Welcome to Foothills County

Planning Policies

When making planning and development decisions under Part 17 of the Municipal Government Act, the Foothills County Council or their designates will consider all applicable statutory and non-statutory plans, bylaws and policies.

Statutory Plans:

Calgary Metropolitan Region Growth Plan and Interim Growth Plan
This plan was mandated by the Government of Alberta under the  Calgary Metropolitan Region Board Regulation. For more information visit the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board website here.

Intermunicipal Development Plans
Intermunicipal development plans outline how municipalities will work together, and address areas of mutual concern. Foothills County has Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) in place with most of our municipal neighbours. For a full list of IDPs visit our Intermunicipal Development Plans page.

The Foothills County Municipal Development Plan (MDP2010)
This document outlines a comprehensive vision for the County addressing the type of development that is desired and some of the important characteristics of the area that members of the community feel are worth preserving and protecting. A copy of MDP2010 can be found on the Resource Library Page under "Plans" here.

Area Structure Plans
An Area Structure Plan (ASP) is a statutory plan, adopted by Bylaw which provides a framework for redesignation, subdivision and development of an area of land. For a full list of the County's approved ASPs visit our Area Structure Plans page.

Area Redevelopment Plans
Area Re-development Plans are similar to Area Structure Plans, except that an ARP is used to facilitate the "redevelopment" of an area that is already developed. The ARP provides policy direction regarding the removal, reconstruction and/or preservation of an area and buildings and provides for improvements of infrastructure.

Foothills County does not currently have any approved ARP's. 

Foothills County Land Use Bylaw 60/2014
The Land Use Bylaw (LUB) is a regulatory document that governs what development or uses may be permitted on a piece of property depending on that property's zoning. A copy of the Land Use Bylaw 60/2014 can be found on the Resource Library Page under "Bylaws".

Non-Statutory Plans:

Outline Plans and Area Concept Plans are non-statutory plans that are used as a guideline for the subsequent redesignation, subdivision and development of an area of land. All approved Area Concept Plans and Outline Plans are listed and described on the Area Concept Plan and Outline Plans page.


All bylaws can be found on the Resource Library Page under "Bylaws"

Business License Bylaw 1018/1988
This bylaw provides for the regulation and licensing of all businesses carried on within the Municipality.

Cayley Off-Site Levy Bylaw 73/2002
This off-site levy bylaw was established to ensure that funding was available for necessary improvements to the Hamlet of Cayley’s water and wastewater infrastructure.

Community Aggregate Payment Levy Bylaw 9/2018
This levy is imposed on all sand and gravel businesses operating within the municipality, to raise revenue to be used towards the payment of infrastructure and other costs in the municipality.

Community Standards Bylaw 34/2009
This Bylaw is intended to make your community in the municipality a nicer place to live. The Municipality has passed legislation to ensure compliance of issues regarding unsightly premises, nuisances, noise complaints as well as maintenance standards to ensure a safe and vibrant community.

Council as Subdivision Authority Bylaw 148-1995
This bylaw establishes the Foothills County Council as the Subdivision Approving Authority of Foothills County

Council Code of Conduct Bylaw 30-2017
The Council Code of Conduct establishes standards of conduct for Members of Council; it speaks to conflicts of interest, respect for the laws and policies, procedures and processes of the County, and to fairness in decision making.

Dark Sky Bylaw 27-2009
This bylaw lays out requirements for street lighting and signage. Decisions regarding planning applications may consider whether the requirements under the Dark Sky Bylaw are addressed. Decisions on development permit applications may be impacted by provisions in the bylaw regarding shielding of fixtures, the types of fixtures considered acceptable and unacceptable and how signage may or may not be lit.

Fee Bylaw 86/2017
The Fee Bylaw establishes fees, rates, and charges for services, licenses, permits and approvals provided to the public by the Municipality.

Meeting Procedural Bylaw of Foothills County Bylaw 51-2016
The Meeting Procedural Bylaw outlines how public hearings are run, how motions for decisions are made and debated and how decisions are made.

Sign Bylaw 18/2006
The purpose of this Bylaw is to regulate signing erected on public lands and directional signing for commercial development within the highway right of way and adjacent to highways which are under the jurisdiction/control/ownership of the Municipality.

Special Events Bylaw 66/1997
This Bylaw is intended to regulate Special Events that are to be held within the boundaries of the Municipality.  A Special Event is identified as a one-time or infrequently occurring activity that is designed to bring individuals together, and may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Bylaw 139/1995
This bylaw establishes the Foothills County Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. This board is tasked with reviewing and rendering decisions on Subdivision and Development appeals.

