Annexation

Annexation update - January 2023:
At the annexation open house in December 2022, The City indicated that we anticipated having the annexation application prepared for City Council's consideration in February 2023 and filed shortly thereafter with the Land and Property Right Tribunal. The preparation is taking longer than predicted and the timeframe for the annexation application being presented to Red Deer City Council has been delayed to April 2023.

Background:
On June 22, 2021, Council gave direction to administration to prepare a Notice of Intent to Annex for the land north of the Queen’s Industrial Business Park and west of Highway QEII. This small-scale annexation, encompassing approximately 216 hectares, addresses The City’s deficiency in highway fronting commercial land. On February 14, 2022, Red Deer City Council passed a resolution endorsing a Notice of Intent to Annex, therefore supporting for the proposed annexation and directing administration to begin the formal annexation process.

Annexation is used by municipalities to realign jurisdictional boundaries to ensure a sufficient land supply for long-term development. The Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) between The City and Red Deer County recommends The City have within its boundary a 30-to-50-year supply of developable land for growth purposes. Recent data indicates The City has 22 years of developable land available.

Annexation - Notice of Intent (pdf)

What is the area being annexed?

View a full size map of the Hazlett West Lands AnnexationThe land that is being annexed is an area of approximately 216 hectares in size, north of the Queen’s Industrial Business Park and west of Highway QEII (see map below). The land is currently within Red Deer County.

*Map updated August 2022 based on landowner feedback

Conceptual Serviceability Figure (pdf)

Servicing Features: The City of Red Deer must demonstrate how the area can be serviced with water, sewer, storm, and other municipal services as part of its annexation application. These servicing figures generally demonstrate the ability to service these lands in a logical extension of the existing growth patterns in a cost effective, efficient, and coordinated approach.

The detailed design and layout of transportation and infrastructure services will be further refined only in the event of a successful annexation when the area structure plan and servicing study are developed.

Administrative Negotiations - Proposal for Annexation (pdf)

During an annexation, both municipalities must discuss the annexation proposal and negotiate in good faith. A detailed record of these negotiations must be included in The City’s annexation application when it is submitted to the Land and Property Right Tribunal. This report provides a summary of the negotiations and the agreed to items and conditions of annexation. It will form the basis for the Report on Negotiations that will be included in The City’s annexation application. This draft document will need to be endorsed by both City and County Councils before it can be submitted to the Land and Property Right Tribunal.

What are the next steps for annexation?

Once the Annexation Application has been submitted, the Land and Property Right Tribunal (LPRT) will decide whether the annexation requires a hearing based on whether the annexation is contested or supported. If the LPRT decides that a hearing is required, the process typically provides the public and landowners with the opportunity to attend and address the Tribunal, who will subsequently provide a recommendation on the proposed annexation to the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

How do I provide feedback?

Landowner and Public consultation closed on December 18, 2022. Thank you for your contributions. Check this page for future updates.

What will happen with my feedback?

The comments you provided will be included in The City’s Annexation application which will be submitted to the Land and Property Right Tribunal (LPRT). The LPRT is a provincial, quasi-jurisdictional tribunal that makes decisions and recommendations on a variety of matters, including annexation.

How can I find out more information?

Residents interested in finding out more information about this annexation, or who wish to be kept up to date on the progress can email planning@reddeer.ca to be added to a mailing list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is annexation?

Annexation occurs when the boundary of a municipality changes. It is a tool used by municipalities to realign jurisdictional boundaries to ensure a sufficient land supply for long-term development. Annexation is not a change in ownership of the land, simply a change in which municipality has responsibility for that land area.

In terms of The City of Red Deer, annexation would involve changing the border of The City to accommodate land for growth. This means that some areas located within County jurisdiction would be brought under City jurisdiction.

Are annexation and expropriation similar?

No. Expropriation involves a municipality taking over ownership of private land. Annexation, on the other hand, does not involve a change in land ownership; it is only a change in municipal boundaries.

What is the annexation process?

The Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT) outlines the process and ultimately makes a recommendation to the province on the annexation. The process begins when one municipality submits a “Notice of Intent to Annex” to the LPRT. The municipality, The City of Red Deer in this case, must then consult with affected landowners, the public and other stakeholders.

The City must also work with the municipality it wishes to annex land from, which is Red Deer County in this case. Once this is completed, the annexing municipality will submit a report to the LPRT; the LPRT may hold a public hearing, and individuals will be allowed to appear before the LPRT to make comments. The Tribunal then prepares a report for the Minister of Municipal Affairs to consider, and a decision will be made by the provincial government (Order in Council) after considering the Tribunal’s report.

What is the rationale for The City’s growth?

The Intermunicipal Development Plan’s (IDP) land supply formula indicates Red Deer has a 22-year land supply. The IDP recommends The City have within its boundary a 30-to-50-year supply for growth purposes. The areas annexed will be used to accommodate future growth and development.

Why did we choose this area to annex?

The City is deficient in highway fronting commercial land. The City of Red Deer is mostly built-out to its western boundary and the remaining undeveloped lands along this boundary have already been planned for residential and industrial uses through the adoption of area structure plans.

The City is pursuing this small annexation to increase the supply of land fronting onto the Queen Elizabeth II Highway in order to accommodate future commercial development. Commercial development along Highway QEII leverages Red Deer’s central location and contributes to expanding and diversifying Red Deer as an economic hub. This annexation is a precursor for a potential economic development opportunity to attract and retain business investments, create employment opportunities, and expand the local tax base.

Why such a small annexation at this time?

