Summer 2023

Newsletter Archive


Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool (MLUST)

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Rocky View County used MLUST to identify most suitable lands for renewable resource development

This summer, we completed a Municipal Land Use Suitability Tool process with Rocky View County (RVC) and the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) to help RVC identify their most suitable lands for utility-scale renewable resource development. In this rapid (approximately 6 months) process, we engaged with RVC council and staff and asked them to provide scores to value competing land uses (i.e., agricultural, ecological, and cultural). The process of assigning scores to reflect the value of these competing land uses allows participants to see how their values align with their colleagues and discuss areas of divergence. These scores are combined using GIS methods, and areas where no development is possible (i.e., no-go areas defined by provincial and organizational regulation, settlement areas where other development already exists) are removed from the land available for potential renewable development. Importantly, the process provides a concrete framework for evaluating development proposals and can guide the formation of a renewable resource strategy for the County. ORRSC provided RVC with an overview of how MLUST results can be incorporated into different municipal policy documents, and how they can learn from other counties' experiences in the rapidly evolving renewable resource regulation sector. Our project ended with a presentation of our final results and policy recommendations at a Rocky View County Governance Committee meeting. There, the committee unanimously passed a motion to include the MLUST results in the Municipal Development Plan review process and future County policy development. Results of the RVC MLUST process can be found here. We would like to thank Rocky View County for reaching out to us to initiate this process, and for their enthusiastic participation. We would also like to acknowledge ORRSC for providing their depth of knowledge on municipal policy and renewable resource development regulation.