When making decisions about land use in Cochrane, Council considers the well-being and long-term interests of the community, and also ensures the proposed development aligns with provincial legislation, statutory documents, bylaws and policies.
For example, a resident who wants to add a garage to their property must first apply for a Development Permit. The Development Permit must meet requirements outlined in the Land Use Bylaw. The rules in the Land Use Bylaw are established by Council’s vision described in the Municipal Development Plan, which in turn adheres to regulations in the Municipal Government Act.
Every homeowner or business owner in Cochrane is impacted by the Land Use Bylaw (LUB), even if they don’t know it. Before their building was built or before their neighbourhood was developed, the Land Use Bylaw established rules to govern what could be built where and for what purpose. The Land Use Bylaw is the most specific and often the most powerful tool in the hierarchy of planning documents. It is used to implement the community’s shared vision for development in Cochrane.
Municipalities in Alberta are required by the provincial government to have a Municipal Development Plan (MDP) in place to describe land uses, coordinate land uses and future growth patterns with adjacent municipalities, provide for municipal and school reserves and transportation systems, and guide future development.
The Cochrane Planning Commission (CPC) acts as a subdivision authority or development authority for the Town, CPC consists of five public-at-large members and two Town Councillors appointed annually by Town Council.
The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) is a quasi-judicial board that hears and determines appeals to decisions of a Town subdivision authority or development authority. SDAB consists of four public-at-large members and two Town Councillors appointed annually by Town Council.