County of Northern Lights Advisory Services

County of Northern Lights, AB

The County’s land use planning efforts, led by ISL, are divided into long range comprehensive planning projects and short term current planning activities. Supported by County Administration, ISL also responds to general inquiries related to the preparation of these types of documents.

Project Services

One of the larger projects undertaken by ISL include preparing the County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and handling subsequent amendments, including reviewing the Weberville/Warrensville Area Structure Plan and incorporating important policy content into the MDP when that Plan was repealed. ISL has also conducted an extensive review of the County’s Land Use Bylaw as well as prepared a new Area Structure Plan for the Hamlet of Dixonville.

Planning Services

In terms of current planning, ISL has processed amendments to statutory plans and municipal boundaries, subdivisions, rezonings, consolidations, road closures and Development Permit applications on an on-going basis since 2002.

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Spruce Grove Land Use Bylaw Review

Spruce Grove, AB

To reflect the goals of a new Municipal Development Plan (adopted in 2010) and updated Transportation Master Plan, the City of Spruce Grove engaged ISL to review their Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

Transit Promotion

Our team created a flexible and enforceable LUB that is integrated with transportation goals for promoting local transit by increasing residential densities along collector roads as well as creating opportunities to increase residential densities in established and new neighbourhoods through strategic rezoning.

Removing Clutter

Sign regulations were revised to eliminate visual clutter along main routes and to aid bylaw officers by clarifying enforcement procedures.

Defining Downtown

To help maintain and foster a city centre core that has a unique identity, the revised LUB eliminated the "commercial transition" district that was diluting commercial development in the core and promoted development forms that appeal to pedestrians through building design and land use types.


The Land Use Bylaw was approved by Council in November 2012.

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Capital Region Board Land Use Plan

Edmonton, AB

In June 2009, the Minister of Municipal Affairs directed the Capital Region Board (CRB) to complete additional tasks under tight timelines to support the Capital Region Growth Plan (CRGP). The CRB retained ISL to complete the prescribed land use tasks.

24 Member Municipalities

To complete the work, ISL reviewed growth plans in other regions, established an understanding of land use documents and activities of all 24 member municipalities (municipal development plans, land use bylaws, etc.), formulated policy recommendations and prepared GIS-based mapping.


Density targets were to be established, along with graphic representation of transportation, utility and recreation corridors. In addition, ISL consulted with the CRB’s Planning Advisory Group, Land Use Committee and the administrations of member municipalities to establish accurate totals.

Study Results

The results were published in the October and December 2009 Addenda to the CRGP and approved by the CRB. The Minister issued a Ministerial Order to formally approve the CRGP and Addenda in March 2010.

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Beaumont Future Growth Study

Beaumont, AB

Beaumont is the second fastest growing municipality in Alberta: its population is expected to grow to more than 56,000 people over a 50-year time horizon.

Study Findings

This future growth study by ISL found that the Town has only an 11-year supply of residential lands and a two-year supply of commercial and business park lands within its current town limits.


The study recommended an annexation area of 24 quarter sections to accommodate the expected future growth over a 50-year time horizon at current residential densities. Further, the study recommended providing flexibility within the annexation area by factoring in a market allowance and providing an opportunity to extend the lands to a much longer time horizon should Beaumont be able to achieve the Capital Region Board’s prescribed density target.


The project was very well received by Town Administration and Council, as well as the Town’s legal counsel and financial consultants who were involved in related projects.

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Southeast LRT Planning Study

Edmonton, AB

In the context of strong economic and population growth, the City of Edmonton sought to expand their Light Rail Transit (LRT) network. ISL provided Land Use Planning and GIS/Mapping services to support the development of concept plans for a preferred LRT alignment between Mill Woods and Downtown.

Two Phases

Carried out in two phases, the team identified and screened the alternative LRT route alignments, helping determine the ultimate route from Downtown to Mill Woods.

Current and Planned Land Uses

The final report included a review of land use plans, municipal population and employment growth forecasts and a composite image of current and planned neighbourhood land use.

Activity Centres

Activity centres and neighbourhood nodes were identified for possible station locations, and alternative alignments were evaluated against route-based and station-based land use criteria using GIS analysis.

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