LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS TRIBUNAL  
Citation:  
Foley v Lacombe County, 2022 ABLPRT 924  
Date:  
File No.  
2022-07-04  
S22/LACO/CO-011  
Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
Municipality: Lacombe County  
In the matter of an appeal from a decision of the Lacombe County Subdivision Authority (SA)  
respecting the proposed subdivision of Lot 10 Block 1 Plan 9925755 (subject land) under Part 17 of the  
Municipal Government Act, RSA 2000, c M-26 (Act).  
BETWEEN:  
J. Foley  
and  
D. Foley  
Appellants  
- and -  
Lacombe County (Subdivision Authority)  
Respondent Authority  
BEFORE:  
G. Sokolan Presiding Officer  
W. Jackson, Member  
D. Thomas, Member  
(Panel)  
K. Lau, Case Manager  
DECISION  
APPEARANCES  
See Appendix A  
Page 1  
File No. S22/LACO/CO-011  
Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
This is an appeal to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT or Tribunal). The hearing was held via  
videoconference, on June 14, 2022, after notifying interested parties.  
OVERVIEW  
[1]  
This appeal concerns a proposed subdivision of an approximately 70 acre agricultural parcel to  
accommodate development of a residence and potential hobby farm on the remainder as a retirement  
home for the Appellants. The SA refused the application because it does not meet any of the four types of  
agricultural subdivision provided for in the County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP).  
[2]  
The LPRT denied the appeal. It determined the subdivision application was driven by retirement  
planning rather than land use planning considerations, and that there were insufficient land use planning  
reasons to depart from the policies and intent of the MDP, which aim to retain larger agricultural parcels.  
REASONS APPEAL HEARD BY LPRT INSTEAD OF SDAB  
[3]  
Section 678(2) of the Act directs subdivision appeals to the LPRT when the subject land is in the  
Green Area or within prescribed distances of features of interest to Provincial authorities, including a  
highway, body of water, sewage treatment, waste management facility, or historical site. The distances  
are found in s. 22 of the Subdivision and Development Regulation, Alta Reg 43/2002 (Regulation).  
Subdivision appeals also go to the LPRT when the land is the subject of a licence, permit, approval, or  
other authorization from various Provincial authorities.  
[4]  
In this case, the following circumstances apply to the subject land  
Highway  
Highway 597 is within 0.8 km  
Body of Water  
The Red Deer River lies adjacent to the southern  
boundary of the subject.  
PROPOSAL  
[5] To re-establish the original quarter section line between NE-13-39-27-W4M and NW-18-39-26-  
W4M within Lot 4, Block 1, Plan 992 5755, creating a 12.14 hectare (30 acre) lot and a 16.43 hectare  
(40.6 acre) remainder from the 28.57 hectare (70.6 acre) parent parcel, to be used for residential purposes.  
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Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
BACKGROUND  
[6]  
The land to be subdivided (subject lands) is a 70.6 acre Agricultural (A) parcel within NE 13-39-  
27-W4M in Lacombe County (County). It was created in 1999 when approximately 25 acres of land  
within NW-18-39-26-W4M were consolidated with approximately 40 acres of land within NE 13-39-27-  
W4M. The original road allowance west of NW 18-39-26-W4M was closed and consolidated into the new  
lot. This subdivision application proposes to re-establish the original quarter section line between the two  
quarters, creating a 30-acre lot and a 40.6-acre remainder.  
[7]  
The subject lands are southeast of the Town of Blackfalds (Town) in an area known as Burbank.  
The lands between the Town and the subject are developed with country residential lots. Additionally,  
four country residential lots lie adjacent to the west of the subject within the subject quarter, as well as  
Burbank Park, a campground operated by the County and the local Fish and Game Association.  
[8]  
Burbank Road lies to the immediate north of the subject and intersects with Highway 597  
approximately 600 meters east of the subject. Access to the proposed parcel exists from Burbank Road.  
Access to the remainder exists via an approximate 65-foot wide panhandle from the road leading to the  
campground.  
[9]  
The Red Deer River lies to the south, separated from the subject by an Environmental Reserve lot  
that was created when subdivision plan 992 5755 was registered. Over time, the subject has been sculpted  
by river flows and contains an old oxbow of the river. Steep slopes lie on the north side of this oxbow,  
separating flat lands adjacent to Burbank Road from the lower lands adjacent to the oxbow. On the  
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Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
remainder, the elevation change is about 30 to 40 feet; on the proposed parcel, it is approximately 100  
feet.  