The City of Red Deer’s populations projections and current land supply justify the need for a significantly larger annexation. However, in more recent years, Red Deer’s growth has slowed from the previous years of exceptional growth. This small-scale annexation to only annex lands for which it has an immediate need is cost-effective and efficient. The City will continue to monitor the projected growth rates and land supply and will work with Red Deer County to develop a phased approach to future larger annexations.

How much will it cost to annex this area?

The immediate costs are limited and would start in 2023 and continue if the lands remained undeveloped. However, it’s anticipated that development would begin shortly after annexation and the adoption of the required statutory plans. Therefore, there are anticipated costs in subsequent years of the budget, which will be presented in the 2023-2026 budget for Council’s consideration.

Why is the City annexing land when it has flat population growth and a sufficient commercial land supply?

The City of Red Deer has had a flat growth rate of 0.42% over 5 years (2016-2021). While the City’s population is not growing or shrinking, annexation is preparation for the future. The Provincial Government continues to forecast that most of Alberta’s population growth is to occur in urban centers, particularly along the Highway 2 corridor.

The City of Red Deer has sufficient commercial land supply; however, it does not have lands along the Highway 2 corridor available for highway-fronting commercial. All existing lands in The City along Highway 2 have either been developed or identified for other uses in adopted area structure plans.

What types of businesses will be in the proposed development?

The landowner would like to develop a highway fronting commercial power centre. The best comparison in Alberta for this type of development style would be the South Edmonton Commons.

How will the annexed land be accessed by vehicles; will it be next to Linn Valley?

Access to these lands is only permitted from the Highway 11A and 75 Avenue intersection. Alberta Transportation has confirmed that no direct access to or from Highway 2 will be permitted and that Highway 2 and Highway 11A, including intersection ramps, within the annexation area shall remain under the jurisdiction of Alberta Transportation.

Is Linn Valley included in the Annexation Area?

No, Linn Valley is not in the proposed annexation area and will remain in Red Deer County. Lynn Valley is in The City of Red Deer Growth Area as identified in The Red Deer County and City of Red Deer Intermunicipal Development Plan (2007), but The City does not intend to annex it as part of this annexation.

Will my property taxes change?

Only landowners within the annexation area will be affected by City tax assessment and rate changes. Following annexation, these properties will begin to pay property taxes to The City of Red Deer.

All properties in outside of the annexation area, such as Linn Valley, will continue to be assessed and taxed by Red Deer County.

How will The City mitigate development impacts on nearby properties?

The City has received many questions about the future commercial development proposed for the annexation area. These questions include:

  • Will there be any berms, landscaping, sound wall, or road relocation to reduce the impact of traffic going to the development, specifically to mitigate the impact on the adjacent residents of Linn Valley?
  • Is there a plan to upgrade RR275 to accommodate the added traffic?

These issues will be addressed during the development of an Area Structure Plan, which can only occur after annexation. If the annexation is approved, The City will work with the landowner as they develop an Area Structure Plan and associated servicing study.

A draft Area Structure Plan is typically circulated to the adjacent landowners and must also be submitted to the bordering municipality. During this circulation, concerned citizens can provide input into the plan. City Council’s plan adoption process includes a public hearing where citizens can address Council directly.

The City of Red Deer ensures plans are developed in alignment with the City’s Neighbourhood Planning and Design Standards.

How will development affect wildlife and the existing wetlands and waterbody?

This will be considered during the development of the Area Structure Plan. The plan will be in alignment with The City’s values and regulations as outlined in The City’s Municipal Development Plan and Neighbourhood Planning and Design Standards.

When plans are developed, such lands are preserved where possible, and impacts are mitigated when preservation is not possible. The City of Red Deer complies with all provincial and federal regulations and has great success in protecting wildlife and water quality by preserving tree stands and water bodies and integrating them into our neighbourhoods.

The adopted Hazlet Lake Area Structure Plan is an example that demonstrates The City’s commitment to wildlife and wetlands. This plan preserves the entire wetland adjacent to Hazlett Lake. The regulations and standards that preserved the Hazlett Lake lands would equally apply to the future development of the annexation area.

Will the development of these lands impact the quality and quantity of water from my well?

Future development of these lands will be serviced by The City's piped municipal water system, which draws and treats water from the Red Deer River. There are no anticipated impacts to groundwater wells adjacent to the annexation area.

Will the development impact drainage on adjacent land?

The City will review the developer’s drainage plans. The typical requirement for development is that existing drainage routes need to be maintained pre-and post-development. Approvals for changes to surface water runoff must also be obtained from Alberta Environment and Protected Areas.

Will there be an increase in noise?

Once the area is developed, the noise level is anticipated to be comparable to other urbanized commercial areas within the city. Future development may have the added benefit of blocking some of the noise currently generated by Highway 2 traffic.

The City of Red Deer regulates noise through the Community Standards Bylaw. This bylaw will apply to annexed areas.

Will this increase crime in the area?

Following annexation, the area will be policed by The City or Red Deer’s Municipal Enforcement Officers and RCMP. Once the area is developed, the crime rate is anticipated to be similar to other commercial developments in The City or County.

I live next to the annexation area; how will this affect my property values?

Annexation is only a change in the jurisdictional boundary and may be only one of many factors that influence property values. Annexation is not anticipated to significantly affect the value of adjacent properties.

The Highway 11A and 75 Avenue intersection has issues with people blocking the adjacent intersection, will annexation make this worse?

As more detailed planning for this area progresses and the type of development is better known, a traffic study will be completed to determine any impacts to this intersection. Improvements required resulting from development traffic will be completed by the developer. It is likely that a certain stage of development will trigger improvements.