Land Use Planning

Res #: 18-02A
Number: 18
Year: 2002
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations

Resolution 18-02A 

WHEREAS, the Provincial Government has enacted The Planning and Development Act, 1983 (the PDA), which assigns responsibility for land use planning to municipalities; and

WHEREAS, although the Crown is bound by the PDA, the Provincial Government is taking active steps to exempt the Crown from effective land use regulation, by amending the PDA and by exercising the right of Ministerial approval so as to reject bylaws and amendments which might have an impact on Provincial action; and

WHEREAS, the Province has also begun to intervene more extensively in the area of subdivision approval, by imposing conditions upon subdivision over and above those required by the municipality; and

WHEREAS, the Provincial Government has eliminated most forms of planning assistance to municipalities which has resulted in municipal governments having to incur additional cost; and

WHEREAS, the result of the foregoing is that municipalities are ending up bearing ever-increasing costs at the same time as their power to regulate planning matters is being substantially eroded;

1.That SARM ask that the Province affirm its commitment to municipal land use regulation;
2.That SARM request that the Province give force to that commitment by:
(a)   Re-enacting or amending the PDA, so as to remove the existing exceptions to municipal authority;
(b)  Eliminating the practice of using the Minster’s approval power as a means to exempt the Province from land use regulation;
(c)   Setting and publicizing guidelines for the approval of municipal bylaws, with a view to controlling the cost of preparing those bylaws;
(d)   Setting clear guidelines for subdivision requirements such that municipalities can effectively negotiate the conditions of subdivision and developers can avoid having to negotiate separately with the municipality and the province.

Response From the Hon. Ron Osika:

The provincial government must retain the right to intervene in municipal planning where there is a provincial interest.

The department is currently reviewing The Planning and Development Act, 1983. As part of the Legislative review, GR will be considering the removal of ministerial approval for a number of municipal planning processes. The review will also include an examination of the subdivision review process, The Subdivision Regulations, and servicing agreement provisions.

Section 143 of The Planning and Development Act, 1983 sets out the requirements for servicing agreements. A municipality can require a servicing agreement as a condition of subdivision approval. The services that can be included in an agreement are listed in section 143. The agreement is negotiated between the developer and municipality, not by the province. The department will provide information and advice if requested. The review of the servicing agreement provisions will determine the need for any changes, taking into consideration the views of stakeholders, such as the development industry.

The review will include the development of statements of provincial interest to establish a clear framework for municipalities in preparing municipal plans and to guide the province's regulatory and approval processes. Current exemptions will also be reviewed.

Consultation with interest groups will give direction to the department in developing statements of provincial interest and new legislation.

The responsibility and associated cost of preparing planning documents rests with municipalities. The department cannot interfere in local affairs by setting guidelines controlling the cost of preparing plans.