[10]  
Approximately 20 acres of flat, meadow like grasslands exist in the remainder parcel that are able  
to be cultivated and would provide a suitable building site. The proposed parcel contains approximately 8  
acres of flat, higher ground that has been developed with a shop and a residence and serviced with a  
private well and septic field. The remainder contains an airplane hangar and a pole shed that are currently  
used for storage. The balance of the lands supports seasonal wetlands and is mostly heavily treed.  
[11]  
The subdivision application was refused by the SA for the following reason:  
The proposed subdivision does not meet the requirements of the County’s Municipal  
Development Plan, which regulates the subdivision of land. The proposal does not fit  
within AG 3.5 First Parcel-Out Subdivision, 3.6 Fragmented Parcel Subdivision, 3.7  
Agricultural Parcel Subdivision or 3.8 Boundary Adjustments. The Municipal  
Development Plan does not contain policies that would allow for this type of subdivision  
to occur.  
[12]  
The Appellants appealed the refusal stating the Alberta Township Survey System shows the  
Township line and quarter line should run directly through their property and they want to re-instate the  
legal subdivision lines back to the original grid network.  
ISSUES  
[13]  
The LPRT must consider requirements under the Act, Regulation, the Provincial Land Use  
Policies (LUP), the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), and any statutory plans. (see section 680(2) and s. 618.3 of  
the Act). Against this general regulatory backdrop, the parties focused on the following particular issues:  
1. Does the proposed subdivision meet the requirements for subdivision of Agricultural land as  
identified in the MDP?  
2. If not, have the Appellants identified a valid land use planning reason for the LPRT to exercise its  
discretion to allow the proposed subdivision?  
SUMMARY OF THE SA’S POSITION  
[14]  
The MDP was prepared after significant consultation with County residents, which indicated  
residents wish to restrict subdivision of agricultural land. Fragmentation of large tracts of agricultural land  
is not supported and any additional new property line in the agricultural area creates fragmentation.  
Agriculture is broader than just cultivation. Pasture, passive recreation, and environmental features like  
natural lands that enhance ecosystems all contribute to agriculture in the County from the community’s  
standpoint.  
[15]  
The MDP contemplates four types of subdivision of agricultural land, none of which allow for a  
subdivision of this nature. These include:  
Policy AG 3.5 First Parcel Out. Allows for the subdivision of a first parcel out of an unsubdivided  
quarter section subject to a list of criteria. The subject quarter section has been previously  
subdivided.  
Policy AG 3.6 Fragmented Parcel. Allows for the subdivision of a parcel that is separated from  
the balance of the existing titled area by a feature, such as a highway or county road, a railway or  
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Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
a permanent and naturally occurring body of water, lake, river, stream, or watercourse subject to a  
list of criteria. While access between the proposed parcel and the remainder is difficult, it is not  
restricted by a qualifying feature or by a permanent body of water.  
Policy AG 3.7 Agricultural Parcel. Allows for the subdivision of land for specialized or intensive  
agricultural operations, such as greenhouses and other horticultural businesses, subject to a list of  
criteria. No such agricultural uses exist on either the proposed parcel or the remainder.  
Policy AG 3.8 Boundary Adjustments. A boundary adjustment of an existing subdivision or  
quarter section line may be considered if the boundary adjustment conforms to other agricultural  
subdivision policies. Where it does not conform to these other policies, a boundary adjustment of  
an existing subdivision or quarter section line may be considered if it results in no increase in the  
size of either parcel. In this case, while a quarter section line would be re-established, the  
subdivision would result in the creation of an additional parcel.  
The criteria that apply to each of these subdivision types is found in Appendix D.  
[16]  
The SA described the subdivision history on the lands within and adjacent to the subject,  
identifying a pattern of decisions refusing subdivision based on premature fragmentation of agricultural  
land. The subdivision which created the subject parcel was approved on the basis that it consolidated land  
within the two affected quarter sections, rather than creating an additional parcel.  
[17]  
Section 6.1(2) of the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) provides for development of a second dwelling if  
the parcel has an area of at least 40 acres. This provision would allow the Appellants to undertake their  
proposed development without the need to subdivide the subject.  
[18]  
The lands are contained within the Blackfalds Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP). They are  
currently shown as Agricultural lands on the Existing Land Use map with Gravel/Sand Pit lands lying to  
the east. The Future Land Use map indicates these Gravel/Sand Pit lands as Agricultural, indicating that  
they will be used for agriculture in the future and are not being considered for country residential  
development. Gravel pits are a discretionary use in the Agricultural land use district of the LUB.  
