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Town of High River New Land Use Bylaw

Ongoing | High River, AB

The Town of High River, Alberta, had an outdated set of bylaws which dated back to 1980. McElhanney was retained to re-write the Town’s Land Use Bylaw based entirely on walkability; the first of its kind in Alberta.

The new Land Use Bylaw is a form-based code, based on the transect model, and represents a significant departure from traditional land use bylaws. In addition to translating the new Town policies for downtown renewal after the devastating 2013 flood, the bylaw integrates the Town’s progressive Smart Growth principles to promote urban design and a more walkable environment. Specifically, the bylaw provides new districts (zones) for the town based on a mixed-use philosophy.

In the design of the new bylaw, McElhanney took an innovative approach in deregulating parking requirements with parking maximums instead of parking minimums that support creative development opportunities. Parking deregulation, in addition to building orientation, siting, and design, are focused on the pedestrian experience.

McElhanney is also creating the Town’s first publicly available GIS map which will allow the bylaw to be available via the web. This GIS mapping is a unique feature of land use bylaws in Canada and will make the bylaw more accessible to the public.

The project earned a 2018 Award of Merit from the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and a 2018 Award of Merit from the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI).


Town of High River

Town of High River