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FAQs

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

Q.         Do I need a development permit?
A.         No person shall undertake any development in the County unless a development permit has first been issued.  There are a few exceptions which are outlined in section 4.2 of the Land Use Bylaw, which include sheds less than 100 square feet in size and farm buildings.  Contact the development officer to verify if your development requires a development permit?

Q.         Can I subdivide my property?
A.         It depends on the size of the property and the land use district it is in and for those parcels in the Agriculture District, how many times it has been subdivided in the past.  Contact the development officer for clarification.

Q.         What is the subdivision process?
A.         A simple application follows this general process:
            1)         Landowner prepares and submits a subdivision application.
            2)         Application is submitted to the subdivision authority.
            3)         Application is circulated to referral agencies and adjacent
                        landowners for comment.
            4)         The subdivision authority reviews the application.
            5)         Decision by the subdivision authority.
            6)         Approval with or without conditions or Refusal
                        If application is approved:
            7)         Payment of development agreement, levies, fees reserves
            8)         Field survey
            9)         Preparation of final plan of subdivision
            10)        Meeting of conditions of subdivision approval
            11)        Execution of documents by instrument holders
            12)        Registration at Land Titles Office

Q.         What if my subdivision application is refused or I am unsatisfied with the conditions of approval?
A.         Any decision or condition issued by a subdivision authority may be appealed.  Appeals can be to a local Subdivision and Development Appeal Board or to the Municipal Government Board.  The appeal body will be indicated on the Notice of Decision.  Appeals must be commenced within 14 days of receipt of a written decision and must include the reasons for the appeal.  A further appeal may be launched to the Court of Appeal on a matter of law or jurisdiction.  Adjacent landowners may not launch an appeal.

Q.         Does my subdivision have to be surveyed or can it be done by descriptive plan?
A.         The requirement for a legal survey depends on how many times the property has been surveyed in the past and the configuration of the new subdivision.  The Land Titles Office has several different rules on whether they will accept a legal survey or a descriptive plan.  An Alberta Land Surveyor can determine what is required.

Q.         What are the regulations for sewage disposal systems?
A.         Sewage system regulations are determined by Alberta Municipal Affairs.  The minimum distances for private sewage systems varies depending on the type of disposal system (see attached).  The private sewage standards set out design standards, installation standards and material requirements for on-site private sewage systems handling less than 25 cubic metres (5,500 Imperial gallons) sewage volume per day. The Private Sewage Disposal Systems Regulation 229/97 adopts the 1999 Alberta Private Sewage Systems Standard of Practice.

CONTACT INFORMATION Safety Services
16th Floor, Commerce Place
10155-102 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 4L4

Phone:1-877-421-6929 (local callers must dial the 1-877)
(780) 644-1010 (outside of Canada)
Fax:  (780) 427-8686
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q.         What setbacks do I need to follow for building construction?
A.         The setbacks from property lines vary depending on which land use district your property is in.  Setbacks differ for development in the hamlets and in the rural areas.

Q.         How many dwellings can I have on my property?
A.         The Big Lakes County Land Use Bylaw states that there may be one dwelling per lot but there are exceptions.  A second dwelling may be permitted on a country residential lot, farmstead separation, or hamlet residential lot if the dwelling is to serve as a family care dwelling.  A maximum of two dwellings may be permitted on an agricultural lot under 80 acres in size, and a maximum of three dwellings may be permitted on an agricultural lot over 80 acres in size if the third dwelling is required to accommodate farm labour.