Page 1

Guide to Rural Living in Strathcona County T 780-417-7100 F 780-417-7109

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living Life in rural Strathcona County is full of experiences: connecting to the land, raising animals, growing crops, seeing wildlife, enjoying the sense of freedom and privacy, the fresh air, peace and quiet, and the close-knit community with neighbourshelping-neighbours.

Whether a farmer or rancher running a large operation or the owner of a small acreage, these are the experiences all rural folks regard as some of the best qualities in the country. However, life in rural Strathcona County also brings new responsibilities.

The way you use and care for your land may have impacts on the health of the entire landscape, the water quality and supply, wildlife habitat, or your neighbour’s property. All of us depend on a healthy and diverse landscape with clean water and fresh air.

It provides practical insights on land uses, development, conservation, bylaws, and safety, as well as recommendations on where you can find additional help or information if needed.

It’s also important to note bylaws and land uses in rural areas can be different than urban areas. Rural Strathcona County is primary agricultural land with a wide variety of land users. A Country Residential Subdivision could be located next to other small acreages with livestock, or a grain farm, market garden or greenhouse.

Remember, working together as a community, respecting the needs and livelihoods of others, and caring for the environment are in everyone’s best interests.

This package is designed to help you consider some of the major factors that affect rural residents.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living

Living Next to a Farm Odours There are many odours associated with farming operations. These odours can come from manure piles formed by dairy, poultry, swine, cattle or mushroom operations. Many times this same manure is applied to adjacent crop or pasture lands as fertilizer. There are specific requirements for manure management; this activity is regulated under the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) and Regulations. To find out more about this act or any other manure questions, please contact the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) at 1-866-383-6722.

Agriculture is an important business in Strathcona County. If you choose to live among the farms and ranches of our countryside, there are some aspects of your neighbours’ activities that may occasionally affect you. Some things to consider:



Farm work may continue around the clock, especially during seeding and harvest time. Dairy, poultry or mushroom operators may work irregular hours, and hay is often cut or baled at night. Low-flying airplanes, including those applying herbicides or insecticides, may fly overhead during irregular hours. Agriculture operations are exempted from the Noise Control Bylaw (66-99). It’s possible that adjoining agricultural operations may occasionally disturb your peace and quiet.

Many farming practices can cause significant amounts of dust, especially during windy and dry weather. These are common, natural occurrences when living next to an agricultural operation. Make sure to take proper precautions if allergies are an issue.

Chemicals Fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides are often used in growing crops and pastures. These chemicals are needed to ensure healthy growing conditions. Some people are sensitive to these substances so personal precautions may be needed.

Farm Animals

Farm animals play a significant role in agriculture in Strathcona County. Care must be taken around fences and gates as many animals are not safe to pet or play with. Be cautious when approaching animals and be sure not to enter any property without landowner consent. The owner of the animals must ensure that they are confined and if any animals have

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Living Next to a Farm

Weed control

strayed, the owner is responsible to retrieve them and repair or compensate for any damage to adjacent properties.

You need to be respectful of these animals, understand their habitat needs, and learn to co-exist.

Ensure you consult the Animal Control Bylaw (44-2002) before placing animals on your properties. Certain land uses have restrictions on how many animals you are allowed to house.

Sometimes these wild animals become a nuisance and begin causing predation issues and concern for the landowner. Traps can be rented from Transportation and Agriculture Services for skunks and squirrels. You may also contact this department for predation issues with coyotes, flooding issues related to beavers, as well as advice on dealing with other nuisance wildlife.

Under the Agricultural Operations Practices Act, farmers and ranchers that follow normal or acceptable farming practices have the right to farm. This means that they have the right to continue to operate their business even though there are acreages in the vicinity that may be affected by dust, odours, etc. Therefore, ensure that you are comfortable with the location you have chosen to live.

Wildlife For many landowners, the presence of wildlife on their property is one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of life in rural Strathcona County: seeing a cow moose and her calf in the backyard early in the morning, glimpsing a flash of colour from the first bluebird of spring perched on a fence-wire or listening to the raucous chorus of coyotes on a crisp fall night. Wildlife populations fluctuate over the years and in some years will be more visible than others due to numbers and food sources. Remember that wildlife don’t adhere to fences and borders.

Helpful tips to discourage problem wildlife • Put pet food away at night • Have compost in sealed containers • Keep garbage well contained • Keep grass cut down around buildings

Each year Strathcona County Transportation and Agriculture Services undertakes work to keep roadsides free of trees, shrubs and noxious weeds. This adds to safety by enabling motorists to see wildlife along the road and improves visibility at intersections. Road drainage is also improved, weeds are controlled and snow is more easily removed. The County uses both mowing and herbicide to control vegetation in an environmentally responsible manner. If landowners wish, they may choose to look after the road right-of-way adjacent to their property. Please contact Transportation and Agriculture Services for more information on the Landowner Option Program.

• Protect gardens and crops with scarecrows or fences

Further information:

• Loosely wrap valued trees with fence-wire

Transportation and Agriculture Services 780-417-7100

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Living Next to a Farm

Country Roads The Rural Road Master Plan is a Council approved document which provides guidance for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the roadway networks within the Rural Service Area of Strathcona County. The Rural Road Master Plan currently incorporates 1,300 kilometres of roadways: 940 kilometres of grid roads, 330 kilometres of residential roadways within the 202 existing Country Residential Subdivisions, and 30 kilometres of residential roadways within the eight rural hamlets.

Roads and transportation, including the rural road network, are some of the most important services Strathcona County provides. This is also the largest single item in the County’s budget, with over 40 cents of every municipal tax dollar supporting these services.

