Policies & Plans

Land use planning in Alberta must follow plans at both the Provincial and Municipal levels of government. With the implementation of the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board Interim Growth Management Plan, some planning decisions will be made at the regional level as well. Land use may also be subject to other Federal and Provincial regulations.

The City of Airdrie has put in place policies and plans in order to ensure sustainable growth and development. The contents of these documents contain many factors such as economic, social/cultural and environmental elements that lay the ground work for all development within the city.

There are many types of plans which influence the future of our community. All of these plans need to be consistent with one another, in order for planning processes to run clearly and smoothly.

The planning and development document diagram outlines the order in which land use planning decisions flow through the various planning stages of review. Below is a list of the various planning documents and a brief descriptor on how they impact planning decisions.


Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) sets out the legal basis for regional planning in Alberta. The ALSA mandates that all local government bodies’ regulatory instruments must be in compliance with the applicable regional plans.
Land Use Framework (LUF) The Land-use Framework sets out the Province's approach to manage public and private lands and natural resources to achieve Alberta's long-term economic, environmental and social goals. The Land Use Framework establishes seven broad land-use planning regions within the Province. The City of Airdrie falls within the South Saskatchewan Region.
South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP)

The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) addresses economic, environmental and social objectives in land use planning at the regional level. The City of Airdrie is required to demonstrate alignment with the provisions of the SSRP in all of its planning documents.

Alberta Municipal Government Act (MGA)

The Alberta Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the Provincial legislation that empowers municipalities to govern the development of lands within their boundaries. The MGA outlines requirements for all statutory plans and processes related to planning in the city.

Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board (CBRB) Interim Growth Plan

The Interim Growth Plan, created by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board provides planning direction and guidance on certain areas of regional significance related to population and employment growth, land-use, infrastructure, and services. Any statutory plan passed or amended by member municipalities after January 1, 2018 shall conform with the Interim Growth Plan.

Intermunicipal Development Plan

The Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP), was approved by both Rocky View County and the City of Airdrie in 2001, outlines a coordinated and cooperative framework for managing the use and development of lands adjacent to the boundary of Airdrie and Rocky View County.

Municipal Development Plan (Airdrie City Plan)

The Airdrie City Plan, adopted in 2014, is the City’s MDP and provides policy direction to guide the city’s growth. Policy areas include: growth management; environmental sustainability, fiscal sustainability, economic prosperity, community design and development, sustainable transportation, parks, pathways & municipal reserve, educational facilities, infrastructure services, community & recreation facilities, and implementation.

Area Structure Plan (ASP)

ASPs are mainly used to provide general use of land, transportation and servicing framework for areas undergoing new development. They usually cover a land area between 160 acres (quarter-section) to 640 acres (full section of land). They must describe (per MGA):
  • Sequence of development proposed for the area;
  • Land uses proposed for the area;
  • Population proposed for the area; and
  • General location of major transportation routes and public utilities

Within the City of Airdrie the development of greenfield lands may require two statutory area structure plans: Community Area Structure Plans (CASP), and Neighbourhood Area Structure Plans (NSP), each providing a different level of detail.

Community Area Structure Plan (CASP)

A CASP is required prior to the redesignation of rural, greenfield and/or urban holding lands for large-scale urban development. The CASP provides a general use of land, transportation and utilities concept.

Neighbourhood Structure Plan (NSP)

A NSP is required for all residential developments contained within a CASP and usually covers an area of approximately 160 acres. The NSP addresses similar elements as the CASP but in greater detail. The NSP is a more descriptive and detailed plan showing local street networks; the location of schools, parks and pathways; the distribution of housing types; architectural themes; and the form of commercial &/or industrial activity contemplated for the site.

Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP)

An ARP is a statutory plan that establishes policies and procedures that guide development proposals, subdivision, land use changes and infrastructure investments in an established community or neighbourhood. Airdrie has three Area Redevelopment Plans:

  • Airdrie Downtown Plan
  • Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan
  • Village Redevelopment Plan
Growth Management Plan – 12 Thousand Acres Plan (12K Plan)

The 12 Thousand Acres Plan (12K Plan) is considered the City’s Growth Management Plan and is a non-statutory document intended to guide Council’s decision making on future development within the annexation lands. The 12K Plan lays the groundwork for how development will happen within the areas annexed by the City in 2012 and:

  • outlines future Community Area Structure Plan (CASP) boundaries;
  • includes anticipated sequencing for when new development areas can come online;
  • provides general direction on land uses for the annexed area, and;
  • outlines what will be allowed for interim land uses before new areas are developed.
Master Plan & Policies

There are a number of plans and studies completed and / or commissioned by the City of Airdrie that are used to manage the city’s growth. These include:

Council Strategic Plan

Council strategic plan lays out Council’s key priorities for the next four years and is implemented by Council through the approval of policy, corporate business plans, budgets, and projects brought forward by departments.

Sustainability Plan (AirdrieONE)

The AirdrieONE Plan describes the community’s vision for a sustainable future and proposes goals, objectives, targets and strategies to achieve that vision. The plan provides objectives and strategies for developing on-the-ground actions, so that Airdrie can continue to thrive over the long term. Implementation of AirdrieOne occur through many of the City’s existing mechanisms, including budgets, plan development, regulations, policies and programs.

Land Use Bylaw (LUB)

Specific control over land use is provided through the LUB. The Land Use Bylaw divides the city in land use / zoning districts and establishes regulations and standards governing land use and development in each district. Within each district there are established permitted, discretionary and prohibited uses. Each district also includes "development standards" that govern the manner in which development is to take place.

The LUB dictates and governs land use compatibility through the land use districting / zoning application process; density and lot sizing through the subdivision application process; and use of land through the development application process.

Design Guidelines, Studies & Supporting Documents In addition to the Council approved Master Plans and Policies there are other non-statutory planning documents that may influence decision making. These types of planning documents are also supported by public consultation, evidence and best practices.
Master Site Plan

A Master Site Plan is prepreaed to support the development of a Mixed-Use, Commercial, Industrial, large

Residential sites, or other large sites requiring comprehensive planning and site design.



Links to the City of Airdrie plans are listed to the right of this web page.



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Planning & Development

P. 403.948.8848

F. 403.948.6567


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Sep 30, 2021: