AUMA is urging the province to develop guidance resources to assist municipalities in using Section 668 of the Municipal Government Act, which is designed to provide extra reserve lands in areas with high population densities.
Higher density communities have increased demand for reserves, which are used for school sites, parks, and recreation areas. However, they also have less land per capita in the community. Section 668 of the MGA is designed to allow municipalities to take additional land in higher density areas to ensure our communities have adequate space for essential community resources.
While the Section 668 tool takes the right direction in enabling additional reserves, municipalities have found it difficult to implement in practice. Confusion persists about how and when it should be applied during the subdivision process. As well, municipalities are struggling to reconcile application of the tool with their broader community planning practices. In light of these issues, AUMA members approved a resolution at the 2017 AUMA Convention urging the province to review the legislation to ensure the tool is useable.
While AUMA had originally requested the province to review and amend the legislation regarding Section 668, Municipal Affairs stressed municipalities should be able to utilize the tool under current the wording. As municipalities continue to experience difficulties despite this assurance, AUMA has sent a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs urging the province to create guidance resources to ensure that all municipalities are able to use Section 668 when the need arises in their communities.