Services to maintain rural roads may take longer due to the overall number of kilometres. Know what to expect and learn what to look for. Country living can be challenging for those who are unprepared. Driving conditions can vary on rural roads, especially in winter. While County crews attend to roads as promptly as possible, drivers need to allow extra time when it is wet, snowy or icy. Roads with higher speed limits and heavier traffic have the highest priority, and are plowed first. (See reverse)

Country road surfaces can be paved with asphalt or cold mix, gravel with a dust suppressant added, or plain gravel. Some roads and bridges are narrow and may have weight restrictions. Maintenance equipment and large farm equipment may have difficulty negotiating some sections of road or field accesses. Allow extra time to accommodate unpredictable traffic conditions on rural roads. Access to property via a driveway must conform to County and township guidelines. The County’s Engineering and Environmental Planning department or a township official must authorize the location of a driveway entrance and culvert off a public road before construction. (See reverse) Highways such as Highway 16 or 830 are maintained by contractors working for the Province of Alberta.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Country Roads

Rural snowRural clearing snowpriorities clearing priorities Descriptions Descriptions Snow is cleared... Snow Priority 1

is cleared…

Major industrialMajor industrial Within roadway/ 12 hours following Within 12 hours following Priority 1 roadway/Strathcona accumulation of 2 to 5 cm Strathcona Airport Airport (Josephburg) of snow

Priority 2


(Transportation Systems Management)

Priority 3


Priority 2


Within 12 hours following

Thoroughfares Within accumulation of 5 to 7 cm12 hours following of snow

All remaining roads, Within 3 days following All remaining roads, Priority 3 Within 3 days following an including country of 5 to 7 cm includingaccumulation country residential roadsresidential ofroads snow


Government of Alberta contractors maintain all

Government of Alberta maintain all highway Highways highways.Call Carillion Canada at contractors 1-800-390-2242. Call Carillion Canada at 1-800-390-2242.

Strathcona County’s winter maintenance County’s road winter maintenance cre crews areStrathcona ready for changing conditions changing road conditions

Call to let us know conditions need that attention – for – for example, Call toabout let us know about that conditions need attention example, icy roads, snow removal, downed traffic signs or traffic signs or traffic lights that are not working. If traffic you phone after hou lights that are our noton-call working. staff.If you phone after hours, you will be forwarded to one of our on-call staff.

Clearing your driveway

Clearing your driveway For the safety of the travelling public, please do not deposit snow o For the safety ofclearing the travelling public,(Bylaw please33-94 do not deposit snow Ice and Deb your driveway. Deposit of Snow, on or across the road when clearing your driveway. (Bylaw 33-94 Snow plows onon the road Deposit of Snow, Ice and Debris Roads)

The chart above shows when road snow clearing begins based on s

ranking of the road. Snow plows on priority the road The chart above shows when road snow clearing begins based on Road sanding snow accumulation and the priority ranking of the road.

Anthony Henday Drive

High traffic volume roads are sanded first. Special attention is given Road sanding Roads are inspected regularly to determine where traction is neede

High traffic roads are sanded Special attention is given to hills, Is your mailbox curves and intersections. Roads are Ifinspected determine Are the bolts tight? not, snowregularly from the to plow may be enough to d where traction is needed.

post. Take a look and make sure it is well fastened.

Safe winter driving tip Reduce your speed on ice or snow, especially when approaching intersections. Stay 15 metres behind the car or truck in front of you.


when ind the

15 metres 50 feet

Is your mail box secure? Thank you for your cooperation. Are the bolts tight? If not, snow from the plow may be enough to dislodge the mailbox from the post. Take a look and make sure it is well fastened.

Further information

(24-hour number) Thank you for your 780-417-7100 cooperation.

Further information on road maintenance and operations contact: Transportation and Agriculture Services 780-417-7100

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Country Roads

Rural Recreation Community halls and senior centres There are 14 community halls and four senior citizen centres located throughout rural Strathcona County. Many of the facilities are available for rent and offer excellent facilities, both indoor and outdoor, for a variety of functions.

Trails A variety of trails can be found in rural Strathcona including Ardrossan, Sherwood Park Natural Area, Hastings Lake, Boag Lake, and the off-leash park.

The halls and centres are operated by local community and seniors’ associations. Many groups offer community-based programs and special events to meet the needs of community members and local residents. A complete listing can be found in the Recreation Guide, or online at, or by calling 780-467-2211.

Indoor recreation facilities Strathcona County operates three facilities in rural Strathcona. The Moyer Recreation Centre in Josephburg includes a hall and indoor arena. The Ardrossan Recreation Complex includes an indoor area, hall, multi-purpose room and curling rink. The Strathcona County Olympiette Centre includes a hall, multi-purpose room, arena, curling rink and gymkhana grounds.

Hiking and bird watching Beaver Hills Cooking Lake Moraine includes much of the eastern part of Strathcona County and is characterized by lakes and rolling parkland. A wide range of trails are available within the region including the Strathcona Wilderness Centre, the Sherwood Park Natural Area, Elk Island National Park, Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area and the Ministik Bird Sanctuary.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Rural Recreation

Josephburg Gymkhana Grounds - operated by the Josephburg Agricultural Society (located 1 mile east of the Moyer Recreation Centre Township Road 550 and Range Road 214)

Strathcona County Olympiette Centre - Gymkhana grounds operated by the Colchester and District Agricultural Society (Township Road 520 and Range Road 224)

• Whitecroft Community Hall - #314, 52313 Range Road 232 • Hastings Lake - Highway 14 south on Range Road 204 and Township 511

Strathcona Wilderness Centre This popular hiking and cross-country skiing spot features 550 acres of natural serenity and 12 kilometres of groomed trails and three kilometres of interpretive trails that wind their way through an aspen parkland forest. There are tent campsites, 8-person bunkhouses and a modern pine lodge.

Recreation and sport amenities

For an up-to-date list of trails, recreation locations and amenities, visit or call Recreation, Parks and Culture at 780-467-2211.

Further information: Recreation Parks and Culture 780-467-2211

Gymkhana grounds Gymkhana grounds can be found at four locations throughout rural Strathcona County: Josephburg, Fultonvale, Hastings Lake and Whitecroft.

