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Red Deer County News

Posted on: April 29, 2020

Estate Planning


Estate Planning is something everyone will need to consider at some point in your life and how you divide the estate up, is dependent on how the Will is drawn up. A portion of your estate may include such things as land assets which you may want to pass along to other members of your family. 

When writing your Will or planning your Estate, it is important to ensure that your beneficiaries receive what you have intended for them. This article provides a quick overview of what you will need to consider when planning your estate or drafting your Will as it relates to Red Deer County’s land use planning policies.  

The key point is not to assume that your land can be subdivided or that it can be subdivided into several parcels for your surviving family members. All subdivision and development must comply with the Municipal Development Plan as follows:

First Parcel Out Policy 3.2.1 of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) allows for the subdivision of a single parcel out of an unsubdivided quarter section if the subdivision is required to accommodate the following: 

  • An established farmstead; or 
  • An established or approved intensive agricultural use or value added agricultural industry; or
  • A severance; 
  • A bare first parcel out subject to Policy 3.2.2 (Bare First Parcel Subdivision) of the MDP; 
  • The minimum parcel size for first parcel out is 3.0 acres, however it is at the discretion of the approving authority, based on existing buildings, fences, shelter belts and required setback distances from the septic system.

Multi-lot Residential Subdivisions Policy 4.1 Residential Conservation Subdivision states that multi-lot subdivisions may only be approved when designed to minimize the development footprint and that large portions of land need to be retained in their natural state.

  •  If more than one parcel, or title (a multi-lot subdivision), is desired, regulations within Policy 4.1 (Residential Conservation Subdivisions) of the MDP must be followed. As part of this process, the applicant would also be required to submit and attain approval of an Area Structure Plan for the entire quarter section. 
  • An area structure plan must provide the framework for the sequence of development that is being proposed, the land uses being proposed, the density of population and general location of roads and utilities. This is pursuant to the Municipal Government Act, Part 17, Section 633.
  • In addition to the above, an application for subdivision must also be submitted as part of this process.
  • There are many costs involved with the subdivision process not only with the County but with outside agencies (i.e. surveying, studies, road construction).  So it is best to do some homework to see how these costs may affect you prior to moving forward with an application.
  • The timeframe for completing a multi-lot subdivision can vary. These applications can be very time consuming and can take 6 to 12 months, or more, to be processed. So it is important to plan ahead. • Prior to submitting an application, you will want to set up a meeting to discuss your proposal with Planning & Development.

Environmental & Conservation Easement If your preference is to preserve the natural features associated with your lands you may want to consider registering an Environmental or Conservation Easement on the land to ensure that any future landowner does not destroy or disturb these features. This easement will ensure that the land is preserved in its natural state. 

For complete and detailed information, please contact Planning and Development Services at 403.350.2170.

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