Obtaining A Development Permit

Development Permit Application

How do I obtain a Development Permit?


A development permit will only be issued if the development authority has determined that the proposed development conforms with the applicable statutory documents (Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan, etc.) and that any other requirements, such as fees and, in some instances, contractual agreements, have been addressed.

The role of development authority is shared between the Development Officer (DO) and the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC). The DO is mandated with the task of deciding on all applications that are considered a permitted use in the Land Use Bylaw, which do not require a relaxation of the development standards. The MPC decides on all applications that are considered a discretionary use, as well as permitted uses, which require a relaxation. The MPC usually convenes once a month

A SITE PLAN AND THE REQUISITE FEE MUST ACCOMPANY ALL PERMIT APPLICATION FORMS. THE COUNTY WILL NOT PROCESS AN APPLICATION UNTIL THE APPLICATION FORM, FEE AND SITE PLAN HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED. COMMENCING A DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT AN APPROVED PERMIT, WHERE A PERMIT IS REQUIRED, IS ILLEGAL.

  1. FEES: Processing fees are set by a basic charge, Permitted and Discretionary Uses are outlined in the County Land Use Bylaw (LUB) and vary according to the particular land designation. If requested, Planning Staff, by consulting the zoning maps and bylaws, will provide information relating to land designations.
  2. SITE PLANS: The County requires that a site plan be provided that indicates the location of the proposed development relative to the property lines, any existing structures, wells and septic systems. The plan must indicate accurate distances between the proposed development and the property lines, and other features.
  3. APPLICATION FORM: The application form must be completed in full and signed by all landowners, as noted on the Certificate of Title.
  4. APPROVAL PERIOD: An application for a development permit is, at the option of the Applicant, deemed to be refused if the decision of a development authority is not made within 40 days of receipt of the completed application. The Applicant may enter into an agreement with the County to extend the 40-day time period.
  5. PERMIT VOID: All approved developments must be commenced, in a substantial way, within one year following the final approval date of the development, otherwise the development permit will be considered void and the Applicant must obtain a new permit.
  6. DEVELOPMENTS ADJACENT TO PROV. HIGHWAYS: Alberta Transportation must approve any development within 300 meters of the right-of-way of a Provincial highway before a County permit may be issued. Alberta Transportation Roadside Development Applications may be obtained at the County office.

ALL APPROVED DEVELOPMENT PERMITS ARE SUBJECT TO A 2 WEEK APPEAL PERIOD. FINAL APPROVAL WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL ANY APPEAL HAS BEEN RESOLVED, AND THE COUNTY IS SATISFIED THAT ALL CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN MET, OR WILL BE MET.


What Else is Required?

Once you have received your approved development permit, you may have to proceed to a second stage, which involves obtaining all permits relating to Safety Codes (building, electrical, gas, and plumbing.) These permit forms are available on the website or may be picked up at the office.

The Safety Codes Act requires that all contractors and homeowners in Alberta obtain permits prior to commencing work on buildings covered by the Alberta Building Code or work governed by the Canadian Electrical Code, the Alberta Gas Code or the Alberta Plumbing Code. Remember, the purpose of the development permit is to ensure that the proposed development, or use of land, is one that is deemed to be acceptable according to the zoning provisions of the Land Use Bylaw. Secondly, the development permit process ensures that all applicable development standards such as setbacks, parcel size, etc., are adhered to.

The process of legally constructing a building, however, does not end with the approval of a development permit. Provincial law also dictates that the building, electrical systems, gas systems, plumbing, etc., be built in conformity with the relevant safety codes. The Safety Codes Act mandates that, prior to constructing, or significantly altering, most buildings, a Building Permit must be obtained. Separate permits may also be required for plumbing and gas, electrical, and private sewage.

As of January 1, 2002, Kneehill County is accredited under the Safety Code Council to provide all safety permits. Residents of Kneehill County are required to obtain their permits through the Municipality.

Please refer to our General Municipal Services Standards Policy.