Water Conservation Bylaw 119-2005
This bylaw requires that water be conserved and utilized in an efficient manner throughout the County and mandates that new residential and commercial construction connecting to County water systems incorporate low flow fixtures. This bylaw may directly impact decisions on development permits and may be considered when evaluating applications for plans or subdivisions where water servicing is to be provided by municipal water systems.

Water Sewer Garbage Bylaw 195-2007
This is a bylaw to regulate the installation, and operation of water and sewer systems in the County and to levy fees and fines for water, sewer and garbage. It mandates connection in locations where the service is supplied and the conditions under which the services may be extended. The bylaw also addresses metering and constructions standards.


All policies can be found on the Resource Library Page under "Policies"

Excessive Road Grade Policy
This policy establishes road design standards and conditions under which a road may be approved when it cannot not be built with a grade less than 7%.

Municipal Gravel Roads – Servicing Levels Policy
This policy provides Public Works with clear direction from Council on the level of maintenance effort as it relates to the different classification of municipal roads.  As different classifications of roads require different levels of service which may be more or less costly to the municipality, this may be a consideration when making decisions on proposed development.

Municipal Reserve Policy (also referred to as Public Reserve Policy)
The Municipal Reserve Policy lays out the conditions under which municipal reserve may or may not be required as part of an application for subdivision and under what conditions the reserves may be deferred. It also speaks to the form that reserve may take – land or cash-in-lieu. This policy applies to all subdivision applications but may also influence decisions on applications for Area Concept Plans, Outline Plans or Land Use Redesignations when the future allocation of reserve lands is addressed as part of the application.

Public Participation Policy
The Public Participation Policy speaks to the importance of considering the desires, needs and expectations of the citizens and landowners who will be impacted by the decisions made by local government. This policy provides guiding principles for engagement processes and outlines under what circumstances a public engagement process must be undertaken and the types of approaches that may be used to engage with the public.

Rural Approach Standards Policy
This policy provides a consistent standard for approaches along municipal roads in order to ensure the safety of the public. The requirement for construction, upgrading and/or removal of an approach or approaches is a common condition of subdivision approval and may also be a condition of a development permit application approval.

Shallow and Overhead Utilities Policy
The installation of shallow and/or overhead utilities may be a condition of a subdivision or development approval. This policy outlines standards for location, design and construction of these utilities in order to ensure the safety of the public is achieved.

Street Lighting Policy
The installation of street lighting may be proposed as part of a planning or development application or may be imposed by the Approval Authority as a condition of approval for an application. The Street Lighting Policy outlines in what instances street lighting may be considered, and addresses the capital cost and energy costs.

Water Policy
The Foothills County Water Policy applies in instances where a proposal would create 5 lots or less on a quarter section. The policy requires an applicant for redesignation or subdivision to drill one well per lot, to a maximum of 3 wells, conduct 12 hour pump and 12 hour recovery tests and submit Q20 calculations. The policy also outlines under what conditions there may be exceptions to these requirements.


Highway 2A Industrial Area Structure Plan Design Guidelines
These guidelines apply to all lands in the plan area of the Highway 2A Industrial Area Structure Plan. They benefit developers by providing them with minimum requirements and a clear understanding of the expectations for development in the plan area. In addition they set up a system that can be used by the Municipality to evaluate potential projects. The guidelines benefits business owners who choose to locate in the 2A corridor by creating a quality industrial park that will stand the test of time through the provision of a well-planned, maintained, and controlled environment in which to operate. 

Municipal Process regarding the Establishment of Riparian Setbacks
The Process document outlines Council’s options on directives that may be imposed regarding the establishment of riparian setbacks on a parcel as a condition of first reading of a bylaw. It can be found on the Riparian Setbacks page here.

The Riparian Setback Matrix Model and Developer’s Guide
The Riparian Setback Matrix Model and Developers Guidelines are technical documents that may be used to determine appropriate development setbacks from riparian areas throughout the Municipality.  These documents can be found on the Riparian Setbacks page here.

Road Construction Standards
This document outlines the current standards that all roads must be constructed to in the municipality. The Road Construction Standards can be found on the Resource Library Page under Brochures and Information here.

Screening Standards
These standards were adopted by Resolution of Council on December 2, 2010 to provide for a comprehensive screening strategy for industrial and commercial developments in order to preserve the natural beauty of the municipality and to preclude any negative visual impacts on surrounding properties. The Screening Standards can be found on the Resource Library page here.