August 2013 - Subdivisions

I live on a quarter section in the County and I am thinking of subdividing out a parcel of land.  What should I consider before applying for a subdivision?

Does my land qualify for subdivision?

It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to subdivide in Lacombe County, however there are a number of policies which allow for a quarter section of land to be subdivided.

  • First parcel out subdivisions may be considered on lands that have not been previously subdivided and that contain a habitable permanent residence that has been on the site for at least five years.  These parcels are generally restricted to 1.62 hectares (4 acres) in size.
  • The subdivision of a fragmented parcel may be considered where lands are separated from the balance of the existing titled area by a natural or artificial feature, such as a road, railway, river or lake.
  • An agricultural subdivision on lands that have not been previously subdivided may be considered for specialized or intensive agricultural operations, such as a greenhouse or horticultural operation.  These parcels are generally at least 4.05 hectares (10 acres) in size.

 It is also important to note that each type of subdivision application must meet a number of criteria and that each application is judged on its own merit.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient information for the County to adequately assess an application.

 Why does Lacombe County restrict the subdivision of agricultural land?

Lacombe County’s priority is to protect viable agricultural land.  Farmland is a valuable and limited resource – once it is converted to other uses, it can be difficult or impossible to put back into agricultural production.  Residential development in agricultural areas can also cause land use conflicts related to normal farm practices that generate dust, noise, light or odours.

 What will it cost me?

Subdivision applications are subject to a $500.00 fee.  If the application is approved, there is an additional $250.00 endorsement fee at the final stage of the process.

 What additional costs should I consider?

When considering a subdivision of land, you should consider any additional costs that may be associated with the conditions of approval for a subidivision.  Common expenses include having the parcel surveyed by an Alberta Land Surveyor, an inspection from a Safety Codes Officer of existing sewage disposal systems, and/or the installation of a new wastewater system that meets current safety codes, as well as ensuring that all property taxes on the subject quarter section are paid.  In some cases cash payments may be required in lieu of a municipal reserve.

 Will my municipal taxes change?

Generally, if ownership of the new parcel (and the balance of the quarter) is retained, few changes will occur.  However, with any new development or changes in land use it is typical to expect that there will be an increase to property taxes. For more information on taxes please contact the Assessment Department at 403-782-6601.

 How do I make a subdivision application?

Please contact the Planning and Development Department to discuss your proposal for subdivision prior to submitting an application.  Department staff will be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation.  For more information, to set up a meeting with Department staff, or to obtain an application for subdivision, please contact the Planning and Development Department at (403)782-6601.

July 2013 - Accessory Structures

What are accessory structures, and do I need a development permit for accessory structures such as garages or sheds in residential areas?

 The County’s Land Use Bylaw defines an accessory building as a structure that is detached from a principal building, such as the residence.  The accessory structure is normally incidental or secondary to the principal building, and is located on the same site.  Examples of accessory structures, but not limited to for the purpose of this Bylaw, could include detached garages or shops, garden sheds, sea-can containers, tarped structures, and a boat house or guest house.

 In all residential districts of the County’s Land Use Bylaw, apart from the Agricultural District, a development permit is required for any accessory building which is greater than 13.94 m2 (150 ft²) in size. This exemption is, however, dependent on whether the structure meets all other requirements of the Bylaw such as setbacks from property boundaries; maximum height restrictions; and is under the total ancillary space allowed within the subject district. It is important to note that the total square footage of a structure is calculated using the covered area of the structure.

 In the Agricultural District an accessory structure is exempt from requiring a development permit as long as the structure is intended for agricultural or personal use only. If the accessory structure is to be used for any commercial business, or even the storage of machinery for a commercial enterprise, it requires a development permit.

 As there are different rules and regulations pertaining to accessory buildings depending on the zoning of your property and the location, it is important that you contact the County’s Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601 before commencing construction or placing an accessory building on your property.

June 2013 - Compliance & RPR

I have listed my property for sale and a prospective purchaser has requested a Compliance Report.  What is a Compliance Report and how do I obtain one?

 A Compliance Report is a legal document issued by the County.  It provides comments on whether development on a property complies with the municipality’s Land Use Bylaw. They are commonly used by lenders or buyers to confirm whether existing buildings and other structures on the property are located in accordance with the setback requirements of the County’s Land Use Bylaw.  They can also highlight other issues, such as whether pre-existing buildings already have or require a development permit. They can also be used to resolve boundary disputes.

 To obtain a Compliance Report, you must first employ the services of an Alberta Land Surveyor to create a legal document called a Real Property Report (RPR). A RPR shows the location of all buildings and structures on a property, their size, as well as distances from property lines and other buildings or structures. Once the RPR is complete, simply submit a legible copy of the RPR to the County office along with the $50.00 non-refundable processing fee and request a Compliance Report.  Lacombe County recognizes that a request for a Compliance Report is typically done in conjunction with the sale of a property and as such County staff aims to issue the Compliance Report within two (2) weeks of receipt of payment.

