Public Consultation in the Special Areas

The Special Areas Board recognizes the value of public consultation as a part of the municipal decision-making process and is committed to creating opportunities for meaningful public participation in municipal decisions that directly impact the public.

The Special Areas Board recognizes good governance includes engaging with Municipal Stakeholders through:

-Creating opportunities for those individuals who would be affected by a decision to influence the decision;
-Promoting sustainable decisions by recognizing various stakeholder interests;
-Providing stakeholders with the appropriate information and tools to engage in meaningful participation; and
-Facilitating public participation for matters beyond those where public input is statutorily required to enrich the municipal decision-making process.

The key principles of engagement which frame public consultation in the Special Areas are:

-Clarity - what is and what is not a part of the consultation process will be clearly outlined to help understand the decision-making process
-Accountability - the information gathered as a part of public consultations will be used to guide the municipal decision-making process
-Transparency - the information gathered as a part of public consultations will be documented, reviewed and shared with the public when appropriate
-Respectful - the  process will be based on respectful interactions and communications by all participants
-Responsive - the Special Areas is committed to being accessible and responsive to concerns

To learn more about public consultation and participation in the Special Areas, check out the Special Areas Board Public Participation Policy

Current Public Consultations

2021 Ratepayer Meetings

This summer, Special Areas is engaging with ratepayers online instead of through in-person meetings in recognition of current public health restrictions. Annual ratepayer information and reporting will be available online on our Ratepayer Meeting page, including:

  • 2020 Audited Financial Statements
  • 2021 Ratepayer Minute Book
  • 2021 Financial Update & Rates in Effect
  • 2021 Approved Road & Capital Program
  • 2021 Land Use Order Review
  • Irrigation Feasibility Study Update

Ratepayer are invited to share any feedback, including any specific issues or concerns, with Advisory Council or Administration by September 1 by:

Red Tape Reduction

Special Areas is cutting red tape by one-third by 2023. We need your help identifying where we can remove unnecessary red tape from our processes and public forms.

Share your ideas on cutting red tape by September 15 by emailing Please be sure to include your name and contact information if you would like us to contact you.

Learn more about how we are cutting red tape.

Public Consultations - Under Review

There are no public consultations under review at this time.

Public Consultations - Completed

Municipal Development Plan

The Special Areas Board engaged in public consultation related to the draft Municipal Development Plan (MDP) document from February 9 until February 23, 2021. A copy of the interim report on public consultation is available here.

A virtual public hearing for the draft Municipal Development Plan (MDP) was held on February 23, 2021 at 1:00 PM, with four members of the public attending. No feedback related to the draft document was shared at the public hearing, and the interim report on public consultation indicated no written submissions were received during the consultation period.

The MDP was approved by Ministerial Order (MSD:037/21) on March 23, 2021.

The MDP is a long-range statutory document that communicates the long-term desired land use for a community and serves a high-level blueprint showing how a community is expected to change over time and the shape it will take in the future.


Special Areas Water Supply Project

The Special Areas Board and Advisory Council engaged in a public consultation related to the next steps for the Special Areas Water Supply Project should be.

For more information on SAWSP, visit the SAWSP page.

You can view the report on the SAWSP public consultation here.

Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs)

The Special Areas Board requested feedback from anyone impacted by one of the draft Intermunicipal Development Plans, including:

  • Town of Drumheller
  • County of Paintearth No. 18
  • M.D. of Provost No. 52
  • Village of Consort
  • Village of Veteran
  • County of Newell
  • M.D. of Acadia No. 34
  • Wheatland County

Written feedback on draft IDPs was accepted until March 2, 2020 through email and mailed submissions to the Communications Officer. An interim report on this public consultation was provided to the Board for review in advance of the public hearing.

A public hearing on the draft IDPs was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 11:00 am at the Special Areas Youngstown Service Centre (404-2nd Ave. E.). One (1) member of the public attended the public hearing. No specific feedback on any IDP was provided.

For more information on the draft IDPs, please visit our IDP/ICF page.

Community Pasture Policy

In response to ratepayer concerns related to the current community pasture policy, the Special Areas Advisory Council created a committee to develop a new policy. The Community Pasture Policy Review Committee included members from both the Advisory Council and Special Areas administration. Both patron and non-patron viewpoints were represented on the committee.

The committee looked for feedback on the current community pasture policy from all Special Areas residents from May 27 to July 11, 2019. Trent Caskey, Chair of the Community Pasture Policy Review Committee, outlines the public consultation here.

All phone calls and in-person meetings were documented; however, only feedback provided through the three ways outlined below was included in the report to the committee.

- the online survey located at

- email to, or

- written response (via mail) to our Communications Officer at:
Special Areas Board
Box 820
Hanna, AB T0J 1P0
Attn: Maeghan Chostner, Communications Officer

Current CP policy

CP buffer zones

Animal Control Order

In response to ratepayer concerns related to animal control in the Special Areas, the Special Areas Board consulted with the public on the development of the Special Areas Animal Control Order.

The purpose of the Animal Control Order is for Enforcement Officers (including RCMP, Fish & Wildlife, and Peace Officers) to have a clear, understandable, and effective tool to use when responding to animal control concerns in the Special Areas. The Animal Control Order is consistent with Animal Control Bylaws in place in other rural Alberta municipalities, including Wheatland County, Starland County, Kneehill County, Cypress County, and Stettler County.

The first reading of the proposed Animal Control Order occurred on July 24, 2018 at the Special Areas Board meeting held in Consort, Alberta. A public hearing was held on September 25, 2018 at the Special Areas Board Office in Hanna, Alberta. After the public hearing was adjourned, the Special Areas Board amended the proposed Animal Control Order as a result of the public feedback received. The proposed Animal Control Order was read a second time by the Special Areas Board on September 25, 2018 at the Special Areas Board meeting held in Hanna, Alberta.

The Special Areas Board recommended the proposed Animal Control Order be approved and signed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the Special Areas Animal Control Order was signed on February 5, 2019.

The Special Areas Animal Control Order is in effect as of February 5, 2019.