[19]  
Section 6.1 of the Provincial Land Use Policies outlines that municipalities are encouraged to  
limit the fragmentation of agricultural lands and their premature conversion to other uses, especially  
within identified agricultural areas.  
SUMMARY OF ALBERTA TRANSPORTATIONS (AT) POSITION  
[20]  
As this proposed subdivision lies within the referral area for Highway 597, AT reviewed it for  
compliance with s. 14 and 15 of the Regulation. It complies with s. 15 as access to the proposed lot is  
available from Burbank Road - an existing local road that is acceptable to AT.  
[21]  
AT anticipates minimal impact on Highway 597 from this proposal. Additionally, there is no  
direct access to the highway and there is sufficient local road access to the remainder. Pursuant to s. 16 of  
the Regulation, the department granted approval for the SA to grant a variance to s. 14 of the Regulation  
should they choose to do so.  
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Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
SUMMARY OF ADJACENT LANDOWNERS’ POSITIONS  
[22]  
C. and K. Shopland reside adjacent to the north side of the panhandle access to the proposed  
remainder. This access is not currently developed and serves as a greenspace adjacent to a portion of their  
property where they pasture horses, and their children play. Subdivision of the subject would require a  
road to be developed on the panhandle. This would break up the greenspace and create concerns of dust,  
safety for their children and horses, and a potential reduction in the value of their property.  
[23]  
The Shoplands are of the opinion that the subdivision is unnecessary, given the Appellants can  
accomplish what they want without subdividing. If the subject is subdivided and the remainder is sold, the  
question becomes what level and type of development will occur on those lands and how it will affect  
their current quality of life.  
SUMMARY OF APPELLANTSPOSITION  
[24]  
The intent of the subdivision is to re-establish the original quarter section line between NE 13-39-  
27-W4M and NW 18-39-26-W4M, creating two parcels. The Appellants wish to keep the remainder and  
eventually sell the proposed parcel. They would like to develop a residence, and potentially a hobby farm,  
on the remainder to serve as their retirement residence.  
[25]  
It is their intention to retain the agricultural districting of both parcels. They are of the opinion  
that creating a 30-acre and a 40-acre parcel would not fragment productive agricultural land. They noted  
the lands surrounding the subject are districted Country Residential district (R-CR) and consist primarily  
of 1.5 to 5 acre lots.  
FINDINGS  
1. The proposed subdivision does not comply with MDP policies, which regulate subdivision of  
agricultural land.  
2. There are insufficient land use planning reasons to depart from the policies and intent of the  
MDP.  
DECISION  
[26]  
The appeal is denied, and the subdivision is refused.  
REASONS  
[27]  
The Appellants concede the subdivision does not comply with MDP policies about subdivision of  
agricultural land, but requests the LPRT to exercise its discretion to vary them (see s. 680(2)(a.1) of the  
Act). The LPRT finds this is not an appropriate circumstance to vary the MDP policies, which intend to  
prevent fragmentation of agricultural land.  
[28]  
The LPRT understands the current agricultural productivity of the subject may be limited due to  
the steep slopes, trees, and wetlands that cover much of the subject. Further, it recognizes the existing  
development and uses are consistent with smaller parcels for example, there is a residence, a shop, and a  
small field that has been hayed in the past. The LPRT also notes lands in the area have Country residential  
districting and there is a potential for country residential development in the future. However, from this  
future development perspective, the LPRT finds the allowing the proposed subdivision and increasing lot  
density would be premature, representing piecemeal planning rather than affording the County the  
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Decision No. LPRT2022/MG0924  
opportunity to undertake a comprehensive analysis of this potential future use through preparation of  
detailed planning studies.  
[29]  
In addition, the LPRT is cognizant of the holistic view Lacombe County takes when assessing the  
value of agriculture to both the economy and the culture of the County, and the importance of the rural  
lifestyle and landscape to the identity of Lacombe County. The policies of the MDP are intended to  
restrict subdivision and fragmentation of agricultural land. Together with the County’s other planning  
documents, they demonstrate a clear intent to preserve larger agricultural parcels. As such, a significant  
land use planning rationale would be required to justify departure from the County’s policies.  
