The initial structure of governance for P4G centres on a planning district under the Act, with committees that provide advice on common planning and development issues to the five affiliated municipalities. This structure is intended to allow the municipalities to collaborate and coordinate action, while retaining their autonomy over municipal initiatives, and is intended to be an expansion of the existing Corman Park-Saskatoon Planning District
The overall governance of P4G will be coordinated by the following:
- Municipal Councils. The affiliated municipal Councils are the basis for the authority of the Region. As P4G is not granted approval authority or other municipal or corporate powers under the Act, the primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Regional Plan is vested with these Councils. An All Councils Meeting for all affiliated municipalities should be coordinated on a regular basis to present annual reports, reinforce ongoing support and oversight of the P4G, and receive draft P4G Budgets and Strategic Business Plans.
- P4G Regional Oversight Committee. A P4G Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) consisting of representatives from all Councils will serve as an ongoing steering committee for the P4G. This organization will provide advice to Councils, give direction and oversight for the implementation of the Plan, and coordinate the creation of plans, studies, and policies necessary to carry out the Plan.
- P4G Planning Commission. A 13-member P4G Planning Commission (P4GPC) will be formed as the primary review body for regional planning. Consisting of 2 representatives (one an elected representative) from each of the municipalities as well as three joint members, the P4GPC is tasked primarily with reviewing referred reports on development applications, plans, and other items to ensure conformity to the Regional Plan, and providing recommendations to Councils about their compliance with the Plan.
- P4G Planning and Administration Committee. The P4G Planning and Administration Committee (PAC) will serve as a technical committee to provide ongoing support for the implementation of the Regional Plan and other elements of the planning framework for P4G. The PAC will consist of administrative representatives from all municipalities, and will work with consultants, subcommittees, and municipal employees in preparing plans, policies, and reports. Additionally, PAC will provide administrative support in developing P4G Budgets, Strategic Business Plans, and regular reporting on the progress towards implementing the Regional Plan.
- Other advisory committees. Other committees may be formed on an as-needed basis by ROC and/or the P4GPC to conduct and support ongoing planning efforts under the Regional Plan.
- P4G Coordinator. A P4G Coordinator may be retained to coordinate the overall implementation and management of the Regional Plan, and provide ongoing support for the activities of ROC and P4GPC. The P4G Coordinator would also chair the PAC, and provide day-to-day management of ongoing P4G initiatives.
- Staff support. Additional staff resources to support ongoing activities of P4G will be seconded from municipalities or hired as necessary. This may include technical staff to support Commission reviews and planning staff to assist ROC with oversight and implementation of the Plan.
As the roles and responsibilities of P4G change to meet ongoing regional needs, this structure may change and expand to accommodate additional committees, staff, and affiliated organizations.
P4G Referral Process
Under the Regional Plan, specific plans and applications shall be referred to the P4GPC for a recommendation. Although the Plan recognizes the approval authority of individual municipalities in the development process, this recommendation shall be considered in the final decision by Council. Three different processes are envisioned for referral, based on the type of application and potential impacts:
Permitted uses have minimal regional and cross-boundary implications, if any, and can be approved directly by the local municipality using internal processes without the need for a referral. The provisions of the Regional Plan will still apply to the internal review of these applications.
Referrals to adjacent municipalities are required for:
- Sector Plans, Concept Plans and associated amendments for locations that are adjacent to a municipal boundary, on aspects that relate to the Regional Plan;
- applications to rezone, subdivide, or establish discretionary uses that:
- pose a significant impact on adjacent lands or growth areas,
- encourage discontinuous growth,
- place pressure on the adjacent municipality to expand or upgrade services and/or infrastructure, or
- have significant local service and/or infrastructure demands; and
- other plans and policies as determined by the originating municipality.
Referrals to all P4G municipalities are required for applications to rezone, subdivide, or establish discretionary uses on lands if proposed uses would have significant regional implications for services and infrastructure, or other region-wide impacts that would affect all municipalities.
The flowchart on the following page provides the individual steps in each of these three referral processes.
P4G Regional Plan Amendment Processes
Amendments to maps and text of the Regional Plan will be required for the following reasons:
- A periodic review of the Regional Plan will be necessary, which may require amendments to the Plan to ensure that it conforms to the Statements of Provincial Interest and other statutes, continues to reflect the principles and needs of the Region, and reflects growth planning by municipalities.
- Major amendments may be required from time to time to address changes in the circumstances of planning in the Region, including changes in the role of P4G in coordinating regional growth.
- Minor amendments may be put forward to adjust the map or text that is consistent with the principles of the Regional Plan.
Standard Amendment Process
The process for a Regional Plan amendment is provided in the flowchart on the following page. Note that for the purpose of this process, a recommendation by the Commission is contested if none of the representatives from a municipality are in favour of the recommendation.
Expedited Regional Plan Amendment Process
For Agriculture areas in the Region that are not within intended future urban growth areas, there is the need for the RM to have greater flexibility for land use changes. In these situations, an expedited amendment process may be allowed, which can ensure the Principles and Strategic Directions of the Plan are being followed while reducing the time and steps necessary for changes in the Plan. Such an expedited process, permitted under section 102(16) of the Act, would allow one municipality to amend the Regional Plan without the need to receive approval from the Councils of all affiliated municipalities.
