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Get to Know McElhanney’s Alberta Planning Services

Get the support you need.

McElhanney’s Alberta Planning services team is integrated across our Canmore and Calgary offices, bringing specific local expertise to urban and rural projects across Alberta. We care deeply about the cities and communities we work in, because they’re our home too.

Our planners bring a strategic approach to helping our clients realize their goals. Your challenges become our passion. We take pride in our ability to use our experience, along with stakeholder engagements to offer insights on best practices and risk mitigations, creating implementable plans that move the dial toward their vision.

In addition to planning expertise, our ability to offer so many services (including engineering, geomatics, landscape architecture, environmental, and GIS) allows for smooth communication and provides the resources to take on a wide variety of multi-disciplinary projects, big or small.

McElhanney puts people first. We not only want to work on planning projects, but understand the motivations and ‘why’ behind community growth and change. Through our work, we address concerns like growth and infrastructure, housing, the natural environment, climate change, and community character, while providing advice that is practical, implementable, and monitored. To achieve this, our team offers:

It's who we are.

Public Engagement Process

Engagement Toolbox

McElhanney’s approach to community engagement for this project sees the process as another occasion for community building. Making sure to provide a broad range of opportunities that recognize the importance of meeting people where they are at, in an atmosphere where they feel safe and comfortable sharing and providing insight and experience The goal is to open the process for a transparent and collaborative community-wide discussions Our team understands that the last two years has altered how engagement can be conducted and we have successfully shifted several public engagement strategies to align with a new way to reach all generations with a variety of tools and online techniques.

Graphic Design

Expertise in Visualization & Graphics

Clear, concise, and graphic presentation will be key in communicating the vision and guidelines to a variety of audiences and in building public support. Converting concepts into images that capture the essence and vision of the community is a significant task. McElhanney is proficient at producing a wide variety of visual materials, including hand sketches, 3D (computer) modelling, illustrations, maps, and other graphics.

Fact Sheets, FAQ

Implementable Deliverables

Our Consultant Team works seamlessly to create plans that exceed the expectations of our clients in an economically feasible manner. In our plans, we regularly synthesize and incorporate information from various disciplines, both internally and externally, to create realistic, implementable, and economically sound planning solutions. Our experience is varied, with a focus on delivering plans tailored to their communities, retaining buy-in from stakeholders, and, most importantly, are implementable and enforceable.

McElhanney has recognized experts leading planning teams across AB and BC:

Jill Hofer_Cropped

Jill Hofer, BA, RUP, MCIP, RPP – Senior Planner

T: 403-812-0871 | E:

Brad Elenko_Cropped

Brad Elenko, MCIP, RPP – Division Manager, Senior Planner

T: 250-485-7387 | E:

James Pernu_Cropped

James Pernu, MSc – Division Manager, Senior Planner

T: 604-765-6575 | E:

Kevin Brooks_Cropped

Kevin Brooks, BSc, M.Plan., MCIP, RPP – Division Manager, Senior Planner

T: 250-202-9037 | E:

What We Do

Our planning team brings extensive expertise on a variety of planning projects. Our services cover:

Policy Plans

Policy Plans

Our team consistently keeps on top of current trends, using our research and extensive experience with land use and development approvals to write effective and implementable plans, and create land use and zoning bylaws that directly implement policy. Our services include:

  • Municipal Development Plan
  • Area Structure Plan
  • Area Redevelopment Plan
  • Land Use Bylaw / Zoning
Development Approval

Development Approvals

Our comprehensive understanding of provincial planning legislation, along with our experience working with local governments means we can cabaly administer the development approval process on behalf of property owners, builders, and developers. Our planners have extensive experience working with all technical disciplines required to make development projects a reality. Our services include:

  • Subdivision
  • Rezoning
  • Development Permit
  • Road Closure
  • Design Brief


Great communication leads to exceptional planning. Identifying who will be influenced and affected and the associated risks of projects requires careful consideration of the engagement strategies that should be employed. Using many options for participation to ensure a broad spectrum of stakeholders can participate and engage from online engagement tools to face-to-face meetings are central to everything we do. Our services include:

