To ensure the orderly, economical and beneficial development of land, development permits are needed in the county.
The Land Use Bylaw includes details to control and prohibit development without infringing on the rights of individuals except to the extent that the overall public good must be protected. Controls on construction setbacks from property lines, site coverage, landscaping, and business activities on a property all fit within the municipality’s scope of ensuring the public is protected.
The county does not enforce provincial building codes but instead chooses to leave that up to the private sector. The Municipal Planning Commission decides on any special circumstances requested and uses their discretion for the betterment of the community. Citizens unhappy with these decisions can appeal them to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
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A development permit needs to be obtained for new construction, renovations and/or changes to how a building or land is being utilized.
The development officer must review the development permit application to ensure it complies with the Cypress County Land Use Bylaw. The Land Use Bylaw outlines permitted and discretionary land use and development within each land use district, and the rules and regulations governing those uses.
Depending upon the intended use, the applicant may be required to apply for a land use reclassification prior to submitting a development permit application.
Development permit applications can be found under the Forms section.
When you require a development permit
A few projects where a development permit is required include:
- New construction (i.e. residences, garage, shop, commercial or industrial buildings)
- Constructing an addition to an existing building or structure
- The construction and/or renovation of a deck, porch or patio
- The addition of an accessory building (i.e. shed or storage container)
- A change in use, or the intensity of use of the land or buildings
- Hard surfacing in hamlets
To determine whether or not you will require a development permit, contact Planning & Development Services at 403-526-2888.
When you do not require a development permit
Provided that the following farm and rural developments meet the required setback distance of 40 metres (130 feet) from the center of any township road, range road, or undeveloped road allowance, a development permit will not be required for:
- Haystacks, portable granaries, permanent farm buildings under 46.45m2 (500 sq. ft.)
- Shelterbelts, hedges and rows of trees planted no closer than 5 metres (16 feet) apart
- Dugouts, reservoirs, wells and sewage disposal fields
- Solid slab corral structures, livestock shelters, and garden sheds provided that they conform to Section 47 and Section 13(b) of the Land Use Bylaw
- Interior/exterior renovations where the footprint on the property is not impacted by the development
To determine whether or not you will require a development permit, contact Planning & Development Services at 403-526-2888
The Alberta Safety Codes Act
Cypress County does not enforce the Provincial Building Codes. In addition to the issuance of a Development Permit, you may be required to obtain other necessary permits pursuant to the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Alberta Municipal Affairs has Authorized Accredited Agencies to review construction drawings, related documents, perform inspections, and issue permits on their behalf. For a list of agencies that provide these services, click here. For information on fees and tips, visit the click here.
Applying for a Development Permit
The application process
Below is a general outline of the process from the application stage to the issuance of a development permit. Discussion with the development officer prior to submitting an application is strongly encouraged.
1. Pre-application contact - The applicant is encouraged to contact the development officer to discuss the proposal.
2. Consult with the Land Use Bylaw - Applicants are encouraged to review applicable information within the county's Land Use Bylaw prior to submitting a development application to ensure the proposal meets the county's land use regulations.
3. Land use amendment - In the case the proposal does not conform to the current land use designation or regulations, an application for a Land Use Amendment must be submitted to Cypress County, where it will be considered for approval by county council.
4. Submission of the development application - The application is submitted to the development officer, along with completed forms, application fee and supporting documentation as required.
Development within hamlets - A survey plot plan may be required pursuant to Section 15(a) of the Land Use Bylaw.
5. Review of the development application - The development officer will thoroughly review the development application, will evaluate the impact the development may cause to adjacent properties, and assess the proposal to ensure it is in compliance with the Land Use Bylaw. The development officer will approve all applications which constitute a "Permitted Use" in a land use district, and will consider and decide on all application which constitute a "Class I Discretionary Use." All applications for development involving the following will be referred to the Municipal Planning Commission for a decision:
Class II Discretionary Uses,
Variances from relevant development standards,
Matters requiring specific approval of the Municipal Planning Commission pursuant to the Land Use Bylaw,
Any other matter of which in the opinion of the development officer does not comply with the intent of the relevant provisions of the Land Use Bylaw.
Note: If an application is submitted to the Municipal Planning Commission for a decision, a development officer's report will be prepared and provided to the applicant, by email, the week prior to the Municipal Planning Commission meeting.
6. Notice of decision - A decision is made by the development officer, or Municipal Planning Commission, to either approve the development application, with or without conditions, or to refuse the application. Once a development application permit is approved, a notice of decision will be advertised in the Cypress Courier the following Tuesday after the application is deemed to be approved.
7. Approval and appeal period - For a discretionary use, or refusal of a development application, there is a 21-day appeal period where parties whom are affected may appeal the decision. There is no appeal available for a development application permit approved as a permitted use.
8. Issuance of the development permit - Once approved, the development permit will be forwarded to the applicant by regular mail.
Note: In addition to the development permit, the applicant may also be required to obtain other necessary permits pursuant to the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Alberta Municipal Affairs has authorized accredited agencies to review construction drawings, related documents perform inspections, and issue permits on their behalf. The applicant may contact either Park Enterprises Ltd., Superior Safety Codes Inc., or The Inspections Group Inc. to obtain these permits as necessary.