Fact Check: Growth and Development in the County of Grande Prairie

The County of Grande Prairie has received questions about the County’s connection to Smart Cities and our Land Use Bylaw. This page has been created to correct misinformation and provide residents with the facts.

Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:

Is the County of Grande Prairie part of the Smart Cities initiative?


In 2018, the County applied to a grant competition run by the Government of Canada called the Smart Cities Challenge.

The goal was to use grant funds instead of County taxpayer dollars to develop a new website. The County did not win the competition and was not given any funds from the federal government.

We look for opportunities to support County projects with grant funds, wherever possible, to be fiscally responsible. This competition does not relate to the County’s Land Use Bylaw or planning and development.  

Is the County of Grande Prairie part of the Smart City Alliance?

In 2014, the County became a member of the Alberta Smart City Alliance, a free professional network, to keep up to date with emerging trends in technology and connect with other municipalities in Alberta. While we are still listed on the website, to the best of our knowledge the Alliance has not been active since 2018.

How does the County protect residents’ personal data?

The County of Grande Prairie is required under law to protect any personal information we collect. The Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act ensures that the County must carefully consider the kind of information we collect and how it is stored.

Does the County plan to limit residents’ movements?


Is the County changing the Reeve’s title to Mayor?


At the Council meeting on February 13, 2023, Council received an information presentation from ISL Engineering and Land Services Limited (ISL) that included a case study, or example, of a recent electoral boundary review conducted by another County that reduced their number of divisions and changed their Reeve’s title to the more locally known title of Mayor. Their decision does not have anything to do with the County of Grande Prairie’s upcoming electoral boundary review. ISL also spoke about the best practice for population per division as an option to consider, as well as the importance of public engagement during a review. The County of Grande Prairie will include public participation as part of its upcoming electoral boundary review.

Is the County reducing its number of electoral divisions?

When the Village of Hythe dissolved in June 2021 and was incorporated into the County of Grande Prairie, the County was required to conduct a review of its divisions before the next municipal election in 2025.

Following ISL’s presentation, County Council directed administration to issue a Request for Proposals for the County of Grande Prairie’s Municipal Census and the required Electoral Boundary Review to make sure that we have the right number of councillors, divisions, and the appropriate division boundaries to adequately represent residents. Once the required review is completed, it will be presented to County Council for their consideration.

What is a Land Use Bylaw?

A Land Use Bylaw regulates the use and development of land and buildings within a municipality. Every municipality is required to have a Land Use Bylaw in place. Each municipality's Land Use Bylaw is unique and any changes to the Land Use Bylaw must be approved by Council following a Public Hearing process where members of the public are able to speak.

Is the County updating its Land Use Bylaw?

Starting in 2024, the County of Grande Prairie will begin the process of updating our Land Use Bylaw.

When we begin, residents, businesses, and anyone who could be affected by this bylaw will have opportunities to learn more about the bylaw and provide feedback on what should be considered in the update. The 2024 Land Use Bylaw review will include extensive public engagement to see how to best meet the needs of the community. Many opportunities will be provided and advertised so that everyone can learn more and share their thoughts about rules and regulations around land use.

This review will follow updates to the County of Grande Prairie’s Municipal Development Plan in 2023. The Municipal Development Plan and our Land Use Bylaw work hand-in-hand to set the development direction for the County and both update processes will require extensive public input and engagement to complete. 

Read our current Land Use Bylaw or learn more about Land Use and Zoning in the County.

Why is the County updating its Land Use Bylaw in 2024?

It is important to regularly review the current land use rules and regulations to make sure that they still align with our County’s development goals.

The Alberta Town and Rural Planning Act of 1953 required municipalities of a certain size, including the County, to adopt zoning bylaws. The County’s first zoning bylaw in 1955 was replaced with an updated bylaw in 1965, followed by further replacements in 1970, 1981, 1986, and in 2003 – our current bylaw. In the years between updates, each version of the bylaw saw numerous amendments to accommodate rezoning or to improve the document.

It has been 20 years since the current bylaw was created. It was amended in 2020 to include standards for wild boars. A full review of the Land Use Bylaw will help us to identify and keep the rules and regulations that are working well and to find areas, if any, that can be improved.

How will the County update its Land Use Bylaw and will residents have an opportunity to provide their input?

The review of the Land Use Bylaw requires feedback from residents, businesses, and anyone who could be affected by this bylaw. Starting in 2024, an extensive public engagement process will begin with many opportunities throughout the process for everyone to have their say. These opportunities will be advertised so that everyone can learn more and share their thoughts about rules and regulations around land use.

This is part of the County of Grande Prairie’s public participation policy and process in place to ensure the people who work and live in the County have an opportunity to provide feedback on decisions that affect them. Learn more about our public participation process.

Find out more

If you would like more information about growth or development in the County, please contact the Planning department

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