Sturgeon Valley residents now have a clear plan for their future neighbourhoods — a future that could include a transit hub and net-zero buildings.
County council approved the Sturgeon Valley South and Core area structure plans and related tweaks to the county’s municipal development plan at a meeting Sept. 14. Councillors Neal Comeau, Patrick Tighe, and Karen Shaw abstained from the vote on the Sturgeon Valley South plan as they did not attend the plan’s public hearing.
The current area structure plan for the Sturgeon Valley region northeast of St. Albert dates to 1999. After years of conflict with St. Albert and Edmonton over the region’s development, the county negotiated broad-brush rules for the region in 2018. Under them, the current built-up region would continue under existing rules, the lands to the north would stay as farms, and the lands to the south would average 20 to 125 units per hectare, with densities rising as you approach St. Albert and Edmonton.
The plans approved last week lay out the specifics. The Core region is to have up to 6,961 people by 2041 (compared to about 4,300 today) as well as a protected river valley, trails, and some small businesses. The South region, at full build-out, will host about 61,200 people and include a light industrial zone, a potential transit hub, and maybe some net-zero buildings.
Coun. Kristin Toms said these plans are one of the main reasons she ran for council in 2017, adding that these approvals will protect the character of existing neighbourhoods while giving residents plenty of time to weigh in on the region’s future looks.
Shaw cast the lone opposing vote to the Core plan and the municipal development plan amendments, saying she was not convinced residents had adequate say in them, given the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full plans were available in the agenda package for the Sept. 14 meeting.