[30]  
While the Appellants argued the original quarter section line would simply be reinstated, the  
subject land was consolidated in a previous subdivision to retain larger parcels; to subdivide the land  
along the original quarter section line is not a sufficient land use planning reason to increase the parcel  
density and depart from the MDP polices. The present application is not supported by any such planning  
rationale; rather, its purpose is primarily to create a separate parcel to accommodate the Appellants’  
retirement plans of developing a residence and potential hobby farm on the meadow lands in the  
remainder. The LPRT notes this intended use of the remainder parcel can be achieved without  
subdivision, since the LUB allows for the development of a second access road and dwelling unit on the  
current 70-acre subject parcel. While the proposal makes sense from a retirement planning perspective, it  
lacks appropriate land use planning justification, and accommodates the objectives of the current users  
rather than the long-term use of the land.  
[31]  
Section 617 of the Act is the guiding philosophy from which all municipal planning documents  
are adopted. It mandates planning documents reflect a balancing of interests between individuals and the  
overall public interest. A significant planning reason is required to disrupt the balancing of interests  
captured in the County’s MDP, and retirement planning is neither a land use planning reason, nor a  
sufficient justification to deviate from the MDP.  
Dated at the City of Calgary in the Province of Alberta this 4th day of July 2022.  
LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS TRIBUNAL  
_________________________________________  
(SGD) G. Sokolan, Member  
Page 7  
APPENDIX A  
PARTIES WHO ATTENDED, MADE SUBMISSIONS OR GAVE EVIDENCE AT THE HEARING  
NAME  
CAPACITY  
J. and D. Foley  
C. Paradis  
A. Noonan  
A. Han  
C. and K. Shopland  
Appellants  
Lacombe County Subdivision Authority Representative  
Lacombe County (Observer)  
Alberta Transportation (Observer)  
Adjacent Landowners  
APPENDIX B  
DOCUMENTS RECEIVED PRIOR TO THE HEARING  
NO.  
ITEM  
1
Information Package S22-011  
2R  
Municipal Development Plan  
3R  
Land Use Bylaw  
4R  
SA’s Report  
5R  
SA’s Presentation  
6A  
7A  
8A  
9A  
10R  
11R  
12R  
13R  
Municipal Reserve Cash in Lieu Reduction  
Registration of Subdivision Plan Document 802129062  
Registration of Subdivision Plan Document 912226383  
Registration of Subdivision Plan Document 962052639  
1991-10-09 Payment of MR Confirmation Letter  
1975-2017 File History  
1979-08-10 MR Exchange Confirmation Letter  
1978-07-04 Notice of Subdivision Approval NW 18-39-26-W4M  
APPENDIX C  
DOCUMENTS RECEIVED AT THE HEARING  
NO.  
ITEM  
14R  
15R  
16R  
Contour Map of Subject Land  
Area Context Map  
Map 2 Future Land Use Concept, Blackfalds Intermunicipal  
Development Plan  
17R  
Blackfalds Intermunicipal Development Plan  
APPENDIX D  
LEGISLATION  
The Act and associated regulations contain criteria that apply to appeals of subdivision decisions. While  
the following list may not be exhaustive, some key provisions are reproduced below.  
Municipal Government Act  
Purpose of this Part  
Section 617 is the main guideline from which all other provincial and municipal planning documents are  
derived. Therefore, in reviewing subdivision appeals, each and every plan must comply with the  
philosophy expressed in 617.  
617 The purpose of this Part and the regulations and bylaws under this Part is to provide means whereby  
plans and related matters may be prepared and adopted  
(a) to achieve the orderly, economical and beneficial development, use of land and patterns of  
human settlement, and  
(b) to maintain and improve the quality of the physical environment within which patterns of  
human settlement are situated in Alberta,  
without infringing on the rights of individuals for any public interest except to the extent that is necessary  
for the overall greater public interest.  
Section 618.4 direct that all decisions of the LPRT must be consistent with the applicable regional plan  
adopted under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act or the Land Use Policies (LUP).  
Land use policies  
618.4(1) Every statutory plan, land use bylaw and action undertaken pursuant to this Part by a  
municipality, municipal planning commission, subdivision authority, development authority or  
subdivision and development appeal board or the Land and Property Rights Tribunal must be consistent  
with the land use policies established under subsection (2).  
(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, may by regulation  
establish land use policies.  
Approval of application  
Upon appeal, the LPRT takes on the role of the subdivision authority. Pertinent provisions relative to  
decisions of the subdivision authority include section 654(1) and (2) of the Act. The SA (and by extension  
the LPRT) cannot approve a subdivision unless convinced that the site is suitable for the intended use, as  
per section 654(1)(a) of the Act.  
654(1) A subdivision authority must not approve an application for subdivision approval unless  
(a) the land that is proposed to be subdivided is, in the opinion of the subdivision authority,  
suitable for the purpose for which the subdivision is intended,  
(b) the proposed subdivision conforms to the provisions of any growth plan under Part 17.1, any  
statutory plan and, subject to subsection (2), any land use bylaw that affects the land proposed to  
be subdivided,  
(c) the proposed subdivision complies with this Part and Part 17.1 and the regulations under  
those Parts, and  
(d) all outstanding property taxes on the land proposed to be subdivided have been paid to the  
municipality where the land is located or arrangements satisfactory to the municipality have been  
made for their payment pursuant to Part 10.  
(1.1) Repealed 2018 c11 s13.  
(1.2) If the subdivision authority is of the opinion that there may be a conflict or inconsistency between  
statutory plans, section 638 applies in respect of the conflict or inconsistency.  
(2) A subdivision authority may approve an application for subdivision approval even though the  
proposed subdivision does not comply with the land use bylaw if, in its opinion,  
(a) the proposed subdivision would not  
(i) unduly interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood, or  
(ii) materially interfere with or affect the use, enjoyment or value of neighbouring parcels  
of land,  
and  
(b) the proposed subdivision conforms with the use prescribed for that land in the land use  
bylaw.  
(3) A subdivision authority may approve or refuse an application for subdivision approval.  
Appeals  
Section 678 of the Act sets out the requirements for appeal of a decision by the subdivision authority.  
678(1) The decision of a subdivision authority on an application for subdivision approval may be  
appealed  
(a) by the applicant for the approval,  
(b) by a Government department if the application is required by the subdivision and  
development regulations to be referred to that department,  
(c) by the council of the municipality in which the land to be subdivided is located if the council, a  
designated officer of the municipality or the municipal planning commission of the municipality is  
not the subdivision authority, or  
(d) by a school board with respect to  
(i) the allocation of municipal reserve and school reserve or money in place of the  
reserve,  
(ii) the location of school reserve allocated to it, or  
(iii) the amount of school reserve or money in place of the reserve.  
(2) An appeal under subsection (1) may be commenced by filing a notice of appeal within 14 days after  
receipt of the written decision of the subdivision authority or deemed refusal by the subdivision authority  
in accordance with section 681  
(a) with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal  
(i) unless otherwise provided in the regulations under section 694(1)(h.2)(i), where the  
land that is subject of the application  
(A) is within the Green Area as classified by the Minister responsible for the Public  
Lands Act,  
(B) contains, is adjacent to or is within the prescribed distance of a highway, a  
body of water, a sewage treatment or waste management facility or a historical  
site,  
(C) is the subject of a licence, permit, approval or other authorization granted by  
the Natural Resources Conservation Board, Energy Resources Conservation  
Board, Alberta Energy Regulator, Alberta Energy and Utilities Board or Alberta  
Utilities Commission,  
or  
(D) is the subject of a licence, permit, approval or other authorization granted by  
the Minister of Environment and Parks,  
or  
(ii) in any other circumstances described in the regulations under section 694(1)(h.2)(ii),  
or  
(b) in all other cases, with the subdivision and development appeal board.  
(2.1) Despite subsection (2)(a), if the land that is the subject-matter of the appeal would have been in an  
area described in subsection (2)(a) except that the affected Government department agreed, in writing, to  
vary the distance under the subdivision and development regulations, the notice of appeal must be filed  
with the subdivision and development appeal board.  
Hearing and decision  
Section 680(2) of the Act requires that LPRT decisions conform to the uses of land referred to in the  
relevant land use district of the LUB. It does not require that the LPRT abide by other provisions of the  
LUB, the MDP or the Subdivision and Development Regulation, although regard must be given to them.  
680(2) In determining an appeal, the board hearing the appeal  
(a) repealed 2020 c39 s10(48);  
(a.1) must have regard to any statutory plan;  
(b) must conform with the uses of land referred to in a land use bylaw;  
(c) must be consistent with the land use policies;  
(d) must have regard to but is not bound by the subdivision and development regulations;  
(e) may confirm, revoke or vary the approval or decision or any condition imposed by the  
subdivision authority or make or substitute an approval, decision or condition of its own;  
(f) may, in addition to the other powers it has, exercise the same power as a subdivision  
authority is permitted to exercise pursuant to this Part or the regulations or bylaws under this  
Part.  
