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Making Space for the New Family Farm CPAA Conference April 12, 2010 MPS Municipal Planning Services(2009) Ltd.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Space for the New Family Farm CPAA Conference April 12, 2010 MPS Municipal Planning Services(2009) Ltd."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Space for the New Family Farm CPAA Conference April 12, 2010 MPS Municipal Planning Services(2009) Ltd.

2 Provide assistance to municipalities in preparing statutory planning documents, master planning documents and Land Use Bylaws Provide assistance to municipalities in preparing statutory planning documents, master planning documents and Land Use Bylaws Provide assistance to our client municipalities in the assessment of land development proposals, including both individual site developments and subdivisions Provide assistance to our client municipalities in the assessment of land development proposals, including both individual site developments and subdivisions

3 Overview 1. Framing the Conversation 2.Offensive vs. Defensive Strategy Debate 3.The Way Forward: Reframing the Conversation 4.Case Study: Smoky Lake County

4 Framing the Conversation How do we implement best planning practices for minimizing the fragmentation of agricultural land without negatively impacting agricultural communities?

5 The Future of Agriculture -Toma and Boma The Fiscal Implications of Land Use - Greenaway and Sanders Base line data relating to growth in these areas and recommendations for mitigating some of the negative impacts associated with urban residential and country residential growth on or near agricultural areas. Framing the Conversation

6 The basic underlying assumptions in the corridor area agriculture reports do not reflect the current realities facing rural areas with the following characteristics: The basic underlying assumptions in the corridor area agriculture reports do not reflect the current realities facing rural areas with the following characteristics: Not adjacent to a large or medium urban area and/or; Not adjacent to a large or medium urban area and/or; Agriculture (the business of growing crops and raising animals) has been the major economic driver; and Agriculture (the business of growing crops and raising animals) has been the major economic driver; and Farmland isnt disappearing rapidly, instead it is the farmers who are disappearing. Farmland isnt disappearing rapidly, instead it is the farmers who are disappearing.

7 Framing the Conversation CO- SMOK CO- FLAG CO- THOR CO- WHEAT CO- STRATHMD-ROCK CO-RED DEER 2006 POP. 3,3673,5063,0428,16482,51134,17119,108 CHANGE-24% -5%-2.50%3.5%14.6%14.9%3.3% KM to large urban 116km83 km86 km0 km FARMS UNDER 129 ac. 8.03%7.66%9.25%22.38%48.32%32.92%19.27%

8 Framing the Conversation Common planning assumptions and regulations that target reducing the fragmentation of agricultural land: Common planning assumptions and regulations that target reducing the fragmentation of agricultural land: Limiting the amount of subdividable land from a quarter section for agricultural and country residential uses in Agricultural Use areas; and/or Limiting the amount of subdividable land from a quarter section for agricultural and country residential uses in Agricultural Use areas; and/or Restricting the number of agricultural and country residential parcels which may be subdivided per quarter section in an Agricultural Use Area Restricting the number of agricultural and country residential parcels which may be subdivided per quarter section in an Agricultural Use Area

9 Framing the Conversation MunicipalityTotal No. of Titles per Quarter* Min. Farm Size80 ac. SplitsNo. of Resl parcels Max Vacant Resl Parcel Size Athabasca4½ quarterYes23 ac. Barrhead2½ quarterYes110 ac. Flagstaff2 or 3 (plus fragments) quarter**No13 ac. Lamont2 or 3quarter**No1 or 23 ac Smoky Lake4½ quarterYes210 ac St. Paul4½ quarterYes23 ac Thorhild4½ quarterYes210 ac Two Hills4½ quarterYes210 ac Vermillion River4quarter**No35 ac Wainwright3quarter**No15 ac Westlock4½ quarterYes25 ac

