In 2013 Urban Strategies, in partnership with ISL Engineering and Land Services, was retained by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to prepare a new land use bylaw. The municipality covers a large area in northern Alberta and contains the rapidly growing city of Fort McMurray, a number of hamlets, a large portion of the Athabasca oil sands and associated work camps. The Region was interested in developing an innovative new land use bylaw that combined traditional zoning with the concept of a form based code. Urban Strategies provided detailed built form regulations and graphic illustrations to create a user-friendly bylaw that sets a framework for good design. Urban Strategies also introduced the concept of overlays that can be used to add additional guidance for certain types of areas within the municipality and help to implement policy such as Area Structure Plans and Outline Plans. The four types of overlays we introduced are Neighbourhood Nodes, for local mixed-use shopping areas; Community Nodes, for mixed-use shopping areas with a larger catchment area; Business Nodes, for new or evolving employment areas; and Hamlet Nodes, for hamlets such as Anzac that are anticipated to experience rapid growth.
Urban Strategies is providing urban planning expertise related to master planning, policy, and the regulatory framework.