PROJECT OVERVIEW

The City of Calgary submitted a Notice of Intent to Annex to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal to initiate the process of annexation. The proposed annexation area is approximately 415 acres of land and part of the long-term growth area for Calgary, which is outlined in the 2017 Foothills County – City of Calgary Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP). The IDP identifies specific areas for future growth for both municipalities and includes policies for annexation.

In June 2022, notification letters about this project were sent to Foothills landowners within and nearby the proposed annexation area.

PROPOSED ANNEXATION MAP

Foothills Annexation Boundary Map

Image showing the proposed area for annexation.

PROJECT INFORMATION

WHAT IS ANNEXATION?

ANNEXATION IN A NUTSHELL

The annexation process is provincially legislated under the Municipal Government Act and regulated through the Land and Property Rights Tribunal.

The annexation process involves negotiations between local governments, public engagement with property owners, a formal review by the Land and Property Rights Tribunal, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The Minister of Municipal Affairs brings forward the annexation orders to Cabinet. If approved or approved in part, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta signs the order. Further details about the annexation process can be found on the Land and Property Rights Tribunal website.

The City views the proposed annexation as an opportunity to further explore intermunicipal cooperation and build upon our cooperative working relationship with Foothills County.

CITY COUNCIL DIRECTION

In March 2021, Calgary Council directed the City of Calgary to proceed with annexation. This follows a 2018 Notice of Motion requesting that the City of Calgary investigate the potential to annex the proposed land area. These lands have been identified as a City of Calgary growth area in our mutually agreed upon Intermunicipal Development Plan with Foothills County.

The City of Calgary can accommodate these lands into a future urban-scaled development and is able to extend its services into the proposed area. However, further technical studies, like an environmental land assessment, population density analysis and capacity evaluation of the existing infrastructure needs to be conducted. Lands proposed for annexation will be evaluated for their technical and strategic merits and to inform the drafting of an annexation agreement between the municipalities. If the committee is successful in their negotiations, the draft annexation agreement would be forwarded to the respective Councils for consideration.

PROJECT TIMELINE

Anticipated timeline of Foothills Annexation project
  • Phase 1 commences the formal annexation negotiation process and sets up the committee proceedings with elected representative members from each municipality.
  • Phase 2 focuses on confirming the annexation area. Negotiations begin in this phase supported by technical studies, and public and landowner consultation.
  • Phase 3 focuses on discussion of annexation provisions such as taxation, assessment and compensation provisions, etc. This is supported by further analysis and public consultation.
  • In Phase 4 the Committee concludes its work by completing the draft annexation agreement and finalizing their decision. If the committee is successful in their negotiations, the draft annexation agreement would be forwarded to the respective Councils for consideration. The outcomes of this process and next steps will be shared with the public.

Misconceptions about Annexation

Annexation can be a misunderstood process. The below list highlights terminology that does not describe the annexation negotiation process.

  • Land purchasing: The City is not purchasing or owning the parcels within the proposed annexation area. Annexation changes which municipality governs the area, but it does not change ownership rights.
  • Land development: Annexation is not the same as land development. Annexation intends to accommodate growth and change over time, under the policies and growth areas identified in the Intermunicipal Development Plan. Land development is a longer-term outcome that is established through an Area Structure Plan, which strategically plans servicing in an area.
  • Amalgamation: Amalgamation is where two or more municipalities, with shared boundaries, join to become one municipality. An example of an amalgamation is the merging of Black Diamond and Turner Valley. The City and Foothills County continue to operate as separate municipalities.
  • Expropriation: Expropriation is where a municipality takes ownership of land that was previously held by landowners. The City is proposing annexation, not expropriation. Landowners will continue to be owners of their parcels through the annexation process.

PROJECT MATERIALS

CITY OF CALGARY COMMITMENT

We’re committed to fully engaging the public and impacted landowners and it’s important for us to maintain clear and transparent communications as we undergo this process. For specific questions about this project, please email us at foothillsannexation@calgary.ca.

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