Project Background

The County of Grande Prairie No.1 (“the County”) is applying for a Court order to discharge six Restrictive Covenants from the title to ten parcels of County-owned lands in the Wedgewood subdivision (“the County Lots”). This Discharge Application is scheduled to be heard on June 8, 2023, at 10 AM at the Grande Prairie Court House.

The County Lots, with one exception, are designated as either Municipal Reserve (MR) or Public Utility Lots (PUL). Under the Municipal Government Act, the designation of these lots as either MR or PUL dictate what purposes the land may be used for.

Land designated as MR can be used for public parks, a public recreation area, school board purposes or to separate areas of land that are used for different purposes. Land designated as PUL can be used for a system or works used to provide public consumption, benefit convenience or use. 

Restrictive covenants are agreements registered on title which, if legally enforceable, impose restrictions on how the land may be used or developed.

The County Lots highlighted in green in the diagram below are encumbered with a restrictive covenant requiring the lands to be developed as a golf course. The County Lots highlighted in blue in the diagram below have multiple restrictive covenants on them that include requiring the lands to be developed as a golf course and requiring the owner to build a single detached dwelling.

Wedgewood Map

In the County’s view, the Restrictive Covenants are not legally enforceable and do not reflect the current or future use of the County Lots. The Restrictive Covenants registered against the County Lots date back to the late 1980s and early 1990s and reflect plans for the County Lots that never came to fruition.

For these reasons, the County is applying to the Court to have these Restrictive Covenants discharged from title.

Additional Background

The information below provides relevant background for this project and the process that has been followed by the County in bringing this application.

At law, restrictive covenants may only restrict the use of land, they may not impose new obligations on landowners to take “positive” steps. Restrictive covenants may be enforced by the owners of the “benefiting” lands against owners of the “burdened” lands.

The Restrictive Covenants at issue here fall within two general categories:

  • The Golf Course Covenant provides that lands will be developed only for use as a golf course and for no other use. This restrictive covenant was already found to be legally invalid in a previous Court decision because it imposed positive obligations on the landowner.
  • The Single Detached Dwelling Restrictive Covenants are also phrased in a way that requires the landowner to take positive steps, either by building a single detached home or maintaining the vacant lot in good repair.

Process Followed and Next Steps

What follows is a summary of the steps taken by the County to date, and the remaining steps to be followed:

  1. Fall 2022 – Winter 2023: The County gathered information on the County Lots, the Restrictive Covenants, and conducted searches at the Land Titles Office to determine the contact information for the landowners of the parcels in Wedgewood with the restrictive covenants registered on title (“the Affected Landowners”).
  2. April 20, 2023: The County appeared in Court and obtained the Procedural Order. The Procedural Order set the date for the Discharge Application as June 8, 2023, and outlined how the County will provide notice of the application to Affected Landowners.
  3.  The County has mailed physical copies of the Letter to Affected Landowners.
  4.  June 8, 2023: The Discharge Application is scheduled to be heard at 10 AM at the Grande Prairie Court House.
  5.  June 8, 2023: The Judge reserved their decision during court.
    • A reserved decision means that the Judge is going to prepare a written decision and issue it at a future date.
    • No date was given for when a decision would be made. 
  6.  July 10, 2023: The Judge granted the County's application to discharge the restrictive covenants. 
  7.  July 12, 2023: The County posted a copy of the Decision and the Order to this website.
    •  Applications Judge M. R. Park advised that service of the Decision on the Affected Landowners may be effected by posting a copy of the Decision to the County’s website. 
    • A copy of the Order can be viewed under "Related Documents" by clicking "Form of Order"
    • A copy of the Judge's decision can be viewed under "Related Documents" by clicking "Memorandum of Decision".

Related Documents

If the County is served with any further Court documents within this matter, the County will post the documents on this page within 5 days after the day the County was served.

Landowner Inquiries 

What are the reasons behind the action to remove the restrictive covenants in our community?

The County initiated this project after the Wedgewood Homeowners Association requested a capital grant from County Council to construct/install a sports court on 1522133;2;119MR Pt. NE-1-71-6-W6. Following the approval of the grant for a sports court, it was discovered that a sports court would not be compliant with the restrictive covenants that are on this parcel. The restrictive covenants that are on this parcel, are for the development of a golf course as well as for the development of single family dwellings, which the County has no intentions of developing. In order to allow for the development of the sports court, the County requires the restrictive covenants be removed.


Additionally, these restrictive covenants are registered on many of the County’s parcels. Since the restrictive covenants would restrict any development of the greenspace and other parcels to either a golf course or single family dwellings, and the process requires notification of all impacted residents and a court order, the County is proposing to have them removed all at once. 

Could you also specifically address the concerns residents have about further development, and protection of the existing green spaces?

The County is legislated under the Municipal Government Act that has strict regulations and requirements around the uses of designated land, such as Municipal Reserve land and Public Utility Lots. With the exception of one lot that does not have a designation but is only 2,160.00 sqft, the rest of the County titled land in Wedgewood is either designated as Municipal Reserve or as a Public Utility Lot.


Section 671(1) of the Municipal Government Act, states that Municipal Reserve land can only be used for any or all of the following purposes: (a) a public park; (b) a public recreation area; (c) school board purposes; (d) to separate areas of land that are used for different purposes. (This section of the Municipal Government Act is attached for you to view.)


Section 616 (v) of the Municipal Government Act, states that a Public Utility lot is established for a system or works used to provide one or more of the following for public consumption, benefit, convenience or use: (i) water or steam; (ii) sewage disposal; (iii) public transportation operated by or on behalf of the municipality; (iv) irrigation; (v) drainage; (vi) fuel; (vii) electric power; (viii) heat; (ix) waste management; (x) telecommunications; and includes the thing that is provided for public consumption, benefit, convenience or use. (This section is also attached for you to view.)


Thus, the designated land within Wedgewood will be held to the above uses and shall only be “developed or enhanced” in accordance with the Municipal Government Act – meaning, any development or enhancement would need to align with the above uses and would be subject to the standards and regulation of the Municipal Government Act. Any other uses would require the public consultation, the adoption of a bylaw, and the removal of the designation with Land Titles prior to consideration and could not be done without the residents being notified.

Why is the covenant regarding roofing materials was not included?

The County received a request from the Wedgewood Homeowner’s Association for funding to assist with removal or amendment to the roofing material restrictive covenant clause at the September 12, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. During that meeting Council passed a motion of no action in support of the funding, but did agree to draft a letter of support for the Association’s application to Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta Firesmart Program.  All inquires regarding the roofing material clause should be directed to the Wedgewood Homeowner’s Association.