(2.1) In the case of an appeal of the deemed refusal of an application under section 653.1(8), the board  
must determine whether the documents and information that the applicant provided met the requirements  
of section 653.1(2).  
(2.2) Subsection (1)(b) does not apply to an appeal of the deemed refusal of an application under section  
653.1(8).  
Subdivision and Development Regulation - Alberta Regulation 43/2002  
Application referrals  
Section 5 of the Regulation deals with application referrals.  
5
(5) On an application for subdivision being determined or deemed under section 653.1 of the Act to be  
complete, the subdivision authority must send a copy to  
….  
(e) the Deputy Minister of the Minister responsible for administration of the Public Lands Act if  
the proposed parcel  
(i) is adjacent to the bed and shore of a body of water, or  
(ii) contains, either wholly or partially, the bed and shore of a body of water;  
Relevant considerations  
While the LPRT is not bound by the Subdivision and Development Regulation, it is the LPRT's practice to  
evaluate the suitability of a proposed site for the purpose intended using the criteria in section 7 as a  
guide.  
7 In making a decision as to whether to approve an application for subdivision, the subdivision authority  
must consider, with respect to the land that is the subject of the application,  
(a) its topography,  
(b) its soil characteristics,  
(c) storm water collection and disposal,  
(d) any potential for the flooding, subsidence or erosion of the land,  
(e) its accessibility to a road,  
(f) the availability and adequacy of a water supply, sewage disposal system and solid waste  
disposal,  
(g) in the case of land not serviced by a licensed water distribution and wastewater collection  
system, whether the proposed subdivision boundaries, lot sizes and building sites comply with the  
requirements of the Private Sewage Disposal Systems Regulation (AR 229/97) in respect of lot  
size and distances between property lines, buildings, water sources and private sewage disposal  
systems as identified in section 4(4)(b) and (c),  
(h) the use of land in the vicinity of the land that is the subject of the application, and  
(i) any other matters that it considers necessary to determine whether the land that is the subject  
of the application is suitable for the purpose for which the subdivision is intended.  
Road access  
Section 9 deals with road access requirements.  
9 Every proposed subdivision must provide to each lot to be created by it  
(a) direct access to a road, or  
(b) lawful means of access satisfactory to the subdivision authority.  
Distance from highway  
14 Subject to section 16, a subdivision authority shall not in a municipality other than a city approve an  
application for subdivision if the land that is the subject of the application is within 1.6 kilometers of the  
centre line of a highway right of way unless  
(a) the land is to be used for agricultural purposes on parcels that are 16 hectares or greater,  
(b) a single parcel of land is to be created from an unsubdivided quarter section to accommodate  
an existing residence and related improvements if that use complies with the land use bylaw,  
(c) an undeveloped single residential parcel is to be created from an unsubdivided quarter section  
and is located at least 300 meters from the right of way of a highway if that use complies with the  
land use bylaw,  
(d) the land is contained within an area where the municipality and the Minister of Transportation  
have a highway vicinity management agreement and the proposed use of the land is permitted  
under that agreement, or  
(e) the land is contained within an area structure plan satisfactory to the Minister of  
Transportation at the time of the application for subdivision and the proposed use of the land is  
permitted under that plan.  
Waiver  
16(1) The requirements of sections 14 and 15 may be varied by a subdivision authority with the written  
approval of the Minister of Transportation.  
ALBERTA LAND USE POLICIES  
Land Use Policies were established by Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 618.4 of the  
Act.  
6.0 Resource Conservation  
6.1 Agriculture  
Goal  
To contribute to the maintenance and diversification of Alberta’s agricultural industry.  
Policies  
1. Municipalities are encouraged to identify, in consultation with Alberta Agriculture, Food and  
Rural Development, areas where agricultural activities, including extensive and intensive  
agricultural and associated activities, should be a primary land use.  
2. Municipalities are encouraged to limit the fragmentation of agricultural lands and their premature  
conversion to other uses, especially within the agricultural areas identified in accordance with  
policy #1.  
3. Where possible, municipalities are encouraged to direct non-agricultural development to areas  
where such development will not constrain agricultural activities.  
MUNICIPAL BYLAWS AND STATUTORY PLANS  
Municipal Development Plan  
OUR AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY  
3.1 INTRODUCTION  
Lacombe County's land base is predominantly agricultural, around 98% of the total land use make up.  
