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New Land Use Bylaw Adopted by Council

At the September 6, 2016 Regular Council Meeting, Council voted to adopt the draft Land Use Bylaw (LUB). Town of Hinton administration and engineering firm ISL, with direction and support from Council, reviewed and revised the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) creating a document that promotes growth and supports development initiatives through positive user-friendly development regulations.

“The process in which the LUB was reviewed and revised incorporated expertise of staff and ISL representatives to create a document that is progressive, as well as clear, concise and easy to understand,” stated Mayor Mackin.

Key changes to the LUB document are the reduction in length, and revised content written in a plain language manner, so that understanding what is required is easier and the potential for confusion is minimized. A key benefit to residents advancing projects at home or at their business is that the new LUB allows discretion for innovation and a common sense approach to development. Developers will find the new LUB easier to use because policies are less prescriptive and more discretion has been provided to the Development Authority. 

Feedback was received from local developers, realtors and businesses, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and community residents. We thank everyone who participated and shared their thoughts on this important community document. All comments and questions were reviewed by Town administration and ISL, with applicable changes made in the final version adopted by Council.

Please note that all development permits issued prior to the adoption of the Land Use Bylaw #1088 and fee schedule #1104 will fall under the requirements and regulations of the previous LUB #960. If you are unsure of how this may affect you or your permit, please feel welcome to contact our development office to clarification. 

The LUB is another step in the progressive way of doing business the Town of Hinton Planning and Development division has adopted. But don’t take our word for it: if you are interested in starting a project at your home or business, come down to the Planning and Development desk in the Government Centre and speak to one of our friendly staff members for assistance.

For more information, or to review the adopted Land Use Bylaw, please follow this link.


Background

What are the Key Changes?

Overall, the document has been reduced in size, content has been clarified and written in a plain language manner, so that understanding what is required is easier. 
But that’s not all:
•    The document has been reduced from 233 to 79 pages, with sections merged to reduce duplication;
•    Prescriptive details, such as design guidelines and overlays which are not required in the revised LUB, have been removed and will be incorporated into separate policy documents where they are more appropriate;
•    Formatting has been revised to be easier to follow and interpret, and definitions have been updated and consolidated; 
•    Language has been revised to provide a positive tone and consistent voice, jargon removed to simplify text, and figures revised and simplified to provide clarity;
•    Inconsistencies have been eliminated;
•    Development permit policies have been revised and simplified to reflect best practices;
•    Policies are less prescriptive and more discretion has been provided to the Development Authority; and
•    Some districts have been consolidated and others not currently being used have been removed.


What are the Benefits to the Community?

The main benefit to residents advancing projects at home or at their business is that the new LUB allows discretion for innovation and a common sense approach to development. 
•    Provides a user-friendly format;
•    Promotes positive development and economic growth;
•    Provides a basic framework for consistent policy and procedure to accommodate development in appropriate locations; 
•    Protects existing development and minimizes conflict; and
•    Provides mechanisms for enforcement.

What are the Benefits to Developers?

Developers will find the new LUB easier to use because policies are less prescriptive and more discretion has been provided to the Development Authority. As with the benefit to the community, there is room for a common sense approach to development in Hinton.
•    Clarifies development requirements, and provides consistency; 
•    Simplifies and facilitates the approval process;
•    Reduces barriers to development;
•    Promotes a collaborative approach to finding mutually beneficial outcomes; and
•    Focuses on what is allowed, rather than on what is not.

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