News / Edmonton

Edmonton scales back annexation of Leduc County

Annexing Edmonton International Airport land is still being negotiated

Mayor Don Iveson says the city can meet growth targets with the smaller portion of land.

Metro File

Mayor Don Iveson says the city can meet growth targets with the smaller portion of land.

The City of Edmonton has scaled back its request to annex land in Leduc County after the Mayor says they realized they could meet future growth needs with a smaller portion.

Mayor Don Iveson and Leduc County Mayor John Whaley announced the new annexation plans Wednesday, which have been under negotiation since 2013.

“It’s been a really long journey,” Iveson said during a news conference. “Today is a real milestone in committing ourselves as a city and a county on collaborating growth around the airport.”

Annexing Edmonton International Airport (EIA) land, however, remains in limbo as the city, Leduc County and EIA continue to negotiate.  

The city originally had its eye on a larger peice of Leduc County, but withdrew its request to acquire lands west of the airport and south of Highway 19. The land they're getting shrank by 2,584 hectares to a total 9,748 hectares.

Leduc County will retain the north Nisku industrial area and the reservoir, which was previously part of original plans. Unless it’s mutually agreed on, the city’s boundary won’t shift again into Leduc Country until joint planning for the area has been completed.

With such reductions, Iveson said the city can still meet growth targets as it plans to build denser neighbourhoods.

That means prime agriculture land will be saved, according to Whaley. However, he acknowledged some of that land will be lost.

“As farmers we recognize that,” he said. “We struggle with that.”

Both Iveson and Whaley took aim at the province’s decision to approve Beaumont’s plans to annex 21 quarter sections north of town. Edmonton was eyeing nine of those sections.

“(That) was a travesty for this region,” Whaley said. “The Capital Region was supposed to be working together. That decision will keep everyone in silos.”

Iveson said the city will try to still annex those nine sections, adding he’s inviting Beaumont and Leduc County to collaborate with the city on those lands.

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