City council wants to extend Edmonton’s southern boundary to the edge of Beaumont in an annexation that would also include the international airport.

The extension would also include land along the west side of the QEII Highway.

Edmonton wants the 15,600 hectares of land for more residential and business growth. The city also believes the extension would make it easier to build a future LRT line to the airport.

"We have to have the right to grow. I've said that before," Mayor Stephen Mandel said.

"We're not out to hurt anybody, we're not out to take their income, but we have to have the right to make sure the city of Edmonton is a strong central city. A weak Edmonton is a weak everything in this region."

City officials have been negotiating the issue with Leduc County for the past year.

The city has sent annexation applications to the Municipal Government Board, Leduc County and the town of Beaumont.

The process is expected to take two to five years and will include a consultation period.

One person who lives in the affected area predicts that residents will fight the annexation.

Business owner Curt Makepeace lives in the community of Sprucedale where his family has farmed for five generations.

He believes that Edmonton should do a better job to increase the density of the land it already has instead of building over the best farmland in Alberta. 

"It's beautiful land here," he said. "And to see it paved over by whoever — whether it's Leduc County, the airport or the city of Edmonton — it's a crime."

He says it will cost the city of Edmonton more to expand than to build within existing boundaries.

View Alberta Annexation in a larger map