A new framework agreement between Leduc County and the City of Edmonton has led to a proposed smaller area to be annexed from the county.
“Our agreement demonstrates that a collaborative planning approach is achievable and necessary if we want to leverage our collective competitive advantage. Today, Leduc County and the City of Edmonton are leaders in demonstrating what collaboration can look like into the future for the benefit of the region,” said Mayor John Whaley in a Nov. 30 press statement.
Under the new agreement the county and city agree to the following:The City of Edmonton amend its west annexation notice by withdrawing the lands west of the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and south of Highway 19, reducing the proposed west annexation area by 2,584 hectares (6,379 acres) to approximately 9,469 hectares (23,398 acres).
Leduc County will retain the north Nisku industrial area and the reservoir (previously part of the east annexation notice), reducing the east annexation area from 3,945 hectares (9,748 acres) to approximately 2,632 hectares (6,504 acres).
Unless mutually agreed, the City of Edmonton’s boundary will not shift again into Leduc County until joint planning for that area has been completed.
The inclusion of EIA lands in the annexation will be determined over the next several months through a collaborative exercise between Leduc County, the City of Edmonton and the EIA.
“This agreement demonstrates that a collaborative approach is a better way to support future economic growth and livable communities. We all have high aspirations for the region. This acknowledges both Edmonton and Leduc County’s commitment to balance growth needs while still reducing the region’s overall need for land.” said City of Edmonton mayor Don Iveson.
City of Leduc mayor Greg Krischke also commented on the new agreement. “We are pleased to hear that Leduc County and City of Edmonton have announced a framework agreement, and applaud that there is regional collaboration by all partners, including the City of Leduc, as we move forward … Regional partnerships aren’t about winners or losers, but about the betterment and long-term sustainability of the region. The focus should always be on the interests of the taxpayer and the future-planning benefits for all involved.”
In an interview with the Pipestone Flyer, Whaley said for the past year and the half the county and city have been in talks, trying to better understand each others position. “What’s the compromise? That’s when the discussion got more serious.”
Whaley added this new framework agreement relates to other policies and practices of the county, including its agricultural strategy, which was passed earlier this year, and its Municipal Development Plan update.
“We need to start asking ourselves, ‘Okay, as a region, we’ve got to stop sprawling across open fields’,” said Whaley. Agriculture as a land use is a message of both the Capital Region Board and the Metro Mayors Alliance; agricultural land as a resource needs to be protected for future generation, says Whaley.