Land Use Bylaw

The Land Use Bylaw is the key tool used to regulate and control the use and development of all land and buildings in the Town of Ponoka. It governs the development permit approval process and all land use redesignation applications. It is adopted by Council and can only be amended by Council.

Land Use Bylaw
Land Use Districts Map (Schedule C)
Land Use Bylaw & Plan Amendment Application Form


Land Use Bylaw (LUB) Review – Public Hearing for Proposed LUB

The Town of Ponoka has recently completed a review and update of the Land Use Bylaw (LUB). A proposed LUB is now before Town Council for its consideration.

Council will host a Public Hearing for Bylaw No. 453-21, which will adopt the proposed LUB, on May 11, 2021, at 7 p.m. during the regular Council meeting that evening. The meeting will be held electronically. Anyone who wishes to address Council at the Public Hearing must register by phoning the Town Office (403-783-4431) before 12 p.m. on May 11.

Once you register, you will have two options for joining the meeting: by telephone or by using an online audio link provided to you by the Town Office.

A copy of the Notice of the Public Hearing can be accessed here: Notice of Public Hearing

A copy of Bylaw No. 453-21 can be accessed here: Bylaw 453-21 - to Adopt the Land Use Bylaw


 A copy of the proposed LUB (which is Schedule A of Bylaw No. 453-21) can be accessed here: Ponoka Land Use Bylaw 453-21 and Land Use District Map


What is the Land Use Bylaw?

The Land Use Bylaw (LUB) regulates and controls use and development of land and buildings in the Town of Ponoka. It establishes land use districts that are assigned to various properties and identifies the allowable uses for the lands and their development standards. This ensures a level of certainty in regards to landowners’ rights to develop their lands, as well for adjacent landowners to know what could be developed on neighbouring lands.

Within the land use districts the allowable uses are divided between Permitted Uses and Discretionary Uses. Permitted Uses are those uses that we are most comfortable with, and if an application meets all of the requirements of the LUB a development permit approval is guaranteed. Discretionary Uses are those uses that require more scrutiny when an application is made. The Development Authority has the discretion to approve or refuse an application, which means that even if an application meets all the applicable regulations it can still be refused.

In addition to outlining the allowable uses and development regulations for each land use district, the LUB also outlines the requirements for development permit applications and their processing, enforcement of the LUB, amending the land use bylaw and establishing regulations for uses that appear across multiple land use districts.

Summary of Proposed Changes

The proposed Land Use Bylaw (LUB) provides more detailed guidance to landowners in the community as to the regulations around a greater variety of uses and developments, as well as the Development Permit approval process.

Much of the text being proposed within these sections is new, with the intent of providing more clarity and direction for users in the interpretation of the regulations. In addition, many of the sections have been reordered to allow for better flow and understanding of the text. Topics that covered within Part One include:

  • Text to help interpret the LUB;
  • Administrative definitions to help in interpreting the LUB;
  • Who the Development Authority is and what powers they have;
  • What a development permit application is and what it must contain;
  • How development permits are processed, decided upon, conditions that can be attached and notifications;
  • How the LUB can be amended; and
  • Contravention and enforcement processes.

Part Two of the proposed LUB contains development regulations for a variety of uses and situations which can occur across the Town within many different Land Use Districts. These regulations cover topics such as accessory buildings, fences, landscaping, parking requirements, signs, home occupations, secondary suites, and manufactured homes. The proposed text for this section has expanded greatly from the existing Land Use Bylaw, with the intent of providing more guidance by covering more uses and developments that have become more prominent since the existing Land Use Bylaw was adopted.

If you would like to view the proposed changes for Home Occupations, Secondary Suites, Shipping Containers, or Soft-Sided and Temporary Buildings, please see the documents below.

Home Occupations - Summary of Changes

Secondary Suites - Summary of Changes

Shipping Containers - Summary of Changes

Soft-Sided and Temporary Buildings - Summary of Changes

Part Three of the proposed LUB contains the Land Use Districts, which serve to divide the Town into different districts that determine the allowable uses and their development standards. Within each district the allowable uses are divided into permitted and discretionary uses, and determine the minimum required yards, building sizes and the minimum parcel size requirements. The proposed text for this section is intended to make each district more concise and to maintain consistent regulations within residential districts, commercial districts, and industrial districts. Minimum required yards have been updated to round numbers and to be consistent within each district.

Land Use District Map

Changes have also been proposed to the Land Use District Map, the two main changes are:

  • All of the parcels of land that are currently designated Direct Control District (DC) have been assigned new Land Use Districts. The DC District does not have any prescribed uses or development standards. Assigning these parcels new Land Use District designations with allowable uses and development standards, the landowners have greater certainty regarding the types of developments they can undertake, as well what may occur on the parcel for neighbouring property owners. To see what the proposed new Land Use Districts are for these lands, the link below contains the Land Use District Map with the subject properties outlined in black.

           Land Use District Map - Direct Control District Changes

  • Low Density Residential – Compact Lot District (R1-C), the R1-C District is the former Narrow Lot Residential R1A District and has been renamed to more accurately describe the nature of the District. In addition the former Low Density – Medium Lot Residential (R1B) District has been consolidated with the new R1-C District. For property owners of currently designated R1A parcels, the only change is the name of the Land Use District. For property owners of currently designated R1B parcels, their properties will have a new land use designation.  To see the areas that are changing from R1B to R1-C please see the map link below, which shows in black outline the parcels that are affected.

           Land Use District Map - R1-C District

How Can You Participate?

You are invited to review the proposed LUB, and the links containing summaries of changes on certain topics, and send in comments prior to May 6, 2021. Comments received will be presented to Council during the Public Hearing on Bylaw No. 453-21.

You are also invited to participate in the Public Hearing on May 11, 2021 at 7 p.m. and make a short presentation to Council.

Questions, More Information or Comments to Share?

For further information or to share your comments, please contact:

Natasha Wright, Planner, Parkland Community Planning Services
Phone: 403-343-3394
Mail: Unit B 4730 Ross Street, Red Deer AB, T4N 1X2