use Bylaw

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.


A subdivision authority is bound by the hierarchy of statutory plans when reviewing an application for a subdivision. If a subdivision authority is of the opinion that there may be a conflict or inconsistency between statutory plans, then it is bound by the hierarchy and relationship of plans in making its decision.

Business owners planning to subdivide are advised to explore the Applications, Forms & Permits section of this website first.

Development Permit

A development permit is a document that authorizes a proposed development to proceed (either with or without conditions) pursuant to the provisions of the Land Use Bylaw. The Bylaw divides the County into several Land Use Districts (commonly called Zones or Zoning) and each of these Districts have land uses and development regulations specific to them. Contact the County to determine what District you are in and whether your proposed development is permitted or discretionary.

A permitted development is deemed by Council to be appropriate for a given district. A discretionary development is up to the discretion of the County's development authority.

Building Permit

Obtaining all the Safety Code Permits (building, electrical, plumbing, gas, and private sewage permits) is a requirement of the Alberta Safety Codes Act. For Lac Ste. Anne County they are issued through the Planning & Development. The permits allow 90 days for completion after permit approval. If necessary, before the permit expires, you may apply for a time extension.

Visit the Building Codes & Standards section of the County website to learn more about how applicable legislation regulates the design, construction and renovation of buildings in order to protect the health and safety of the occupants.

Building Codes & Standards Documents
Alberta Building Code Illustrated Guide
Alberta One Call Homeowner's Guide
Basics of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program
Building a Detached Residential Garage
Building a Wood Deck
Building Permit Accessory Building Garage/Shop/Storage
Building Permit Application
Building Permit Basement Development Minor Renovations
Building Permit Deck, Stairs, Guardrail, Handrail
Building Permit Hot-Tubs/Pools
Building Permit Information & Checklist Requirements
Building Permit Manufactured Mobile Modular
Building Permit New Homes/Additions
Building Permit One Room Addition/Sunroom
Building Permit Solid Fuel Burning Appliances
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Checklist for Finding a Good Building Contractor
Complete Safety Code Permit Applications
Construction Checklist - Accessory Building
Decks/Guardrails/Handrails/Stairs Infosheet
Do I Need a Building Permit?
Electrical Information
Electrical Permit Application
Energy Efficiency Checklist
Energy Efficiency Checklist
Energy Efficiency Guide
Finishing Your Basement
Frequently Asked Questions
Gas Permit Application
Home Warranty Brochure for Builders
Home Warranty Brochure for Owner-builders
Installing a Fireplace
Non-Residential Building Information
Permit Application Requirements
Permit Handbook
Plumbing Permit Application
Pre Mobile Home Inspection 20 Years or Older Mobile
Private Sewage Permit Application
Private Sewage System Information
Private Sewage Treatment Systems
Private Sewage Treatment Systems Separation Distances
Private Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas
Re-Open Safety Code Permit
Reducing Basement Flooding Guide
Residential Building Information
Residential Gas Information
Residential Plumbing Information
Safety Code Permits – Why the Need?
Secondary Suite Standards
Solid Fuel Burning Appliances
Structures Near Power Lines
When to Call for Inspection

Browse Planning Documents by Category

Planning Home
Business Livence Program
Discretionary Permits
Document Hierarchy
Public Hearings & Open Houses
Subdivision & Dev Appeals

Main Website Navigation