10 Framing the Conversation Successfully limit subdivision and fragmentation Successfully limit subdivision and fragmentation May also: May also: Discourage community and rural economic growth by making it difficult for adult children from farm families to move home Discourage community and rural economic growth by making it difficult for adult children from farm families to move home Discourage small-scale farming activities that encourage food security, and Discourage small-scale farming activities that encourage food security, and Undervalue or under-emphasize other rural industries that are important to the prosperity of rural areas (forestry, resource extraction) Undervalue or under-emphasize other rural industries that are important to the prosperity of rural areas (forestry, resource extraction)

11 Offensive vs. Defensive Debate Common arguments against preservation oriented agriculture policies and regulations Who are we protecting agricultural land for? Who are we protecting agricultural land for? a.Local Farmer b.Local Food Security c.Rural Lifestyle d.Urban Expansion e.Working Landscapes e.Working Landscapes f.All of the above

12 Offensive vs. Defensive Debate Argument for preservation- oriented agriculture policies and regulations Fragmentation of land jeopardizes working landscapes and can create conflicts between incompatible land uses Fragmentation of land jeopardizes working landscapes and can create conflicts between incompatible land uses

13 Reframing the Conversation SWITCH SWITCH From talking about preserving agricultural land (objectifying land) to talking about offensive and defensive strategies for managing land and the dynamic and interconnected systems within agricultural areas

14 Case Study: Smoky Lake County Vicious Circle: Focusing on residential parcel size and density was getting us nowhere and directing our attention away from achieving our goals. Vicious Circle: Focusing on residential parcel size and density was getting us nowhere and directing our attention away from achieving our goals. Back to the drawing board: Re- evaluating our guiding principles and goals Back to the drawing board: Re- evaluating our guiding principles and goals

15 Case Study: Smoky Lake County 25% population decrease 25% population decrease Does not contain a large or medium urban centre Does not contain a large or medium urban centre North Saskatchewan River North Saskatchewan River Beautiful Lakes, poor soils Beautiful Lakes, poor soils National and provincially recognized heritage sites National and provincially recognized heritage sites Unique ecological assets Unique ecological assets

16 Case Study: Smoky Lake County Assumptions & Values that we agree on 1.Land uses and developments should be assessed in relation to land suitability 2.Growth must be managed and directed in a compatible, equitable manner that recognizes the diverse community 3.Smart Growth principles can be applied in a rural area 4.The rights of individual citizens and landowners should always be a consideration in the decision making process 5.Planning activities should be carried out in a fair, open, consistent, and equitable manner

17 Rural Smart Growth Unique Identity Unique Identity Citizen Engagement Citizen Engagement Redevelopment of developed areas Redevelopment of developed areas Transportation choices Transportation choices Housing choices Housing choices Efficient infrastructure Efficient infrastructure Urban development in urban areas Urban development in urban areas Identification & Preservation of significant open spaces Identification & Preservation of significant open spaces Green building technologies Green building technologies Economic development through economic renewal Economic development through economic renewal Case Study: Smoky Lake County

18 Agriculture vs. Working Landscapes Working Landscapes are lands that are used for agriculture, forestry or other resource industries Working Landscapes are lands that are used for agriculture, forestry or other resource industries The range of land uses that occur in rural areas The range of land uses that occur in rural areas Essential human practice rather that an object Essential human practice rather that an object Case Study: Smoky Lake County

19 De-objectified, the notion of land, as an essential human practice, involves the physical and conceptual organization of our surroundings into a coherent, enduring landscape. Working landscapes then represent so much more than land, they represent the people, practices, organizations and activities that frame the rural way of life. De-objectified, the notion of land, as an essential human practice, involves the physical and conceptual organization of our surroundings into a coherent, enduring landscape. Working landscapes then represent so much more than land, they represent the people, practices, organizations and activities that frame the rural way of life. - Peter F. Cannavo Working Landscape: Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place - Peter F. Cannavo Working Landscape: Founding, Preservation, and the Politics of Place Case Study: Smoky Lake County

