Following nearly four years of research, consultation and public engagement, the Town of Cochrane has formally adopted a new modernized land use bylaw.

The Land Use Bylaw review and rewrite project was initiated by Town Administration in 2018 to ensure the bylaw meets the land use and development need of Cochrane amid rapid growth, and to reflect the unique character and natural landscape of the town. The previous Land Use Bylaw was adopted in 2004.

“The Land Use Bylaw impacts all Cochranites,” said Mayor Genung. “This updated version is a user-friendly document that simplifies the development​process, responds to modern trends in development, and allows us to plan and mange future growth.”

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires every municipality to adopt a Land Use Bylaw. Essentially, the bylaw controls and regulates what can and cannot occur on a parcel of land and how a building can be placed and constructed on that parcel. In addition, the bylaw also includes other development considerations, such as parking, landscaping, signage and lighting.

The team worked to develop a bylaw that achieved five key goals:
1/ Reduce red tape for residents and stakeholders.
2/ Align with existing Town policies and provincial regulations.
3/ Improve readability and enhance online bylaw presence.
4/ Modernize regulations to reflect current development trends.
5/ Highlight the importance of Historic Downtown.

Key highlights of the new bylaw include:

Districts: Reduced the number of districts into 5 types: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Urban Service and Direct Control.

Land Uses: Broader use definitions allow for more flexible interpretation.

Development Authority and Permit Processing: Streamlined application process for permitted use development permits. Development permits will now be advertised online to create efficiencies.

Parking: Parking stall minimums have been removed for non-residential properties. The new bylaw will ensure that appropriate amounts of parking stalls are being provided based on the context of the application.

Development Trends: New land uses apply to modern development trends, including temporary commercial services, breweries, wineries and distilleries, and community gardens.

More information and a copy of the bylaw is available at