Rocky View County ARP

The Rocky View County ARP (Aggregate Resource Plan) development is a balanced plan that addresses land use management issues related to aggregate operations in the area. After receiving a wide range of feedback, there are now 2 draft plans of the ARP. Continue reading below to learn more.
ASGA

ASGA member sign in

Become a member

Background

In Alberta, sand and gravel are considered non-renewable resources and are preserved and protected by provincial policy direction and guided by Provincial Land Use Policies (1996), the Alberta Land Use Framework (2008) and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (2014). Rocky View County (RVC) has advanced this Provincial direction through consideration of proactive aggregate resource planning and policy development as part of the Reeves Task Force on Growth Planning (2011) and the completion of the County Plan (2013). Collectively, the provincial and municipal policy direction stemming from these documents has served as the starting point for the development and completion of the County Aggregate Resource Plan (ARP). 

Beginning in 2016, RVC Council began the official process of developing an ARP for the County. The purpose of the ARP is to:

Set policies, standards and requirements for aggregate extraction and processing development in RVC; 
Guide the assessment of land use and development permit applications; 
Identify different local conditions throughout the County, and; 
Balance the needs of residents, industry and society.

From the outset of ARP development, RVC has engaged the public, including industry representatives, to build a balanced plan that addresses land use management issues related to aggregate operations.

RVC has gathered and considered a range of feedback following two rounds of public engagement and has developed two (2) drafts of the ARP. To view the latest draft and learn about past engagement activities, please click here.

RVC intends to bring the final ARP to RVC Council for their review in the fall of 2018.


Our Position

The ASGA applauds RVC's efforts to-date on the ARP initiative. RVC has stated its intent is to develop a fair ARP that balances the perspectives of industry and landowners and the ASGA agrees with this approach.

Based on a comprehensive review of the latest draft, the ASGA believes there are several aspects of the current ARP that should be amended to better ensure the responsible and safe development of aggregate in RVC that balances the needs of all parties. With key amendments that focus on application submission requirements and operational performance standards, the ARP may be fully supported by ASGA.

The ASGA encourages RVC to consider the following items prior to finalizing the ARP:


The ASGA supports clear parameters related to planning application submission requirements and performance standards as proposed within the ARP and believes that proactive planning for surficial development and aggregate resources focused on impact identification, mitigation and adherence to performance standards is the best path forward.


Potential impacts caused by aggregate operations should be defined by impact studies and mitigation techniques, and managed and monitored by performance standards, not artificial setbacks as currently proposed within the ARP.


Setbacks set a physical distance between an aggregate operation and a specified receptor and are not an effective planning tool to address potential impacts caused by industry operations.

The ASGA believes in a proactive approach to managing surficial development and aggregate resources focused on performance standards and the implementation of hard and soft mitigation measures to ensure compliance.


Sand and Gravel is highly regulated in the province of Alberta. Permits and authorizations are required from multiple agencies such as Alberta Environment, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Culture, and Occupation Health and Safety. Municipal gravel policies should not seek to duplicate this existing framework oversight and reporting. Rather, it should work to fill in and enhance those items not already addressed by others.


Municipal planning needs to recognize that one size does not fit all approach to planning. While performance standards should remain clear and unchanging, site assessment and planning should recognize the risks and local context of individual sites. Discretion is needed to ensure that smaller more remote locations are not made uneconomic by unnecessary levels of review and study which may be warranted for closer to market developments.


Gravel development should be provided with equitable treatment to other forms of development. The ASGA is strongly opposed to municipal development policies which only apply to gravel pits but not other forms of development. This can include development setbacks, environmental constraints, and even standards such as noise and dust control.


The ASGA believes that any municipality should make the commitment to follow the same rules and policies that it expects from private industry.


To learn more about our position on the ARP and the importance of aggregate in your community, please refer to our submissions to RVC throughout the ARP engagement process.


Updates

Listed below are updates related to RVC's ARP process. Check back often to see what's new.

June 2018: ASGA appears at PPC

June 2018: ASGA Launches Communications Campaign

May 2018: Council Direction Requested

April 2018: ASGA reviews and provides comment on ARP

March 2018: ASGA Representatives Attend Open Houses

February 2018: Rocky View County Releases Draft ARP

Aggregate Facts

15,000 tonnes of aggregate is required to build an average size school or hospital.