Agriculture was identified as being one of the most important aspects of the County for the community at  
all levels - economically, culturally and environmentally. While Lacombe County has a strong  
agricultural sector, it still faces many issues such as slow to stagnant population growth, fragmentation of  
land through premature or unnecessary subdivision and competing uses. This section aims to enhance the  
County's rural character through support of the agricultural community and economy.  
3.2 GUIDING OBJECTIVE  
Protect and encourage the County's strong agricultural community  
1. Support agricultural activities  
2. Seek to preserve high quality farmland  
3. Protect agricultural land by encouraging responsible subdivision practices  
4. Allow for agricultural diversification  
AG 3.2.1  
Ensure that the guiding objective and supporting statements for agriculture are considered in all  
development and subdivision decisions.  
3.3 SUPPORTING AGRICULTURE  
The foundation and defining attribute of Lacombe County is its rural character. The agricultural  
community is not only concerned with the right to farm but also with maintaining the rural character and  
rural landscape itself. These values are the central component of the Lacombe County identity.  
Consequently, the main priority for agricultural lands is the protection of those land from incompatible  
non-agricultural uses. The primary use of the Agricultural 'A' District is for agricultural operations  
whether they be extensive or small scale specialized agricultural operations.  
AG 3.3.1 Agricultural Land  
All lands in the County shall be deemed to be agricultural lands unless otherwise designated by the  
Municipal Development Plan, an approved statutory or non-statutory plan, the Land Use Bylaw, or  
provincial legislation.  
AG 3.3.2 Agriculture Support  
The County shall continue to support a viable agricultural economy by allowing farm operators to engage  
in different types and sizes of agricultural operations, and by endeavoring to maintain large contiguous  
areas of productive agricultural land to minimize potential land use conflicts.  
AG 3.3.3 The Agricultural Guide: Supporting the Vision of Agriculture in Lacombe County  
The County shall support the Agricultural Guide: Supporting the Vision of Agriculture in Lacombe  
County by ensuring the polices in the Municipal Development Plan are consistent with the guiding  
principles of the Guide.  
AG 3.3.4 Rural Character  
The County shall continue to protect the character of the rural area by supporting the agricultural  
community and protecting its natural assets.  
AG 3.3.5 Restriction on Development in the Agricultural 'A' District  
The County shall discourage development which conf1icts with, is incompatible with, or has a negative  
impact on agricultural operations.  
3.4 SUBDIVISION  
Subdivision enables agricultural communities to sustain themselves in terms of their rural housing needs  
and smaller specialized farms that require less land. The housing needs of the agricultural community are  
intrinsic to the rationale for subdivision policy. It is also important to provide opportunities to create  
smaller titles which better support farm operations that are not characterized by extensive tracts of high  
quality lands; however, without strong subdivision policy, incremental and high volumes of subdivision  
can erode the agricultural landscape.  
AG 3.4.1  
There is no automatic right to subdivide.  
3.5 FIRST PARCEL OUT SUBDIVISION  
The first parcel out subdivision opportunity is the mainstay of subdivision policy as it provides the ability  
for the agricultural community to create a parcel of land outside of the farming area. This allows for estate  
and retirement planning, and enables the existing agricultural community to remain within the agricultural  
area thus sustaining rural traditions and the vitality of the landscape. However, the size of these  
subdivided parcels is often one of contention as such it was determined by the community that four (4.0)  
acres of land was sufficient to accommodate a residential farmstead. While there are situations where, due  
to the unique attributes of a particular residential site, a larger parcel may be warranted, reducing the  
amount of agricultural land taken for residential purposes is essential in realizing the County's objective  
for agriculture.  
AG 3.5.1 First Parcel Out Subdivision  
The subdivision of a first parcel out of an unsubdivided quarter section may be considered if the following  
criteria are met:  
a) the parcel contains a habitable permanent residence;  
b) a habitable residence has been on the site for at least five (5) years preceding the date of the  
subdivision application;  
c) the parcel· Is not greater than 1.62 hectares (4.0 acres) in size, unless the County is satisfied  
that a larger parcel is necessary to accommodate residential improvements, such as a  
shelterbelt, outbuildings, or a driveway, or is considered reasonable based on the site's  
topographical features;  
d) if a larger parcel is warranted under (c) the parcel shall be no greater in-size than 2.2 hectares  
(5.5 acres);  
e) legal and physical access is available to the parcel and the remainder of the quarter section,  
satisfactory to the County;  
and  
f) the loss of any agricultural land is minimized by not including cultivated land ln the  
subdivided yard site.  
For the purposes of (c) a shelter belt does not include treed or forested areas and  
residential Improvements do nor include corrals, barns or other agricultural  
buildings.  
