Request of Exemption for Ministerial Approval Regarding Changes to Zoning Bylaws

Res #: 17-21A
Number: 17
Year: 2021
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS urban and northern municipalities have had the requirement for Ministerial Approval with respect to any amendments of existing Zoning Bylaws waived; and
WHEREAS urban and northern municipalities do not have to undergo the cost and timing for development and review that rural municipalities must undergo; and
WHEREAS rural municipalities hire capable staff equal to those that urban and northern municipalities hire, and rural municipal Councillors and Reeves are as capable as the urban and northern councillors and Mayors to review and pass changes to the Zoning Bylaw.
BE IT RESOLVED SARM request the Minister of Government Relations waive the requirement of Ministerial Approval to existing Zoning Bylaws for rural municipalities except for amendments that are directed by the Minister.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

April 23, 2021

  • Most development in rural municipalities occurs on land that is being developed for the first time. The amount of land proposed for development typically covers a large area. Services, like water and utilities, generally need to be installed to support the development. Previously undeveloped land also needs to be assessed for suitability, which includes legal and physical access, potential for flooding or land sliding, site characteristics, and proximity to potentially incompatible uses.
  • Most development in urban areas occurs on land that has been previously developed or is adjacent to already developed land. The amount of land proposed for development typically covers a small area. Services generally exist, but may need to be extended or enhanced to support the development. Land in and adjacent to urban areas has typically been assessed as suitable for development.
  • Ministerial approval of rural municipal zoning bylaw amendments is not based on staff capabilities of a rural municipality but rather the impact on the use of land and development.
  • Rural municipalities and the provincial government collaborate on numerous environmental and economic development matters to advance growth of rural areas with major investment in resource development and agricultural value added industries.
    • Formal review and approval of rural municipal zoning bylaw amendments helps to increase consistency in rural bylaws. The review also helps the ministry coordinate the bylaw amendment with processing a related subdivision application.
      • The purpose of the referral process is to identify and ensure full consideration of provincial interests including the legal Duty to Consult.
      • As outlined in the regulations, the province has an interest in:
        • Agriculture and value-added agribusiness, including intensive livestock operations;
        • Mineral resource exploration and development, including oil, gas and other natural resources;
        • Sand and gravel extraction; and
        • Economic growth .
      • These provincial interests directly impact the provincial economy.
    • Approval of rural zoning bylaw amendments is necessary to ensure the provincial priorities and advance the goals outlined in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan.

    Hon. Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations