What's an MDP?
A Municipal Development Plan (sometimes called a Master Plan) is a document which outlines a long-range vision for the future development of a community, whether it be a city, town or rural municipality.
Why do we need one?
Image your house if there was no plan before building it. Without a long-term plan, a community's development is likely to be disjointed, and important high-level decisions can have results that are not in line with what the community needs and wants.
What sort of things are in this Plan?
MDPs typically include policies about future growth management, economic diversification, business attraction & retention, transportation network, revitalization, culture & heritage, sustainability, servicing, green space, community vibrancy, greenfield & infill development, among others.
Why is this Plan being finalized now, considering the current COVID-19 situation?
The City's Municipal Development Plan update (myMH Master Plan) has been in the information-gathering and research stages since 2017. Due to the significance of this Plan, City Council has directed Planning & Development Services to proceed with the project despite the challenges presented by the current health pandemic.
Extra efforts have been made to reach out to the public well before the Plan is scheduled to come before City Council, while still maintaining community safety. Such strategies include online videos and survey, a downloadable interactive Draft Plan, social media announcements, opportunities to ask questions digitally or by phone, and virtual attendance of the public hearing. Members of the public may also request that hard copies of the Draft Plan and survey be sent by mail.
What does "long-range" mean?
An MDP will typically create a 20 to 30 year vision for a community. It does not put forth immediate plans for road improvements, parks, public buildings, etc.
Who decides that cities require MDPs?
The Municipal Government Act of Alberta establishes that every community in Alberta must have a Municipal Development Plan.
So, we don't have one now?
Yes. Medicine Hat's current Municipal Development Plan was adopted by City Council in 2012. It is a public document, and is available here.
So, we're doing an update?
Yes. Due to complex changes which inevitably happen in communities over time, such Plans need regular revisioning. Circumstances have changed significantly in Medicine Hat since 2012, so it is time for a fresh outlook. myMH will be Medicine Hat's new master plan.
What's the "triple bottom line"?
"Is it good for people? Is it good for the economy? Is it good for the environment?" Ultimately, the goal is that all MDP policies are examined through the lens of these three priorities.
Who decides what's in an MDP?
Many voices contribute to the policies of an MDP, including: the general public, City Council, community stakeholder groups, City operational departments, public committees and advisory boards. All input must be weighed with financial feasibility, legislative requirements and other research.
Who drafts the policies?
The myMH Plan and all of the public engagement has been completed by staff of the City of Medicine Hat Planning Department, using input gathered from the groups listed above. A private consultant was retained for growth management research.
Can I provide input about the myMH Master Plan before it's finalized?
The public is welcome to do the online survey (closes June 25, 2020). Concerns may also be addressed by attending the Public Hearing of City Council, scheduled for September. There is a feedback summary of previous public engagement available to view.
What makes cities great?
You can learn more about planning great cities, and what other communities are doing. Check out Videos: what makes cities great? Maybe you'll get inspired!