A girl riding a horse at a ranch

Shifts in population, industry requirements and the needs of residents can lead a municipality to change its plans for how portions of land are used.

Land use changes

Land use districting (e.g., zoning) outlines how specific pieces of land may be used and developed. If land use districting is found to be out of sync with municipal plans, or does not meet the needs of a landowner, an application to change the land use may be made to the municipality. All land use changes require municipal council approval and, in some instances, public input.


Annexation is when a municipality acquires additional land from a bordering municipality to accommodate future growth and development.

When a municipality initiates an annexation, it must notify any local authority (e.g. municipality, school board, etc.) that would be affected. The municipality that wishes to annex land provides written notice of its intent to both the province and the other affected municipality. During the annexation process, municipalities negotiate with one another and attempt to agree on annexation conditions. The municipality must also undertake consultation with affected landowners and the public.

Alberta municipalities plan where to build homes, businesses and roads within their communities. Learn how they manage growth and development.

Learn more

Learn about how municipalities manage growth and municipal planning processes.

Want to learn more about the scope of the MGA Review? Check out the MGA Review Workbook.