Edmonton and the capital region are experiencing unprecedented growth. People from across Canada and around the world are choosing to make Edmonton their home due to the strong economy, exceptional municipal services, vibrant cultural and recreational opportunities and the outstanding quality of life that Edmonton has to offer. Meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities attributed to this substantial growth requires the City of Edmonton, and its surrounding municipalities, to work together and plan smartly.
Last year, the City of Edmonton began the conversation about its proposal to annex land in Leduc County, south of Edmonton to support this continued growth. Edmonton’s residential and business employment lands inventory are critically low on both the southwest and southeast sides of the city, especially our industrial land supply. As these areas are a logical extension for infrastructure and community services, the areas of Leduc County proposed for annexation have been approved as Priority Growth Areas by the Capital Region Board.
I care deeply about the input from Leduc County residents with regards to their questions and concerns, and we have spent the past few months listening to them as we move into the negotiation process.
The proposal to annex land from Leduc County will ensure Edmonton has room to grow. By securing the land in advance, it allows Edmonton to properly plan for future land uses and services, thereby allowing Edmonton to accommodate its potential growth in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Edmonton is proposing to annex six per cent of Leduc County’s land supply to support its growth and major regional initiatives. Edmonton will work towards ensuring a fair and equitable outcome with Leduc County, and a compensation deal will be part of the negotiation process to account for the assessed impacts of the proposed annexations.
Meanwhile, a great deal is being done within Edmonton to ensure smart growth. Our highest density communities are in our new subdivisions. Additionally, I am personally committed to meeting Edmonton’s growth pressures with a more aggressive approach to residential infill. Edmonton’s commitment to higher density in new communities, and infill in our mature neighbourhoods, will contribute to a smaller regional footprint in the long run.
Like with any annexation, I anticipate that Edmonton’s proposed annexation will be a long and challenging process, which will require time, patience, and collaboration from all actors involved. I also anticipate that there will be a number of questions and concerns from landowners, residents and business owners with regards to the annexation process, and I, along with the City of Edmonton, understand this. We are committed to ongoing discussions with stakeholders. Together, we will work in good faith to build a prosperous future for the Capital Region and for all Albertans.