Development Info & Process


When do I need a Development Permit?

A Development Permit may be required for a number of different things; whether you want to build a new house, change the use of an existing building, or start a home business etc., a Development Permit may be required.  To determine if your development requires a permit, please see the County’s Land Use Bylaw

The Bylaw divides the County into several Land Use Districts (commonly called Zones or Zoning) and each of these Districts have land uses and development regulations specific to them.  Contact the County to determine what District you are in and whether your proposed development is PERMITTED or DISCRETIONARY.

PERMITTED: Development that is deemed by Council, to be appropriate for that particular District

DISCRETIONARY: Development that is up to the discretion of the Development Authority.

Info Sheet on the Redesignation Process


How do I start?

The process begins with a REQUIRED Pre-Application meeting.  This meeting with the Development Officer is essential to ensure you have filled out all necessary forms completely and have provided all required information.  A Development Permit process will not begin until you have attended a Pre-Application meeting.  You can request a meeting by contacting the County office with a minimum of two (2) days notice.  Click here to see a flowchart of the NEW permit process.  Filling out the application forms prior to the Pre-Application meeting may make the meeting go faster. Click here to determine which application forms and checklists you will need.


How much does it cost?

Fees associated with Development Permits, Subdivisions, Planning, Enforcement and Safety Codes are available in the County’s Fee Bylaw.


How long does it take to get a Development Permit?

Under the Land Use Bylaw, the Development Authority has up to forty (40) days, after receiving a COMPLETE application to make a decision.  The Development Authority must also provide, within twenty (20) days, in writing to the applicant, whether the application is complete, or requires additional information.  If the application is refused, a new permit can be applied for after six (6) months.


How long is a Development Permit valid for?

The proposed development must be started within twelve (12) months of the date of the Development Permit, and has to be completed within two (2) years of the date of issuance.  A one (1) year extension may be granted (upon required application and fees). 


What is an Occupancy Permit and why do I need it? 

An Occupancy Permit is the final permit needed prior to an applicant “occupying” the building.  Approval of this permit is based on all the required Safety Codes permits (building, electrical, gas, plumbing & septic) having their final inspections and approvals.  These Safety Codes “Permit Services Reports” will need to be itemized on the Occupancy Permit Application Form, and attached to the application, along with the required fee.  Once all of this information is received, an Occupancy Permit will be issued, and the building will be approved to occupy.  If any Safety Codes permits are required for a development, then an Occupancy Permit will also be required.


What other permits/approvals do I need?

Depending on the type of development you are proposing, several other types of permits/approvals, including but not limited to, may be required (subject to applicable fees):

  • Safety Codes Permits – the Landowner is responsible to comply with the provincial Safety Codes Act by obtaining the applicable Safety Codes Permits (building, electrical, plumbing, gas and private sewage disposal). 
  • Alberta Environment & Parks – if developing near, or impacting a waterbody
  • Alberta Transportation – if developing within a certain distance of a Provincial Highway
  • Alberta Culture & Tourism – if developing on a designated Historic Resource Value area
  • Fisheries & Oceans Canada – if impacting fish bearing waters

Info Sheet on Safe Farmsteads

There may be many other aspects that impact your proposed development. It is our role to advise you of these matters. If you are planning to apply for a development permit in the County it will be helpful to review the Land Use Bylaw and contact us for more information.