- This process will be incorporated into the P4G District Planning Agreement, and will include the following requirements:
- The use is amended from the Agriculture category to the Country Residential or Rural Commercial/Industrial category;
- The development is not within a quarter section that is adjacent to an urban municipality or a future urban growth area, unless the adjacent urban municipality confirms the proposal is compatible with the location and timing of urban development;
- The amended use can be supported by available infrastructure and services, and shall not place pressure on urban municipalities to expand infrastructure or services to support the development;
- The amendment otherwise complies with the Principles, Strategic Directions, and policies of the Regional Plan, and any Concept Plans or other detailed planning applicable for the area; and
- The affiliated municipalities have no objections to an expedited amendment process during the referral process, based on the requirements of this section.
For expedited amendments from the Agriculture category to the Rural Commercial/Industrial category, the following additional requirements apply:
- Changes to Rural Commercial/Industrial land uses may only be expedited for areas of one quarter section (32.8 hectares, or 160 acres) or less;
- Proposed development of new rural commercial/industrial uses allowed by an expedited amendment process shall consider the regional impacts to the market;
- >Lands identified for a change to Rural Commercial/Industrial should be clustered close to existing Rural Commercial/Industrial areas and intersections of major transportation routes to support nodal development; and
- Dispersed patterns of rural commercial and industrial development shall be discouraged.
The process for an expedited Regional Plan amendment process is provided in the flowchart on the following page. Note that an expedited amendment process may be shifted to a standard amendment process if a municipality presents objections to the application as part of the referral process.
Interim Regional Plan Changes
Between the endorsement of the Regional Plan by Regional Oversight Committee, and the final approval of the Plan by the Minister, there may be requirements to adjust the Plan to consider short-term needs. As this Plan should be flexible in responding to these issues, an interim process will be used to manage changes that comply with the established principles and strategic directions of the Plan. These changes will not affect the endorsement of the Plan by ROC.
The municipal Councils will approve the Regional Land Use Map as endorsed by ROC prior to the approval of the Regional Plan. A copy of the Regional Land Use Map will be filed with the Minister for information pending the finalization of the Regional Plan. Any change to the Regional Land Use Map prior to final approval of the Plan by the Minister will require approval by all P4G partner municipal Councils, and will be forwarded to the Minister for information.
The interim process for changes to the Regional Land Use Map will be endorsed by ROC as part of the endorsement of the Plan. Changes to the Plan as part of this interim process will be subject to the following requirements:
- Changes to the Land Use Map must be supported and submitted to P4G for consideration by an affiliated municipality;
- Changes to the Land Use Map should be supported either by new information not considered during the development of the Plan, or a change in the planning context that requires consideration in the Land Use Map;
- Changes to the Land Use Map must be supported with a rationale that is reviewed and confirmed by PAC;
- Changes to the Regional Land Use Map should be supported by a Concept Plan or other study;
- Changes to the Regional Land Use Map should not adjust the total amount of land in each land use category or provide a rationale acceptable to PAC and ROC to justify the change; and
- The proposed change otherwise complies with the principles and strategic directions of the Regional Plan.
The process for an interim Regional Plan amendment process is provided in the flowchart on the following page.
Dispute Resolution Process
A strong dispute resolution process is necessary to fulfill requirements under the Act, and provide options for resolving differences over the administration and interpretation of the Regional Plan. A clear mechanism with a step-by-step process ensures that major and minor issues can be resolved with mutually acceptable outcomes.
This dispute resolution mechanism would allow for the voluntary management of disputes in ways that would allow for constructive dialogue. This would be a process followed by municipalities before an issue would be taken to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.
Adjustment of Membership
The role of P4G is expected to evolve into the future, with changing roles and responsibilities expected as organizational capacity grows and regional needs are identified. One major change to the Region may come from the addition of new members to the P4G, or the withdrawal of existing members from the organization.
Addition of New Members
Through a written request submitted to ROC, a new municipality or First Nation may express their intent to join the P4G Planning District. The application for a jurisdiction to join P4G shall be accompanied by an outline of the rationale for requesting membership, including a description of areas of regional interest to the jurisdiction, current alignment with P4G plans and policies, and potential contributions to ongoing initiatives.
The steps to this process are as follows, which must be consistent with the requirements of the Act:
- Staff review. PAC shall review the application and provide a report outlining the impacts of incorporating a new member into the P4G. This report will be submitted to ROC and the Commission for review.
- Application review and recommendation. The ROC shall review the application and PAC report, and provide a recommendation to municipal Councils regarding whether the new member should be admitted.
- Approval by all Councils. The Councils of all affiliated municipalities must unanimously approve the application and submit their approvals to ROC. If any municipality does not provide approval, the application is denied. This decision may be appealed using the dispute resolution process, if necessary.
- Prepare changes to P4G plans and agreements. ROC shall review and prepare any needed changes to the P4G District Planning Agreement, Regional Plan, and any other documents to accommodate the new member.
- Approve changes to P4G plans and agreements. Needed amendments to the Regional Plan, P4G District Planning Agreement, and other documents must be approved by all municipal Councils as per the regular amendment process.
- Submit application and amendments to the Minister. The proposed changes to the Regional Plan and P4G District Planning Agreement shall be submitted to the Minister for approval and amendment of the order creating the P4G.
Termination by a Member
If a member of P4G decides to end its participation in the P4G Planning District, it may do this according to the process established in section 106 of the Act. This requires a request submitted to the Minister, which may result in an amendment to terminate the affiliation of the municipality, or a referral of the request to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board for decision.
If a municipality decides to end its affiliation with P4G, all assets and liabilities of the P4G shall be distributed in proportion with the cost-sharing formulas in use at the time by the P4G. The Regional Plan, P4G Zoning Bylaw, and other plans and policies should be amended as necessary to consider the revised membership.