Sportsfields and playgrounds can be found adjacent to many rural schools and community halls. Basketball hoops, boarded and snow-banked rinks and tennis courts (Hastings Lake, Josephburg and Ardrossan) are some of the additional amenities that can be found at various locations throughout rural Strathcona.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Rural Recreation

Hunting Where hunting is and is not permitted The discharge of firearms in Strathcona County is controlled by the Firearms Control Bylaw and enforced by the RCMP. Firearms may not be used for hunting in the Urban Service Area of Sherwood Park or the Hamlet Policy Area for the rural hamlets (see map on reverse).

Hunting provides recreational opportunities as well as a tool for managing wildlife populations. Many areas in Strathcona County are open for hunting, however, no person has the right to enter your property to hunt unless you grant permission. While there are many benefits to having wildlife in the rural area, an overabundance of animals may cause problems within the urban and farming communities. Wildlife can also damage grain and forage crops, which are extremely important to our local farmers.

Wildlife management Hunting is a major component of wildlife management. Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Edmonton District, is responsible for wildlife management and enforcement of The Wildlife Act.

The rights of landowners A large portion of the privately-owned land in the County falls into the category of occupied land under The Wildlife Act. The following regulations apply to hunting on occupied land.

A hunter needs permission from the owner or occupant to hunt. It is entirely the decision of the owner or occupant whether to allow hunting on the property. The landowner should ensure that the hunter understands any conditions on which hunting is being permitted. For example, hunting may be allowed for one day, several days or longer. The landowner may specify the number of hunters allowed, or particular areas they should avoid.

The use of firearms is restricted within the Special Control Area (see map on reverse). In this area, shotguns and muzzle loading rifles may be used to hunt whitetailed deer during the Strathcona Whitetailed Deer Hunt. Recipients of a moose draw in WMU 248 must adhere to the regulations associated with the Strathcona White-tailed Deer Hunt when hunting in Strathcona County. Outside of the Special Control Area, Urban Service Area and Hamlet Policy Area, Strathcona County does not have bylaws restricting the use of firearms. Provincial and federal regulations do apply in these areas. The County is broken into three different Wildlife Management Units (WMU). Different regulations apply to each one so check regulation details. Hunting game birds with a shotgun on road allowances is not allowed in the County. Strathcona County is a Specialized Municipality and because of this designation, all road allowances are considered County property. There is no hunting allowed on any County property.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Hunting

County boundary




212 205

213 211










City of Fort Saskatchewan



WMU 242






















Beaver County

Antler Lake Cooking Lake-B Recreation


W 9

North Cooking Lake





Hastings Lake









Leduc County 14

The use of firearms is South Cooking not Lake permitted in the 14 WMU Urban Service Area of 248 Sherwood Park or in the Hamlet Policy areas. 224



South Cooking Lake


21 232



Cove Hamlet PolicyCollingwood Area

RR 215



ArdrossanWMU 248 224

Range Road 234

South Cooking Lake

Half Moon Lake

TR 550

RR 204


Hastings Lake






222 RangeRRRoad 234

RR 210 oa


WMU 936

North Cooking Lake


Range Road 220




RR 214

Range Road 222

RR 211 Wy


Collingwood Cove


TR 520


Antler Lake Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation area




TP 514

Correction line 5


16 830

WMU 630 248

Sherwood Leduc County Park

North Cooking Lake




City of Edmonton

Half Moon Lake



Half Moon Lake


Lamont County


Sherwood Park

TWP 512


Correction line — 550

WMU 250

WMU 248





Lamont County


City of Edmonton

Hastings Lake


WMU 250

City of Fort Saskatchewan




(firearm use restricted)

City of Edmonton




Special ControlCounty Area boundary

City of Edmonton

RR 213


(firearm use restricted)

RCMP Sherwood Park 780-467-7741 Enforcement Services 780-449-0170 Report-a-Poacher 1-800-642-3800

Collingwood Cove



Wildlife Unit (WMU) Boundary Special Control Area

24-hour numbers



Wildlife Management Management Unit (WMU) Boundary

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Edmonton District Office: 780-427-3574


Township R

Township Road 570


Discharge of Discharge of firearms prohibited firearms prohibited

The Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations is available from any hunting license issuer; the provincial website lists locations, or call 1-877-944-0313.

W ye


Range Road 222

Sturgeon County

Further information

Antler Lake

Sturgeon County


Range Road 222

To find out whether your property is in a shooting or no shooting zone, check with the Transportation and Agriculture Services department at 780-417-7100 or

Beaver County

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Hunting

RCMP & Enforcement Services

Off highway vehicles are permitted to cross a highway. Operators should stop and yield to all traffic, have all passengers get off, and cross by the most direct, shortest and safest route. Registration for off highway vehicles may be obtained from any outlet in Alberta where motor vehicle licenses are sold. The Insurance Act requires that off highway vehicles have minimum coverage of $200,000 in public liability and property damage. Coverage of $1 million in public liability and damage is commonly carried.

Dogs All dogs in Strathcona County are required to be licensed. Residents are permitted to license up to two dogs per household. An over-limit permit is required in order to keep more than two dogs. Dogs must be licensed annually by March 31.

Dog owners must ensure that their pets’ barking do not annoy neighbours. Dogs must stay on the owner’s property and not be allowed to run free. Strathcona County Enforcement Services pick up any stray dogs and act on the complaints of neighbours about loose dogs. Off highway vehicles Off highway vehicles include snowmobiles, ATV’s and dirt bikes. These vehicles are permitted on designated trails, publicly owned lakes and on private property with the owner’s permission.

RCMP & Enforcement Services RCMP service is provided from the detachment in Sherwood Park, with a satellite office at Heartland Hall in north Strathcona County. The RCMP works closely with an active and effective Rural Crime Watch group.

