It’s good practice to start your planning process early. That includes contacting the Town Administration for information on permits. Your building or development might require a Development Permit or a Variance Permit, and Building, Electrical, Plumbing, and Gas Permits.
Step one is the Development Permit application. A Development Permit (DP) essentially determines whether the development meets the Land Use Bylaw regulations.
- Who can apply for the Development Permit? An owner, combination of owners, or a person designated as an agent by the owner or owners can apply for a Development Permit. If the property is registered to more than one person, the DP application must be signed by each person shown on title OR the owners must designate one person to act as the agent. Designation of an agent may be required in the form of a letter signed by the owners, or in the case of a corporation by the executive of the corporation.
- How long does it take to get a Development Permit application approved? Time frames for approval may vary depending on the time of year and the complexity of the development. In most cases, the DP can be approved within a week. However, for some commercial or industrial development, the DO may require more time to review, taking into consideration other provincial acts or regulations that may apply.
- What information does the Development Permit application require? The DP application must include a current certification of title and copies of any registered easements or right-of-ways, as well as a complete set of building plans and scaled site plan. These may be electronically submitted.
The current certificate of title provides the DO with owner information, easements or right-of-ways, as well as any registered restrictions. This is important as the DO must ensure that anyone with a registered interest in the property is aware of the proposed development. As well, the DO must ensure that there are no restrictions on the property that would prevent the issuance of the DP.
Copies of the easements and right-of-ways (ROW) are needed to identify any areas where development or building is restricted. Easements or ROW often include utility lines – both above and below ground – that may need to be accessed for repair. Buildings can usually be constructed up to the easement or ROW, but not over it.
Building Plans include floor plans, elevations and finished lot and street grades, exterior finishes, location.
A scaled site plan is a drawing that shows the dimensions of the lot and the proposed development on the low. The plan must include the legal description of the property, a north arrow, dimensions of the site, setbacks of the development from the property lines, and, where applicable, dimensions of existing or proposed culverts, crossing, undergrounds gas, electrical or telephone lines and driveways, easements and right-of-ways, and drainage plans.
- What does the Development Officer (DO) need all this information for? The Land Use Bylaw (LUB) sets out the maximum and minimum requirements for development, as well as permitted and discretionary uses. The DO must review the proposed development to ensure that the development complies with the permitted uses within a zone, with minimum setback requirements, minimum or maximum building size, or maximum building height.
- What is the difference between a Permitted and Discretionary Use? The Land Use Bylaw identifies the permitted and discretionary uses within each Land Use Zone or District.
The permitted uses are uses that are allowed, generally without restrictions, provided the development complies with all other regulations such as minimum setbacks, minimum or maximum building size, maximum lot coverage, etc.
For example, a residential zone may list single family dwelling as a permitted use. The DO is required to approve a permit for a single family dwelling provided the development also meets the minimum or maximum ground floor space or size restrictions, maximum height, minimum setbacks from the front, side, and rear property boundaries, and a maximum lot coverage. The DO may put restrictions on the development if there is an identified issue with the property. Restrictions may be applied, as an example, where the lot is sloped and requires specific lot grading to ensure proper development of adjacent properties. Where the bylaw allows for buildings to be moved onto a lot, the DO may ask for a refundable deposit or an irrevocable letter of credit to ensure that the development is completed to an acceptable community standard. The deposit or letter of credit could be equal to the estimated cost of exterior renovations. If the development is not completed within the required time frame, the Town could then use the deposit or act on the letter of credit and hire a contractor to complete the work.
Discretionary uses are uses that may be permitted within a specific zone provided certain conditions are met or where the discretionary use will not have an adverse effect on adjacent properties. For example, a basement suite may be a discretionary use in a residential zone. The discretionary use would require a Variance.
Where a variance is being considered, the DO must provide notice. This could include a notice in the local newspaper or a letter to adjacent land owners. Adjacent property owners, or other individual who feels they may be affected, then have an opportunity to provide input to the development. The DO may apply conditions as part of the approval for a variance. In the case of basement suite, there may an additional requirement for on-site parking or landscaping.
For Building, Development and Subdivision Permits, forms can be printed and filled out. Once completed, please contact our office to set up an appointment to discuss your plans.
The Subdivisions and Development Authority
c/o Town of Beaverlodge
Beaverlodge, AB T0H 0C0
If you are paying by credit card, please print and forward this form