MainBannerUp Home Donate Contact Us MainBannerLow TDCs 101 Policy and Legislation Community Engagement TDC Conservation Area TDC Development Areas Credit Systems Fitting the Pieces Title Restriction Resources Miistakis Institute

In this section ...

TDC101 TDC Policy and Legislation

The Regulatory Framework

At its highest level, the regulatory framework for the Transfer of Development Credits tool is quite clear: the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (Sections 48, 49 and 50) explicitly identifies the TDC tool as one available to municipalities, and legislatively enables it. However, as a voluntary tool established and overseen by a municipality, there are a number of authorities that play a role in bringing a TDC program to life.

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) lays out tasks (at a high level) that a municipality must undertake to establish a local TDC program, and requires that approval for a municipal TDC program come from the Lieutenant Governor in Council (i.e., the provincial cabinet). The upcoming TDC Regulation will clarify and facilitate the approval process referred to in the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, and will lay out the remaining tasks (at a more specific level) that a municipality must undertake to establish a local TDC program.

When formally created, a TDC program is an addition to the existing municipal planning structure, not a replacement for it. Although the TDC tool is enabled by ALSA, implementing a program happens through the existing planning tools available to a municipality, including statutory plans such as the Municipal Development Plan and Area Structure Plan, and the general bylaw powers. In general, these are the powers vested with the municipality through Part 17 of the Municipal Government Act.

The Land Use Secretariat is the body of the public service created under ALSA  to help discharge the objectives of that legislation, and is responsible for developing or promoting the programs and schemes needed to support the regional plans. The Land Use Secretariat facilitates the application and approval process between the Municipality and the Lieutenant Governor in Council. It is important to note that the TDC tool is available to municipalities even if there is no regional plan in place for their area.

The municipality determines whether or not a TDC program would support the goals of the municipality, and if so, moves to establish the program. The municipality designs and oversees all components of the TDC program, subject to the approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet). The municipality establishes the program locally through the creation of a municipal TDC Bylaw, and relevant provisions in the Municipal Development Plan, Land Use Bylaw, Area Structure Plans, and Intermunicipal Development Plans.


Miistakis Reports

Government of Alberta


Papers and Reports

Web Resources


Support Organizations and Consultants

Alberta Efforts

Did we miss an important resource? If you know of a publication, web site, or other resource that should be here, please contact us.

Also, check out our full list of TDC Resources.