Off highway vehicles must be registered and insured. Riders must be at least 14 years of age to operate on their own. In Alberta, off highway vehicles cannot be operated on any portion of the highway including ditches. In this case, highway refers to all types of roadways (Off-Highway Vehicles Bylaw 53-93).

In Alberta, an off highway vehicle operator can be charged with the same impaired driving charges as a driver of a motor vehicle. The majority of snowmobile collisions involve drinking and riding. Play it safe - avoid alcohol and drugs before and during the ride.

Further information: Enforcement Services 780-449-0170 Strathcona County RCMP 780-467-7741

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - RCMP & Enforcement Services

Noise Disturbance “Noise� means any sound which in the opinion of a County Bylaw Enforcement Officer, having regard for all circumstances, including the time of day and the natures of the activity generating the sound, is likely to unreasonably annoy or disturb persons or to injure, endanger or detract from the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of persons within the boundary of the County.

Rural school zones

Strathcona County has a Noise Control Bylaw (66-99) to protect residents from unreasonable disturbances. This bylaw regulates domestic and construction noise and prohibits the operation of motor vehicles which make objectionable noise. It also provides authority to issue permits outside the hours established by this bylaw in limited circumstances.

30 km/hr. School Zone Times 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. All County roads 80 km/hr. unless otherwise posted.

Hours during which construction equipment noise is permitted


Weekends/ Statutory Holidays

July 1 - August 31

Monday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, Statutory Holidays 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

September 1 - June 30

Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, Statutory Holidays 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Complaints can be made to Strathcona County Enforcement Services or Strathcona County RCMP.

Further information: Enforcement Services 780-449-0170 Strathcona County RCMP 780-467-7741

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Noice Disturbance

Bylaws Firearm Control Bylaw 11-2007 This bylaw regulates the use and discharge of firearms in Strathcona County. Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

Noise Control Bylaw 66-99 This bylaw regulates domestic and construction noise and prohibits the operation of motor vehicles which make objectionable noise. It also provides authority to issue permits outside the hours established by this bylaw in limited circumstances.

Cellular Phone Bylaw 27-2009 This bylaw regulates the use of hand-held cellular phones while operating a motor vehicle on highways under the direction, control, and management of Strathcona County. Enforcement Services 780-449-0170

Weight Restriction and Road Ban Bylaw 13-2008 This bylaw is for the purpose of restricting the weight of commercial vehicles and the goods being carried by commercial vehicles on Strathcona County highways. Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

Animal Control Bylaw 44-2002 This bylaw regulates the keeping and harbouring of animals on land within Strathcona County, with the exception of dogs. For regulation of dogs, see Dog Control Bylaw 85-2006. Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100.

Nuisance and Unsightly Premises Bylaw 80-2007

Land Use Bylaw 8-2001 This bylaw regulates the use, conservation, and development of land, habitat, buildings, and signs in pursuit of the objectives of Strathcona County’s statutory plans. Planning and Development Services, 780-464-8080

Dog Control Bylaw 85-2006 This bylaw provides for the licensing, confinement and control of dogs. Information about dog licensing and complaints about dogs: Special Constable and Bylaw Services at 449-0170.

This bylaw regulates and controls situations that create a visual nuisance or result in an unsightly property that interferes with the use and enjoyment of other premises in the area. Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Bylaws

Off-Highway Vehicles Bylaw 53-93

Roads: Deposit of Snow, Ice and Debris Bylaw 33-94

This bylaw regulates the use of municipally controlled and managed highways for off-highway vehicle events.

This bylaw promotes the safety of road users by regulating and controlling the deposit of snow, ice, dirt and debris onto highways, fire hydrants and Countycontrolled and managed roadways and sidewalks.

Permits for events are issued through Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

Parks Bylaw 30-92

Unauthorized Use of Conservation Easements Bylaw 47-2008 (amends Bylaw 68-2005) This bylaw provides for the protection and enhancement of the environment through the use and enforcement of environmental and conservation easements.

Enforcement Services, 780-449-0170

Enforcement Services, 780-449-0170

Stubble Burning Bylaw 50-2003

Unauthorized Use of County Property Bylaw 81-2007

This bylaw establishes a system of permits controlling the burning of land within Strathcona County.

(amends Bylaw 8-2007)

Permits are issued by Transportation and Agriculture Services, 780-417-7100

This bylaw regulates operating hours, public conduct, camping, use of dangerous objects, littering, fires, animals, vehicles, boating, swimming, motorized vehicles and other matters in parks and recreational areas. Written approval for special park uses may be obtained through Recreation, Parks and Culture at 780-467-2211

Sewage System Bylaw 25-2001 This bylaw establishes terms of providing a sewage system, including conditions for treatment and disposal of sewage. Utilities, 780-467-7785

Surface Drainage Bylaw 16-2009 This bylaw controls surface drainage on private and public sites within the County. Information and Inspections through Inspection Services, 780-464-8169

Civic Addressing Bylaw 29-2010

This bylaw regulates the unauthorized use of County Property to promote the safe, enjoyable and reasonable use of such land and to protect and conserve natural ecosystems for the benefit of all citizens of the County. Planning and Development, 780-464-8080

This bylaw requires the numbering and display of numbers on parcels of land and buildings and units and sub-units within buildings. Planning and Development Services, 780-464-8080

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Bylaws

Property Terms to know Municipal Development Plan - long-term policy that provides guidelines for future growth and development Land Use Bylaw - a bylaw that regulates use and development of land Area Structure Plan - statutory plans that outline development of a small part of a community or neighbourhood Area Concept Plan - similar to an Area Structure Plan, only may include a larger development area

Know your boundaries If your property is located next to a vacant piece of land, these are some things to consider:

Before you purchase property If you plan to make changes to a parcel or development, please contact Strathcona County’s Planning and Development office to discuss your plans prior to purchase of the property. Some things to take into consideration are: • Have an existing septic system inspected by a reliable firm • Obtain an up-to-date Certificate of Compliance from the seller • Ask the seller to provide copies of permits and inspection reports for improvements done

• If you are purchasing property with the intention of subdividing, keep in mind that not all property can be subdivided. There are many things that affect the potential for subdivision, such as zoning, location, size and parcel densities.

