The purpose of the Land Use Bylaw is to regulate and control the use and development of land and buildings within the Town of Westlock to achieve the orderly and economic development of land. Rezoning or application for change of land district will require an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw.
For that purpose, among other matters, the bylaw:
- Divides the town into districts;
- Prescribes and regulates the purposes for which land and buildings may be used in each district;
- Establishes a method of making decisions on applications for development permits and issuing development permits;
- Provides the manner in which notice of the issuance of a development permit is to be given; and
- Prescribes and regulates standards for signs and off-road parking.
The Planning & Development Department is responsible for administering the Land Use Bylaw and assisting applicants through the permit process. Please contact us for assistance with your development and Land Use Bylaw related inquiries.
Rezoning, or application for change of land use district, is the most common reason for bylaw amendment. Rezoning is often requested when an applicant wishes to develop lands for a certain purpose and that purpose is not supported in the current zoning of the property under the bylaw. For example, an owner might apply to rezone a single family property or a group of adjacent properties in the downtown core to multi-family residential to support the development of a four-plex. Or application may be made to rezone an undeveloped area in order to accommodate subdivision for a specific purpose.
Sometimes bylaw amendment is requested to add a use not previously contemplated to the list of permitted or discretionary uses in a specific land use district, or to create site-specific regulations for a property faced with unique circumstances.
Regardless of the reason, Land Use Bylaw or Municipal Development Plan amendment will follow the same process:
- Application is made to the Planning & Development Department on the Application to Amend Land Use Bylaw form with payment of the applicable fee. Planning & Development Schedule of Fees
- The Planning & Development Department drafts a bylaw amending the Land Use Bylaw and takes it before Council at the next regular meeting where it can be accommodated on the agenda, depending upon timing of receipt of application and other factors (usually within one month of receipt of application).
- Council gives the first of three readings to the proposed bylaw and sets a date for a Public Hearing.
- The Public Hearing is held at a regular meeting at least one month after first reading in order to accommodate legislated advertising requirements and, if Council deems that the bylaw should be passed, second and third readings are given at the same meeting as the public hearing and once signed the bylaw comes into effect.
- Application may then be made for a Development Permit or for subdivision if same was dependent upon the amendment being passed.
There is no guarantee that Council will approve bylaw amendments. Each application is decided based upon its individual merits.
The Planning & Development Department will be pleased to assist you with your application or answer your questions relating to bylaw amendment.