July 2011 - Development Permit Renewal

What is a development permit?

A development permit allows the applicant to use or develop property in accordance with the municipality’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB) regulations and related setback requirements. A Permit is required for new construction, additions, structural alterations, building relocation, or any change in the land usage such a home based business. Before beginning any project, it is strongly advised that you speak with someone in the County’s Planning and Development Department to ensure your project may take place the way you had envisioned. Pre-planning helps to ensure a smoothly executed development permitting process.

Is a development permit the same as a building permit?

No, a development permit is not the same as a building permit. A building permit allows construction of buildings or structures to proceed on condition of compliance with the Alberta Building Code, which addresses building, electrical, plumbing and fire safety to name a few. In simple terms, the development permit deals with the 'what' and 'where' a development may proceed, and the building permit deals with 'how' it is built.

Does every development permit require renewal?

No, only permits which include a condition stating the ‘term’ (time period) of the approval is subject to renewal.

Why do I need to renew my development permit for a business?

Development permits are a planning tool for sites, buildings and land use that warrant special protection or development control. In essence, development permits guide decision-making related to the current physical, social and economic development of Lacombe County.

The guiding principle for applying fixed terms as conditions of approval is to allow small scaled home based businesses to operate throughout the County while protecting farming and other land uses.

Agriculture has traditionally been an important contributor to the economy, however, other opportunities exist to expand and diversify the County’s economic base to ensure long-term economic health and prosperity.

In accordance with the Land Use Bylaw there are numerous discretionary uses which can be considered within both Agricultural and Residential Districts. By placing special conditions of approval on businesses located within such lands, staff has an opportunity to monitor business growth, and traffic patterns. Having ongoing communications with business owners also helps to prevent nuisance issues between non compatible land uses and a more timely direction for the timing of business relocations (or when activities are more appropriately defined as industrial/commercial uses).

Will the renewal application effect how my business is operating?

In order to keep files active the County provides written notification that a new development permit will be required if you wish to continue operating the business. Typically these notices are mailed out 3-4 months before the date of expiry. However, failure to get approval by the expiry date will mean that the County may order the business cease operation at the site until a new permit has been obtained.

Is there a fee for renewal applications?

If nothing in the business has changed the application fee is $100.00. However, in some instances, when dealing with discretionary uses, the fee is $200, as such decisions are made by County’s Municipal Planning Commission.

What types of developments permits require renewal?

Generally speaking the County applies terms as a conditional of development approval for home based businesses, gravel pits and other business related uses which are subject to market driven changes.

 More Information

Feel free to check out our Land Use Bylaw which can be accessed from the County`s website at www.lacombecounty.com.

If you require more information, please contact the Planning & Development Department. Staff would be happy to meet to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation and, whether your development may be subject to a Development Permit Application. For more information or to set up a meeting with Department staff, please contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.