AG 3.5.2 Waiving the Requirement for a Habitable Permanent Residence  
Notwithstanding AG 3.5.1, the requirement for a habitable permanent residence may be waived if the  
parcel contains a former building site, which had a habitable permanent residence up to five (5) years  
preceding the date of the subdivision application and has not been reclaimed for agricultural purposes. In  
such cases. legal and physical access must be available to the parcel and the remainder of the quarter  
section, satisfactory to the County, and the parcel shall not be larger than 1.62 hectares (4 acres) in size.  
AG 3.5.3 First Parcel Out Choice of Building Site  
If the landowner qualifies for a first parcel out subdivision under AG 3.5. 1, the landowner may as an  
alternative subdivide out a different parcel on the same quarter section which may or may not contain an  
existing residence. Approval of this different parcel would be subject to the following criteria:  
a) the parcel is not greater than 1.62 hectares (4 acres) in size;  
b) a suitable building site exists and there is direct access to a road right-of-way;  
c) l egal and physical access is available to the parcel and the remainder of the quarter section,  
satisfactory to the County;  
d) the County is satisfied that the choice of building site for an undeveloped parcel would not  
unduly interfere with existing farming operations; and  
e) the loss of any agricultural land is minimized.  
3.6 FRAGMENTED PARCEL SUBDIVISION  
The fragmented parcel policy has been created to allow for the subdivision of land that is difficult to use  
as part of an extensive farming operation because of a manmade feature such as a road or railway, or a  
physical feature such as a river. Often these parcels are cut off from the remainder of the property and are  
too small or of poorer quality land to farm. The separation of title for these fragmented parcels serves two  
purposes: it can either provide the unique opportunity to accommodate a residential site, or it can support  
a small specialized agricultural operation. However, the primary objective of this section is to support and  
protect agriculture; therefore, the approval of fragmented parcels is subject to a number of requirements to  
ensure premature subdivision does not lead to the erosion of productive agricultural land and a dilution of  
the agricultural community for residential purposes.  
AG 3.6.1 Fragmented Parcel Subdivision  
The subdivision of a parcel that is separated from the balance of the existing titled area by a feature, such  
as a highway or county road, a railway, or a permanent and naturally occurring body of water, lake, river,  
stream or watercourse, may be considered if the following criteria are met:  
a) the County is satisfied that the size and characteristics of the fragmented land and/or the  
difficulty of access from the remainder of the land means the land cannot be reasonably used  
with the balance of the title;  
b) the naturally occurring body of water, lake, river, stream or watercourse that fragments the  
proposed subdivision is not traversable via an access road or bridge;  
c) the applicant is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the County that the intended use  
would not unduly interfere with the continued agricultural use of the remaining lands in title  
or any farming operation on the surrounding lands;  
d) the applicant can show to the satisfaction of the County that the parcel contains a suitable  
building site that can accommodate on~site sewage disposal and water services;  
e) legal and physical access Is available to the parcel and the remainder of the quarter section,  
satisfactory to the County;  
and  
f) the subdivision does not result in more than three (3)·titles total per quarter section on  
Agricultural 'A' District zoned land. If a title of land was rezoned to another district in the  
Land Use Bylaw and subdivided out it shall not be counted as a title;  
For the purpose of this policy, the County shall also not approve on application for a parcel that is  
fragmented by on undeveloped right-of-way or by a previously approved subdivision.  
Also, for the purposes of this policy, a permanent and naturally occurring body of water, lake, river,  
stream or watercourse must be proven to the satisfaction of the-County by way of:  
(i) a visually defined riparian area where the vegetation and soils are strongly  
influenced by the presence of water,· or  
(ii) written confirmation from Alberta Environment and Parks that title to the bed and  
shore of the water body, lake; river, stream or watercourse is vested in the Crown in  
the right of Alberta.  
3.7 AGRICULTURAL PARCEL SUBDIVISION  
The agricultural parcel policy has been created to support specialized and intensive agricultural operations  
which require smaller parcels of land. Extensive farming operations which require large amounts of good  
quality agricultural land are staples in the farming landscape of Lacombe County; however, the farm  
industry is diversifying. The purpose of this policy is to allow for the diversification of farming operations  
by permitting a separate title to be created for previously established specialized agricultural operations.  
AG 3.7 .1 Agricultural Parcel Subdivision  
The subdivision of land · for specialized or intensive agricultural operations, such as greenhouses and