• Surrounding land may not stay the same as it is today. You can find out the zoning and land use of adjacent properties by reviewing the Land Use Bylaw. In addition, Area Structure Plans and the Municipal Development Plan can help you get informed about the potential of future development. These planning documents are available on our website or call Planning and Development Services for information. • Know where your property boundaries are. Any development, including fences, must be built within your boundaries and not on neighbouring lands, easements or public properties such as reserve land.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Property

• Reserve land is provided for the aesthetic enjoyment of the general public. In some cases Strathcona County may license a reserve for use as pasture or hay. On this land, certain things including motorized vehicles and hunting, are prohibited. The use of environmentally sensitive reserve lands is more restricted. • County-owned lands that include parks, reserves and water bodies are supported and maintained through tax dollars to provide residents with great places to enjoy the outdoors. It’s all about respecting ownership of property.

• Decks, patios, fire pits and storage sheds • Sand boxes, tree houses and play equipment • Fences and retaining walls • Gardens and composters • Docks and piers • Unauthorized pathways • Dumping of leaves, grass clippings and debris or fill • Clearing of trees and vegetation • Parking private vehicles With over 4,000 hectares of maintained parkland and open spaces, the value of the County’s parkland totals more than $100 million. Strathcona County is concerned with unauthorized use on County lands. Some of the reasons are: • Public safety

Most Strathcona County residents respect property boundaries. Sometimes (whether deliberately or inadvertently) owners use public property for their private use and purposes. An individual cannot construct, store, landscape, erect, place or remove anything on, in, under or over County property (Unauthorized Use of County Property Bylaw 8-2007). Some examples of illegal encroachments and unauthorized use of County property include:

• Environmental damage encroachments can damage the natural environment and cause irreparable damage to ecologically sensitive ecosystems. • Encroachments restrict or limit the use, enjoyment and availability of public lands.

The County protects public access of these lands for the benefit of all residents. As part of this protection, through the Unauthorized Use of County Property Bylaw, property owners who encroach on County land will be held responsible for any claims resulting in bodily injury or property damage related to the encroachment, as well as restoration and fines for unauthorized use.

Developing your property A number of issues can affect property. It is important to research these before you begin to build or develop land. Here are some things to consider: • Verify the zoning of the parcel with Strathcona County Planning and Development Services to make sure your project conforms to County regulations. • Get an up-to-date copy of the title from the Alberta Land Titles office or any Alberta Registries office to find out whether there are any easements for drainage, tree retention, or underground or overhead utilities registered on the title which can affect how a property may be developed. • In many subdivisions, the developer has added restrictions and guidelines over and above the County’s that may limit the size and location of buildings, as well as use of the parcel. You can verify this by checking the title to the property for any restrictive covenants or architectural controls, or by contacting the developer to obtain this information.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Property

• Have the property surveyed by an Alberta land surveyor to make sure you are aware of where the property boundaries are, as well as the location of any existing buildings or improvements (including septic systems). Fences do not necessarily reflect property lines.

Whether you are considering developing property, renovating existing buildings or operating a home business, the permitting process helps ensure your proposed project meets County bylaws, statutory plans, provincial codes and standards.

• Find out how water will flow on the property. You may wish to have a soils test conducted by a qualified professional before development or construction occurs. • If you are contemplating development within proximity of a water body, stream, marsh or other wet area, you may be required to submit a professional report verifying that the slope stability or flooding potential has been taken into consideration prior to development. In the event you are creating or filling in a dugout or wet area, both Alberta Environment and Strathcona County need to be consulted. • Before you construct a new access or approach, check with the County to ensure it is constructed in an approved location and standard and that the necessary permit has been obtained.

• Find out whether additional permits are needed from other agencies. For example, development within 800 metres of a primary highway requires approval from Alberta Transportation. Although the County has no jurisdiction in these areas, we can usually assist you through the process. Septic systems

• Applicants are encouraged to have a pre-application meeting with the Planning and Development Services department to discuss zoning, development restrictions, permitting requirements and how they may apply to your property. • While we do not have business licensing in Strathcona County, you are required to obtain a development permit to operate a business from your home (or on any property located within Strathcona County). Keep in mind, businesses that impact adjacent property owners, may not be considered under the home business regulations. • Make sure you obtain the necessary development, building, electrical, plumbing, gas and private sewage permits before you begin construction.

There are several options for septic systems on rural property depending on the soil conditions, size and proximity to property lines and buildings. For information about regulations and development of new septic systems, contact Strathcona County Planning and Development Services. Electricity

Power outages may occur in rural areas more frequently than in urban areas. The cost for electricity usually includes a connection fee and monthly charge for energy consumed. If you wish to develop a property, be sure to determine the proximity of electrical power, as it can be expensive to extend power lines to some areas. Contact 310-WIRE to find out more.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Property

Natural Gas For new developments, it is recommended that you contact the natural gas company as early as possible to ensure the service is available when you need it.

Before installing a gas line, obtain the necessary permit and inspection from Strathcona County Planning and Development Services before the line is trenched and covered. There are restrictions on location, depth and ground cover. Alberta One Call Before you decide to put in a new fence post, plant a tree, build a retaining wall – remember to call before you dig 1-800-242-3447 To locate water and sewer lines, contact Utilities at 780-449-5514.

Addressing Rural addresses are assigned by Strathcona County Planning and Development Services and are based on the grid system of east/west township roads and north/south range roads. Your address is required to be posted clearly in front of each residence. This ensures that in an emergency, fire, ambulance or police will be able to locate the address as easily as possible. Each address letter or number must be at least 75 millimetres in height and all structures including address posts, mail boxes and entrance features must be

located within the property boundaries. For more details on the above, see Strathcona County’s Addressing Bylaw. Any road names within a rural subdivision are put up by the developer for navigation purposes only and do not serve any purpose as far as addressing is concerned. Canada Post can assist you with postal code information.

