Tree Clearing Regulations, ESA Maps Subjects of Joint Public Hearing

Print Version
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Amendments to Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) maps in the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and proposed changes to Tree Clearing regulations in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) will be the primary subjects of a joint public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, August 22nd in front of Mountain View County Council.

The public hearing will be conducted as part of Council’s regular meeting agenda and is open to all members of the public to attend and, if they wish, make a presentation to Council regarding the proposed amendments.

MDP Amendments

The proposed changes to the MDP focus mainly on updating the maps currently used to delineate ESA’s in the County.

Updated data from the 2008 Summit Report and Provincial 2014 Fiera Update would replace two ESA maps drawn from information that predates both these reports. The rationale for the changes is to help in the review of redesignation, subdivision and development applications in these areas.

The proposed updates, if adopted, would result in 15,789 total acres from multiple locations in the County no longer being identified as Agricultural Preservation Area.

These updates previously appeared before Council which provided direction to conduct further community engagement on the topic via two open houses earlier this year.

LUB Amendments

Also, being heard is an amending bylaw to the Land Use Bylaw (LUB). The primary topic of public interest is a proposal to remove the current definition for Tree Clearing in the LUB and replace it with two new definitions for Selective Logging and Tree Clearing/Clear Cutting.

Currently Tree Clearing is considered an exempt use in Agricultural and Agricultural (2) Districts when not contained within an ESA. When Tree Clearing is proposed within an ESA currently, the use is discretionary and requires a Development Permit from the County.

The proposed amendments will define Selective Logging as cutting, storage, sorting and grading of forest materials for commercial use of the logs or fibre and includes associated reforestation and reclamation activities.

Selective Logging will be considered a discretionary use in Ag and Ag (2) Districts and when lands are located within an ESA level 1. It will be considered a permitted use in Ag and Ag (2) Districts when lands are located within an ESA level 2, 3, and 4.

Tree Clearing/Clear Cutting will be defined as cutting down and/or removal of trees other than for selective logging. This will be considered as a discretionary use in all zoning districts.

Updates were requested by Mountain View County Council to provide more clarity on the regulations regarding Tree Clearing.

Also being proposed in the LUB amendments (but unrelated to the tree clearing changes) is a reference to the Provincial 2014 Fiera Update as part of definition for ESA’s. This update is related to the ESA mapping updates proposed for the MDP.

Contact Us

We encourage our residents to contact County Planning and Development Services for more information on these topics. We are available by phone at 403-335-3311 by email at, or at the planning counter during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm). Deadline for written comment submissions is noon on August 20, 2018. Other Information regarding the joint public hearing (including submission and presentation requirements) can be viewed in our statutory advertisement below.