Promotion of Development in Rural Areas

Res #: 41-12A
Number: 41
Year: 2012
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs

WHEREAS both urban and rural municipalities have a legislated right to exist as distinct entities; and

WHEREAS rural entities can be taken less seriously because their “political capital” is small compared to urban centres; and

WHEREAS many businesses prefer to develop within rural municipalities instead of urban centres;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to promote equitable, sustainable development in rural municipalities near urban centres.

Response from Honourable Darryl Hickie, Minister of Municipal Affairs:

Saskatchewan is committed to supporting sustainable growth throughout the province in rural, urban, and northern municipalities. In pursuing the provincial interest in sustainable development, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs supports both rural and urban development.

From April 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012 approximately 73 percent of new lots approved by the Ministry were in rural municipalities. During this time, the Ministry approved 809 applications in rural municipalities for 2,227 new lots and 195 applications in urban municipalities for 809 new lots. Since March 1, 2007, approximately 60 percent of all new lots approved by the Ministry were in rural municipalities as the Ministry approved 5,008 applications in rural municipalities for 13,897 new lots and 1,286 applications in urban municipalities for 9,031 new lots.

In order to support sustainable development near urban centres or regions, it is essential to have appropriate infrastructure at appropriate locations. In order to make development and the supporting infrastructure as efficient as possible, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs promotes cooperative and regional planning approaches between rural and urban municipalities.

The Ministry supports regional planning through the creation of planning districts for rural and urban municipalities in order to collaborate on local and regional development matters. Funding has been provided through the Planning for Growth Program to:

• Facilitate regional planning to support the coordination of infrastructure and land use to accommodate growth;
• Demonstrate best practices for planning including processes, methodologies or planning models;
• Build municipal and professional planning capacity in municipalities and regions; and
• Build and enhance relationships required to support regional planning initiatives.

Rural and urban municipalities working together on planning bylaws, infrastructure and mutually respectful inter-municipal district agreements will help achieve equitable and sustainable new development opportunities.