Further information: Planning and Development Services 780-464-8080

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Property

Conservation Easements in Strathcona County This ensures that the landowner can preserve the property’s conservation values, retain use of the land, and potentially receive income tax benefits. In essence, a conservation easement protects the stewardship of the land forever.

How do you get a conservation easement? Application for a conservation easement is voluntary.

Strathcona County is located at the gradation between Alberta’s northern boreal forest and aspen parkland. As a result, Strathcona County is identified as a community with an abundance of valued green spaces that support a high diversity of plants, mammals, waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, amphibians, and reptiles. Residents can take pride in the distinctive geography, forests, wetlands, grasslands, and lakes that make Strathcona County a special place to live.

Why should you consider a conservation easement? Conservation easements contribute to the protection of natural areas and wildlife. By protecting the environment, we have clean air, clean water, diverse landscapes and aesthetic beauty to our benefit. Traditionally, protected areas have been in the form of parks and nature reserves. In fragmented landscapes with a high pressure for development, small habitats do not warrant nature preserve status due to their relatively small size.

The remaining habitats are important reminders of the historic landscape and it is important to limit further destruction of forest, wetlands and lakes due to urban, industrial and agricultural expansion.

What is a conservation easement?

Meet with a County representative for an introduction to the conservation easement program. The representative will walk through the basic legal document and the overall conservation objective will be determined. The area proposed for conservation purposes is determined based on an evaluation of the biological and physical characteristics of the land. A physical site inspection by a County representative is typically required.

Further information: Engineering and Environmental Planning 780-464-8279

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and Strathcona County. The agreement permits the landowner to own or continue to own and manage the land with benefits to both the landowner and the environment.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Conservation Easements in Strathcona County

P ro t e c t i o n o f Wa t e r B o d i e s i n S t r a t h c o n a C o u n t y

What activities are illegal?

How are water bodies protected? All water in the province of Alberta is managed and protected by the Government of Alberta, including water located on private land. The Water Act governs how the province of Alberta manages water within our boundaries. Under the Water Act, modification or disturbance of a water body is not allowed, even on private land, unless authorization to do so is first obtained from Alberta Environment. In some cases, additional authorization may be required under other municipal and federal legislation.

It is illegal to place anything or to do anything that disturbs ground or vegetation in a water body or natural water course that now or in the future could:

What is a water body?

• alter the flow or level of water, whether temporarily or permanently • change the location of water or the direction of flow of water • cause siltation of water or the erosion of the bed or shore of a water body • cause an effect on the aquatic environment (fish, water quality, aquatic vegetation) Examples of such activities include (but are not limited to) filling, draining, ditching, damming, and removing shoreline vegetation. A water body is defined in the Water Act as any location where water flows or is present, including locations where the flow or presence of water is intermittent, seasonal or occurs only during a flood. Examples of water bodies include lakes, rivers, creeks, gullies, wetlands, flood plains, ponds, sloughs, bogs, muskeg, riparian areas and aquifers.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Protection of Water Bodies in Stracthcona County

What is No Net Loss? No Net Loss of wetland functions is to balance the loss of wetland function through rehabilitation of former degraded wetlands or enhancement of healthly, functioning wetlands. No Net Loss requires proponents to work through a strict series of mitigation activities with clear criteria and defined outcomes, as set out by the legislation: • Water Act • Public Lands Act • Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation • Provincial Wetland Restoration/ Compensation Guide

How are illegal activities enforced? Unauthorized activities can result in the following enforcement action by Alberta Environment: • written warnings - stays on record for five years

All development initiated by a landowner or a third party, including Strathcona County, shall be subject to the Wetland Conservation Policy to realize the goal of No Net Loss to wetlands within the urban and rural areas.

• violation ticket - fine for minor offences

What is a wetland?

• requirement to re-establish pre-disturbance conditions

• water table at, near, or above the land surface

Protection of wetlands in Strathcona County Strathcona County will ensure the conservation of wetlands during the process of developing land and constructing buildings and infrastructure.

Mitigation is a process to reduce loss of wetland by: • avoidance to wetland damage or destruction • minimization of the impact and provision of applicable compensation • compensation for wetland damage or destruction

A wetland is defined as land having:

• poorly drained (hydric) soils which are saturated for a long enough period to promote aquatic processes • water loving (hydrophyllic) plants and various kinds of biological activity which are adapted to a wet environment

Further information: Engineering and Environmental Planning 780-464-8279 Alberta Environment 1-800-222-6514

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Protection of Water Bodies in Stracthcona County

Recycling and Waste Collection

Water Residents of rural Strathcona County may obtain water from their own wells, by truck from a private hauler, or from various service providers in different parts of the County.

Household waste must be sorted into organic materials, container recyclables, paper products or waste. There is weekly collection of recyclables (container and paper). Organics and waste are collected on a rotating weekly schedule. The monthly fee also covers pick up of large items in spring and fall, Christmas tree collection and extra yard waste collection in the spring and fall.

Area and suppliers: (See attached Quick Reference Directory)

Waste collection - you’ve got options

It is strongly recommended that well water be tested regularly. Residents can arrange for this through the Alberta Health Authority.

If your property is larger than two acres you can: • look after waste disposal yourself

Waste collection services from Strathcona County

Waste collection services from Strathcona County, known as the Green Routine, includes curbside recycling program, organics collection and roll-out carts. The system is a major step in reducing the amount of material we send to landfill. It has the potential to divert up to 89 per cent of waste. Your efforts now will help make sure we have a healthy community for future generations to come.