20 Lessons Learned Lessons Learned The language that we are employing in our documents reflects the values and goals that we are trying to achieve. The language that we are employing in our documents reflects the values and goals that we are trying to achieve. Embracing working landscapes helps us to unload the baggage and ambiguity surrounding the word agriculture and avoid the development/preservation debate. Embracing working landscapes helps us to unload the baggage and ambiguity surrounding the word agriculture and avoid the development/preservation debate. Allows us to frame what we are trying to achieve in a more equitable manner because it encompasses a larger range of activities and employment drivers that affect rural areas. Allows us to frame what we are trying to achieve in a more equitable manner because it encompasses a larger range of activities and employment drivers that affect rural areas. Case Study: Smoky Lake County

21 Begin working towards identifying significant cultural and working landscapes Begin working towards identifying significant cultural and working landscapes Adopt a strong approach to environmental management and the management of cultural resources Adopt a strong approach to environmental management and the management of cultural resources Case Study: Smoky Lake County

22 The County supports a Low Net Negative Environmental Impact approach to environmental management The County supports a Low Net Negative Environmental Impact approach to environmental management Support the Countys natural and built heritage and the processes that connect them Support the Countys natural and built heritage and the processes that connect them Mitigate the cumulative impact of development decisions Mitigate the cumulative impact of development decisions Ensure that any negative environmental impacts are as low as is reasonably possible Ensure that any negative environmental impacts are as low as is reasonably possible Adopting a Low Net Environmental Impact approach to environmental management Adopting a Low Net Environmental Impact approach to environmental management Case Study: Smoky Lake County

23 Environmental Management Strategy Environmental Management Strategy Preserve Significant Ecological Sites Preserve Significant Ecological Sites inventory of significant and unique ecological sites and resources inventory of significant and unique ecological sites and resources establish environmental quality targets establish environmental quality targets require developers to submit a Cumulative Effects Assessment with proposed subdivision and development applications require developers to submit a Cumulative Effects Assessment with proposed subdivision and development applications require an environmental impact assessment require an environmental impact assessment

24 Case Study: Smoky Lake County Collaborate with provincial and not-for-profit partners to identify and monitor indicators Collaborate with provincial and not-for-profit partners to identify and monitor indicators

25 Agricultural Use Area Policies Agricultural Use Area Policies Goal: protect where appropriate, but also enhance the agro-economy and rural lifestyle Goal: protect where appropriate, but also enhance the agro-economy and rural lifestyle Allow for a broader range of parcel sizes in the Ag Area Allow for a broader range of parcel sizes in the Ag Area encourage good stewardship of the land through the provision of information and the use of beneficial management practices (BMOs) encourage good stewardship of the land through the provision of information and the use of beneficial management practices (BMOs) To provide opportunities for Low Net Environmental Impact Country Residential To provide opportunities for Low Net Environmental Impact Country Residential Case Study: Smoky Lake County

26 Encourage low net multi-lot residential developments in locations which generate no or low impacts on the Countys working and cultural landscapes Encourage low net multi-lot residential developments in locations which generate no or low impacts on the Countys working and cultural landscapes Case Study: Smoky Lake County

27 Additional policy initiatives Additional policy initiatives Density bonuses Density bonuses Conservation easements Conservation easements Intensive agricultural uses on small agricultural parcels (40 acres) Intensive agricultural uses on small agricultural parcels (40 acres) Encourage the development of hobby farms Encourage the development of hobby farms Community Economic Development Officer Community Economic Development Officer

28 Concluding Remarks 1.If you allow small agricultural parcels how do you ensure they will be used appropriately? 2.If they are not used for agriculture how do you mitigate potential conflicts between residential/acreage property owners and agricultural land users? 3.How do you keep it equitable while still protecting and supporting the different interests in your community?

29 Concluding Remarks 4.How much of the preservation/protection should be the responsibility of the municipality and how much should be the responsibility of residents and landowners? 5.How will environmental quality targets be established and who will be responsible for evaluating whether or not they have been met? 6.What do we mean by Cumulative Effects Assessment? How will they be monitored targets and who will be the monitoring?


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