Annexation

Municipal annexation is the legal process by which a city or municipality acquires new land to be incorporated within their jurisdiction.

The City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County are currently engaged in annexation discussions. The goal is to achieve a collaborative annexation that meets the strategic interests of both the City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County. Long-term, the City of Spruce Grove, Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County have committed to a Regional Plan, which will guide future economic development, land use, and sustainability.

Memorandum of Agreement

On April 23, 2019, Parkland County Council and the Spruce Grove City Council both ratified a Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate the annexation process between the neighbouring municipalities.

Notice of Proposed Annexation

On June 24, 2019, Spruce Grove City Council supported the Notice of Proposed Annexation, as required by Section 116 of the Municipal Government Act, in order to proceed with an annexation application to the Municipal Government Board.

Frequently asked questions

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Annexation is the legal process associated with changing a municipal boundary, when, for example, land located in a County is transferred to the jurisdiction of a City to accommodate growth. Properties within an annexation area experience a change in jurisdiction from one municipality to another. Annexation does not however change ownership rights and is not necessarily undertaken to facilitate immediate development, but rather to secure lands for future growth.

The City of Spruce Grove has a policy that it will maintain a 25-year supply of lands for future residential, commercial and industrial growth. The City commissioned its own internal land consumption analysis report in 2013, which concluded that its land supply had fallen below this level. The City then commissioned a Growth Study to verify the analysis. The Growth Study, concluded in 2016, verified the City’s lands supply had diminished to less than 25 years.

Spruce Grove and Parkland County have identified eight (8) quarter sections more or less of land to serve as the annexation area. The area to be annexed includes four quarter sections north of Highway 628 on either side of Campsite Road (Range Road 274), four quarter sections south of Highway 16A between Century Road and Pioneer Road (Range Road 271), as well as the remainder of the NAIT quarter section.

View a map of the identified lands to be annexed.

The City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County have identified eight (8) quarter sections as the annexation area to accommodate for the City’s short-term (30-year) growth requirements. Long-term land planning, as well as future economic development and sustainability, will be topics addressed in the Regional Plan, which is a joint effort between the City of Spruce Grove, the Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County.

The City and the County are committed to a positive, collaborative annexation. The next step in the annexation process is to engage with the public. Two public open houses were held in June 2019.

At the request of landowners, we will also be scheduling one-on-one engagement opportunities with each of the affected land owners to ensure we can hear their ideas, feedback, and concerns as well as answer any questions they may have.

The annexation process is a lengthy one. It began in 2017 when the City and the County began discussing the findings of the City’s Growth Study. After negotiating a memorandum of understanding on annexation in early 2019, the City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County have set a timeline to have the annexation application submitted to the Municipal Government Board by the end of 2019. If the application goes through, annexed lands are proposed to be assumed by the City of Spruce Grove on January 1, 2021.

The Municipal Government Board (MGB) is an independent board established under the Municipal Government Act. Its members are provincially appointed. The MGB's role in annexations is to:

1. Conduct public hearing(s) relating to the annexation if any objections are received on the proposed annexation, which allows any affected party to appear at the hearing to make submissions; and

2. Prepare a report with its recommendations on the proposed annexation and send it to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for Cabinet to consider in making its decision.

If objections are received, the Municipal Government Board will provide notice of a public hearing to allow land owners and stakeholders to speak directly to the Board on any matters relating to the annexation application submitted by the City of Spruce Grove.

The City and the County are committed to a positive, collaborative annexation. The next step in the annexation process is to engage with the public. Two public open houses were held in June 2019.

If your land has been identified to be annexed, at your request, City and County representatives will be scheduling a one-on-one engagement opportunity to hear your ideas, feedback, and concerns, and answer any questions you may have.

Owners are also encouraged to contact the City's Growth Study and Annexation Project Lead by email to ask questions and provide comments.

The City is committed to ensuring that Spruce Grove residents have an opportunity to be fully informed about the annexation process. Residents are encouraged to attend future public open houses through newspaper advertisements and the City's website. Residents are also encouraged to contact the City's Growth Study and Annexation Project Lead by email to ask questions and provide comments.

Annexation is not the expropriation of land. Land ownership is not impacted. In an annexation, only the municipal jurisdiction changes. If the annexation is approved:

  • lands in the annexation area will receive services from the City of Spruce Grove instead of Parkland County;
  • land use and development approvals will be transferred to the City; and
  • land owners will pay municipal property taxes to the City of Spruce Grove instead of the Parkland County.

The City and the County are reviewing the services being provided by the County to its impacted land owners and will assess whether these services are consistent with those provided to existing City residents. Once assessed, a decision will be made whether existing County services will be maintained or amended. The City of Spruce Grove currently provides an equitable level of service to all residents.

Annexation is not an expropriation of mineral rights. Mineral rights are not impacted by a change in municipal jurisdiction as land use development can occur in a rural or urban municipality, and the approval to mine, or to access any minerals and subsurface resources remains with the Province of Alberta.

Owners within the annexation area will be able to continue to use their land in the same manner as prior to annexation, subject to City bylaws. It will be up to owners when and whether to develop their land.

To assist land owners with the transition from County tax rates to the City of Spruce Grove's tax rates, the City will request that conditions of annexation approval require that land be taxed at the lower of the tax rates established by the County and City for a certain period of years, subject to certain triggering events. This type of arrangement has been successfully implemented in other jurisdictions. The details respecting transition of taxation will be the subject of further negotiations between the City and County.

Stay up to date with the annexation process by visiting:

Beyond the public engagement sessions that were held in June, one-on-one meetings with affected land owners, and the Municipal Government Board public hearing process, contact Sue Armstrong, Growth Study and Annexation Project Lead, at 780-962-7634 ext. 103 or email for more information.