  • Online Public Consultation
  • Workshops
  • Stakeholder Consultation
  • Public Hearing
Banff Ave Sketch Sun

Planning Advice

Our experience working in the local government sector and on development projects gives us the unique perspective of understanding Council priorities and needs with both managing and facilitating growth in a community. We specialize in working with clients to develop strategic plans to identify funding opportunities, and provide decision-making frameworks in support of new initiatives. Our services include:

  • Feasibility Study
  • Zoning Review
  • Appeal Board
  • Land Development

Our Planning page offers a full list of services, including Land Use & Development Approvals, Community Planning & Policy, Public & Stakeholder Engagement, Recreation, Tourism, Strategic Planning, Community Sustainability, and Urban Design.

Demonstrated experience

At McElhanney, our planning work speaks for itself. We’ve worked on a wide variety of projects from Redevelopment Plans, MDP Amendments, and Urban Design Briefs. Here are a few of our favourites:

Municipal Development Plan 2042, High River

Municipal Development Plan 2042

Services Provided: Comprehensive and Inclusive Engagement Plan, Task Force Workshop Facilitation, Extensive GIS Mapping, Personalized illustrations and Content Creation, Technical Reports, Crowdsource Mapping for public feedback, Collaboration with Sector Experts, Highly Readable, Easy to Use and Innovative Layout & Design.

McElhanney is working on a Municipal Development Plan that visualizes the future of High River, AB, from now to 2042. The new Town Plan is an important strategic planning policy document and will provide an opportunity to address concerns like growth and infrastructure, housing, the natural environment, climate change, and community character – all while preparing a planning document that is homegrown, implementable, and measurable.

Spring Creek Mountain Village (SCMV), Canmore, AB

Spring Creek_EDIT

Services Provided: MDP Amendment, Land Use Bylaw Amendment, Area Redevelopment Plan Amendment, Direct Control District, Public Engagement

Spring Creek Mountain Village is a leading, environmentally sustainable, mixed-use development in an infill location in the Bow Valley. McElhanney prepared and led coordination of area Planning and Development applications for statutory plans and Direct Control district to implement this master planned resort community Canmore. It’s the first Built Green certified community in Canada, advancing social, environmental and financial sustainability in the Canmore through technologies such as district heating and providing for employee housing.

3rd Avenue South Development, Canmore, AB

3rd Ave South

Services Provided: MDP Amendment, Land Use Bylaw Amendment, Direct Control District, Public Engagement Website and Material

Working with the owner of a special legacy project for both the family, and a limited compatible opportunity for private dwelling units and a hospice centre for the Palliative Care Society, McElhanney provided leadership and technical advice on a complex planning application. This project proposed a change to the urban growth boundary, habitat areas, and protection of both the Policeman’s Creek and Spring Creek in Canmore.

Urban Infill Development, Edmonton

Rough sketch

Services Provided: Edmonton Design Committee Review, Urban Design Brief, Site Specific Zoning

The project is to support the development of a 6 storey Commercial Storage Facility on Whyte Avenue, Strathcona in Edmonton. McElhanney is providing planning rationale through policy analysis and amendments, urban design brief, and site-specific zoning for consideration by Edmonton Design Committee and City Council.

Mixed Use Development, Dead Man’s Flats

Dead Mans Flats Resize

Services Provided: MDP, ARP and Land Use Bylaw amendments, Road Closure, Conceptual Scheme

The Dead Man’s Flats project is a mixed-use Visitor and Flexible Accommodation included approximately 200 units and main floor commercial development, located on 2nd Avenue in Dead Man’s Flats. McElhanney is leading the planning process including the land use bylaw and policy amendments, and the conceptual scheme required for the development in collaboration with the municipality.

Get Connected

The right people, with experience that matters. Our Canmore branch is ready to get planning. What’s your next project?

Contact information:
Jill Hofer, BA, RUP, MCIP, RPP – Senior Planner

T: 403-812-0871 | E:

get connected

Join our team

McElhanney values hiring and keeping great people, and that goes for the Planning team. There’s never been a better time to join our expanding network of Planning specialists committed to building a better tomorrow. Interested? Apply today