• subscribe to waste collection from Strathcona County • subscribe to waste collection service from The Garbage Man If your property is two acres or less, you are required to subscribe to waste collection services. You have the choice of receiving service from the County or The Garbage Man.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Recycling and Waste Collection

Burning barrels Residents with properties over five acres with a burning barrel must have a valid fire permit from Emergency Services. Strathcona County residents are not permitted to burn household garbage on properties five acres in size or smaller. Smoke and odours from burning plastics, food scraps and other garbage are unpleasant for your neighbours. They’re also harmful to the environment, and a safety hazard.

Further information: Residents of rural hamlets are required to receive waste collection from Strathcona County.

Each household in Strathcona County pays a monthly fee to help fund these services.

If you would like to receive waste collection from Strathcona County, call Utilities at 780-449-5514 to set up your account.

• •

Other programs and services

• South Cooking Lake Recycling Station at the South Cooking Lake Fire Hall

Recycling Strathcona County has five recycling stations, a backyard composting program and 12 Enviroservice events (for collection of household hazardous waste, electronics and appliances).

Utilities 780-449-5514

Ardrossan Recycling Station at the Ardrossan Recreation Complex Josephburg Recycling Station at the Moyer Recreation Complex

• Baseline Road Recycling Station, 624 Bethel Drive • Sherwood Park Streambank Avenue Recycling Centre at 420 Streambank Avenue, Sherwood Park Regional waste disposal sites are available in Fort Saskatchewan, Lindbrook and Edmonton.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Recycling and Waste Collection

Family and Community Services Parent Link* – drop-in and registered programs for parents and children 0-5 years. Program focuses on child development through play, parent education, family support, information and referral, and family fun events. *Parent Link rural drop-in programs located at Hastings Lake, South Cooking Lake, Ardrossan and North Cooking Lake, ABC Zones (formerly camps) in the summer.

Parent Teen Conflict Resolution parents and teens meet with an experienced facilitator to come together and work to resolve issues. Roots of Empathy – lessons on infant development and building emotional literacy skills. Offered in partnership with participating schools in Strathcona County.

Counselling services Family and Community Services offer services to all Strathcona County residents, including a variety of programming in rural locations.

Counselling services with a trained therapist are available for individuals, couples and families. Services include: • counselling • information

Family and Community Services provide a range of programs and services as listed below. These include counselling, subsidy programs and many groups for children, youth, adults and older adults.

In-home supports:

Family supports

Home Support Services - in-home support services are available to residents of Strathcona County who are experiencing health-related difficulties.

Family Day Homes – consultation and child care information for children 0-18 years.

Home Visitation Program - long-term, in-home supports are available for parents and parents-to-be in raising children to be healthy, safe and secure.

• advocacy • family support such as parent-teen conflict resolution.

Family School Liaison – early intervention program that supports school aged children and their families.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Family and Community Services

Group/service programs

Groups and services for adults include:

There are a variety of group programs available for support and training for children, youth and adults.

• Divorce support group is for parents dealing with separation or divorce. This 10-week program is provided at no cost.

Groups for children and youth include:

• Parent Leadership is a six-week parenting course that covers the following topics: positive parenting, creating confident kids, communication that works, parents in control, the discipline difference and what kids need to succeed.

• Divorce support group provides support for children and youth (Kindergarten – Grade 12) who are dealing with the effects of divorce or separation. This 10-week program is provided at no cost to families. • Competent Kids (Grades 1-3 or 4-6) teaches children how to develop social skills to aid them in having meaningful relationships. A parent workshop is offered to build parents’ awareness and confidence in raising a socially competent child. • Free the Horses teaches children (Grades 1-4) to build self-esteem. Each lesson develops a vital character trait, such as courage, cooperation, responsibility or being a friend. • The Amazing Journey (Boys, Grades 3-6) focuses on life and social skills, anger management and family dynamics in a car-based theme. • Youth in Action (Ages 11-15) is a high energy video-based program that addresses issues facing today’s teens including brain and body development, courage and self-esteem, communication and peaceful conflict resolution. • Youth Council (Grades 7 – 12) is a group of volunteer youth who develop leadership skills and show the positive impact and roles youth can have in the community.

• Triple P: Positive Parenting Program (for parents of children 2-12, teens) provides information on a variety of topics including confident competent children, resilience, getting teenagers connected and raising responsible teenagers. • Solid Marital Home is a four-week series for couples in a committed relationship who want to gather new knowledge and insight to build and enhance their relationship. • Adult Literacy Program is available for adults who want to upgrade their basic reading, writing and spelling skills. Free, confidential lessons are provided on a one-to-one basis. Assistance with English as a Second Language is also available. • Community Adult Learning Council (CALC) offers a variety of courses and programs that further adult learning. Explore the programs sponsored by member agencies of CALC at

Services for older adults include: • Seniors Resource Worker helps link seniors and their family members to community resources and encourages sharing of resources among seniors’ groups and organizations. • Friendly Visitor Program matches volunteers with seniors in the community that would benefit from companionship and support. • Vision Loss Support Group aims to maintain independence and quality of life for people with vision loss and increase seniors’ involvement and access to CNIB services. • Snow Busters/Lawn Busters matches qualified seniors with volunteers to assist with snow and ice removal/ lawn mowing.

Further information: Family and Community Services 780-464-4044

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Family and Community Services

Oil and Gas

What are the rights of the landowner?

Although Strathcona County does not have direct authority in energy development we ask industry to meet the County’s expectations detailed in the Strathcona County Protocol when: • drilling wells

• developing facilities, or

• installing large pipeline projects

The Protocol was developed by County landowners to ensure oil and gas exploration and production occurs in the County with the least possible impact on the environment, health, safety and quality of life for residents. Strathcona County engages in a process with industry, landowners, residents and regulators that is communicative and cooperative. Further information on the Strathcona County Protocol can be found on Strathcona County’s website

Where is oil and gas development located? The majority of active wells are located in the northern part of Strathcona County with some operational and abandoned wells in other areas of the County. Most large pipelines are located in the

Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC) on the western border of Sherwood Park, from the TUC to the southern border of the County, and from the TUC north to the Industrial Heartland in the northern part of the County. Specific locations of facilities and pipelines can be obtained from the Energy Exploration Liaison.

