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Grande Prairie 
 Photo courtesy of Lindsey Juniper

The City of Grande Prairie is moving towards a watershed/landscape approach to planning for sustainable growth. Preserving the natural environment is a guiding principle of the City’s 2010 Municipal Development Plan. Collecting information on environmental assets is the first step to being able to analyze the importance of environmental features and develop plans that help protect them.

The City hired a team of consultants to:

Phase 1. Map and evaluate wetlands, riparian zones and other natural features within the City boundaries and in the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) area. This was done via on-screen digitizing of features from orthoimagery. Wetlands were classified using the Ducks Unlimited standard wetland classification system.

Phase 2. Evaluate wetland and riparian quantity and quality to inform priority conservation areas. Conservation recommendations are based on natural patch size, landscape connectivity locally and regionally, and degree of hydrologic function. O2 mapped these indicators and overlayed them into an overall average score that provides an indication of environmental significance.

Phase 3. Provide science based setbacks from Bear Creek and other significant wetlands and water bodies. These setbacks provide a balance between development needs and environmental protection.

Presentation of Draft Final Report

Our team of consultants came to the Monday, September 10, 2012 Environment Committee Meeting to present their draft final report. Council accepted the Riparian Setback Matrix Model at their Meeting on September 17, 2012. 

What's next?

Phase 4. In the summer of 2013 work will be conducted - within the existing City boundary - to assess the health of riparian areas and wetlands, and ground truth the designations of Environmentally Significant Areas indicated in phase two of the project. Cows and Fish will perform the field work for the project, in collaboration with O2 Planning and Design.

Administration will come forward with joint policy amendments to the Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw. These are statutory plans and amendments to all statutory plans require a public hearing advertised in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Input will be sought from various groups prior to bringing the amendment forward to public hearing.
 

Report

Download the full report ( 80MB, pdf)
Read the report online (requires flash)
2013 Riparian Health Summary Report No 41 (25MB, pdf)

What are Setbacks?

 Setbacks are a land use tool used to protect both the private and public from harm and nuisance.

A few setbacks to keep in mind:
1. Riparian
2. Floodplain
3. Geotechnical/Safety 

Last updated: 4/16/2014 1:35:29 PM