The NAIOP Edmonton Advocacy Committee would like to keep the membership informed of the pending amendments to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) that the Government of Alberta has recently tabled. NAIOP members attended an information session put on by the Government of Alberta during the month of June that outlined the major changes to the legislation. The last major review of the MGA was completed in 1995 and Bill 21 – Modernized Municipal Government Act will update the most important piece of legislation that governs the daily lives of all Albertans of how businesses and municipalities interact with one another. An overview of some significant changes to the Act include the following: Offsite Levies: the scope of offsite levies for new development will be expanded to now include police stations, fire halls, recreation facilities and libraries. While this could accelerate development in communities by providing these amenities earlier in the development life cycle, these additional costs to new development will affect affordability as these costs will ultimately be passed on to the consumer. More details are required to understand how these costs will be shared and how regional amenities that benefit a larger area will be treated. Regional Governance: the amendments will include the requirement for all municipalities to be governed by Growth Management Boards to address land use planning and sharing of regional infrastructure. Under these amendments, all municipalities that share boarders will have to enter into inter-municipal collaborative framework agreements within two years. The exact details of these agreements are not known at this time but will be included once the legislation is finalized. Inclusionary Zoning: inclusionary zoning looks to mandate a set amount of affordable housing product within a given neighborhood. Depending on how the policy is written, there is fear that a mandated affordable housing policy may decrease the cost for a small population of residents where the balance of residents will bear the burden that will ultimately make housing less affordable for the majority. Bill 21 – Modernized Municipal Government Act will be re-introduced and debated in the legislature this fall and the goal is to have the final amendments completed during the first half of 2017 where the legislation will be in force in the fall of 2017. For more information related to these amendments, please visit the Government of Alberta website http://mgareview.alberta.ca/. For a complete copy of Bill 21 please click here. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative or any of our advocacy initiatives, please contact us.
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