A County survey revealed that many landowners are not aware of their rights or of regulations in regards to oil and gas exploration. Most lands in Strathcona County carry two sets of titles and rights. The surface title gives the landowner the right to control and work the land’s surface. The mineral title, usually sub-surface, gives the mineral rights to the owner of that title and the right to explore (or lease to a company to explore) for those minerals (usually oil and gas). There are a high percentage of mineral rights held by individuals in Strathcona County compared to other Counties where the Crown holds most mineral rights. Landowners also have the right to negotiate some surface details of wells, pipelines and facilities. Location of these developments, access roads, compensation, fencing, topsoil, drainage, weeds, clubroot management, trees, water wells testing and reclamation, are a few examples that may be considered.

How to prevent the spread of clubroot? Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease listed as a pest under Alberta’s Agricultural Pest Act. Infected fields experience economic losses through the reduction of crop yields and seed quality. The disease is spread by infested soil which can be carried by field equipment or by wind and erosion.

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Oil and Gas

Landowners can prevent the spread of clubroot to their land by ensuring that oil and gas companies and contractors are taking measures to minimize soil transfer in areas where clubroot is known or is suspected of. Measures may include developing protocols for field staff and contractors, cleaning equipment and avoiding traffic during wet conditions. For further information regarding clubroot, please contact Transportation and Agriculture Services at 780-417-7100.

• landowner rights • communication with the right individuals within the oil and gas regulator, the Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB) as well as energy companies and their agents • problem solving with particular energy issues that arise • contact and connections with other local or provincial groups or individuals related to oil and gas development for support or information The County website has a resident resource page to assist landowners with information and contacts should projects be proposed on their land or in their area.

• information, resources and contacts for anyone affected by or interested in oil and gas exploration in the County • current updates on proposed, new and existing wells and pipelines • setbacks on future land development as a result of oil or gas projects

A seismic survey is used to investigate earth’s subterranean formations and is mainly used for oil and gas exploration. Companies may drill shot holes and use dynamite or use vibrosis to determine through sound waves what is in the formations. Landowners have the right to refuse seismic activity on their lands. If industry determines there may be oil or gas in these formations they may decide to explore further and drill a well. Landowners cannot prohibit this activity. Strathcona County does not allow seismic surveying on County road right-of-ways.

What if there are pipelines on or near my land? Industry has pipeline right-of-way agreements with landowners. While pipelines are monitored regularly landowners should report any unusual activity, leaks, and smells on or near a right-of-way by calling 911.

How do I get information about oil and gas exploration in my area? If a landowner is approached by a company with a proposal for energy development or the landowner lives near oil or gas development, information and resources can be obtained from the Liaison including:

Seismic surveying/ geophysical exploration

Landowners can call the Liaison to get assistance or information on a particular issue. Potential landowners can access land title documents for a complete listing of oil and gas (and other) encumbrances held against the surface title before final purchase. The Liaison works on behalf of landowners on oil and gas-related issues.

Beyond regular farming activities always dial before you dig. Contact Alberta One Call at 1-800-242-3447. Information on new or existing pipelines can be obtained from the Liaison office.

Further information: Engineering and Environmental Planning Energy Exploration Liaison 780-416-6739

Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Oil and Gas

Quick Reference Directory

Strathcona County Contacts County Council

Planning and Development Services

Linda Osinchuk



Vic Bidzinski

Councillor Ward 1


Roxanne Carr

Councillor Ward 2


Brian Botterill

Councillor Ward 3



Peter Wlodarczak

Councillor Ward 4


Rural Crime Watch, complaints

Jacquie Fenske

Councillor Ward 5


Linton Delainey

Councillor Ward 6


Bonnie Riddell

Councillor Ward 7


Recreation, Parks and Culture

Jason Gariepy

Councillor Ward 8


Recreation programs and drop-in opportunities; services for community groups; parks, playgrounds and sports fields


Strathcona County Main Switchboard All departments and services


To find out which ward you are in, call 780-464-8134 or check the County website.

Emergency Services Fire permits, fire prevention



Engineering and Environmental Planning Approach application, road design




Enforcement Services Bylaw and enforcement, dog control

Development permits and regulations

Strathcona County Accessible Transit (SCAT) In Strathcona County rural areas, SCAT is available to person’s with disabilities and seniors over 65. To qualify for SCAT an application form must be completed.



Transportation and Agriculture Services Family and Community Services Programs and supportive services for families


Fire, ambulance, police


County road maintenance, snow and ice control; agricultural services, weeds, roadside vegetation control, surface water drainage; pest control and hunting


Utilities Heartland Hall Contact Office


Recycling, waste collection


Water and wastewater


Alberta Utilities Commission


Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Quick Reference Directory

Other Important External Contacts Alberta Environment


Natural Gas ATCO

780-424-5222 or 310-5678

Lamco Gas



Natural Resources Conservation Board



Complaint line



Schools Canada Post


Elk Island Catholic Schools


Elk Island Public Schools


Electricity Fortis Alberta


Telephone Telus


Fish and Wildlife

area office

780-944-0313 780-427-3574

Water Near Sherwood Park Strathcona County

Highway Maintenance All other highways in Strathcona County Carillion Canada


Transportation Systems Management Highway 216/Anthony Henday Drive interchange east


780-464-8272 or 780-464-8273

Along Wye Road east of Sherwood Park Highway 14 Regional Water Service Commission


North of Highway 16 Josephburg Co-op/Lamco Gas


Water Testing Alberta Health Services


Strathcona Guide to Rural Living - Quick Reference Directory

Strathcona County Guide to Rural Living 041511  

A guide to living in the Country and all related subjects people might need to know when they make the move.

Strathcona County Guide to Rural Living 041511  

A guide to living in the Country and all related subjects people might need to know when they make the move.