 If a non-conformance is discovered, the County will describe the nature of it within the Compliance Report and it may be that the landowner needs to take corrective action.  The County advises that if a non-conformance is found that you contact the Planning and Development Department at the earliest opportunity to discuss corrective measures.

 Municipalities are not required by law to issue Compliance Reports, however Lacombe County recognizes the importance of Compliance Reports and consider it to be a well established service that it will continue to offer.  Although compliance reports are not legally required for the purchase or sale of a property, they can save a lot of hassle!

 More Information

If you have any further questions about Compliance Reports or any other planning or development related issue, please contact the County’s Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

May 2013 - RVR District

Recreational Vehicle Resort (RVR) District I am looking to purchase a lot within the Recreational Vehicle Resort “R-RVR” District.  What bylaws should I be aware of?

Do I need a Development Permit for a recreational vehicle/park model in the Recreational Vehicle “R-RVR” District?

You need a development permit to place a park model/cottage model, or park model trailer in the “R-RVR” District.

You do not need a development permit for a travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailer or motorhome type recreational vehicle.  Regardless of whether or not you require a development permit, you must comply with the requirements of the Lacombe County Land Use Bylaw, such as setbacks from property lines and separation distances between structures.

What structures can I have on my lot?

Each lot is limited to one recreational vehicle (including park models) and one accessory building not exceeding 13.94m² (150 ft²) in size.  In addition to this, one wood storage box no greater than 1.22m (4 ft) in height and 2.23m² (24 ft²) in size is allowed.  Covered decks are allowed.  However, covered decks for recreational vehicles (excluding park models) must be contiguous with the recreational vehicle and cannot be enclosed by any impermeable material.

The total area covered by all structures within a lot is not to exceed 40% of the lot, up to a maximum of 134.7m² (1,450 ft²) in total size.

Accessory buildings are not to exceed 3.35m (11 ft) in height and should complement the recreational vehicle/park model in material, colour and appearance.

What structures am I not allowed?

Garages, carports and guesthouses are prohibited.  All off-road vehicles should be stored in a communal storage area.

Where can I locate my recreational vehicle/park model and accessory building?

All recreational vehicles (including park models and motor homes) must be located no closer than 6.09m (20 ft) from the front property line, and 1.52m (5 ft) from the rear property line.  They must be a minimum of 0.6m (2 ft) from one side property line, and no less than 1.5m (5 ft) from the other side property line.

In order to ensure a safe separation distance in case of fire, no recreational vehicle/park model may be located within 4.88m (16 ft) of another.  This means that if your neighbour’s recreational vehicle is located 0.6m (2 ft) from the side property line, your recreational vehicle must be at least 4.3m (14 ft) from that side property line.

The accessory building is to be located no closer to the front property line than the recreational vehicle/park model, and no less than 0.91m (3 ft) from the rear property line.  It must be a minimum of 0.6m (2 ft) from one side property line, and no less than 1.5m (5 ft) from the other side property line.  No accessory building should be located within 3.05m (10 ft) of any other structure.

No relaxations of the regulations will be permitted in the “R-RVR” District

More Information

For further details on the regulations for RV developments, please consult Sections 7.8 and 6.2 of the Land Use Bylaw, which can be accessed on the County’s website at: www.lacombecounty.com

If you require more information, please contact the Planning & Development Department at 403-782-6601.

June 2013 - Compliance and RPR

I have listed my property for sale and a prospective purchaser has requested a Compliance Report.  What is a Compliance Report and how do I obtain one?

A Compliance Report is a legal document issued by the County.  It provides comments on whether development on a property complies with the municipality’s Land Use Bylaw. They are commonly used by lenders or buyers to confirm whether existing buildings and other structures on the property are located in accordance with the setback requirements of the County’s Land Use Bylaw.  They can also highlight other issues, such as whether pre-existing buildings already have or require a development permit. They can also be used to resolve boundary disputes.

To obtain a Compliance Report, you must first employ the services of an Alberta Land Surveyor to create a legal document called a Real Property Report (RPR). A RPR shows the location of all buildings and structures on a property, their size, as well as distances from property lines and other buildings or structures. Once the RPR is complete, simply submit a legible copy of the RPR to the County office along with the $50.00 non-refundable processing fee and request a Compliance Report.  Lacombe County recognizes that a request for a Compliance Report is typically done in conjunction with the sale of a property and as such County staff aims to issue the Compliance Report within two (2) weeks of receipt of payment.

If a non-conformance is discovered, the County will describe the nature of it within the Compliance Report and it may be that the landowner needs to take corrective action.  The County advises that if a non-conformance is found that you contact the Planning and Development Department at the earliest opportunity to discuss corrective measures.

Municipalities are not required by law to issue Compliance Reports, however Lacombe County recognizes the importance of Compliance Reports and consider it to be a well established service that it will continue to offer.  Although compliance reports are not legally required for the purchase or sale of a property, they can save a lot of hassle!

More Information

If you have any further questions about Compliance Reports or any other planning or development related issue, please contact the County’s Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

April 2013 - Reserves

What is a Reserve?
Under the Municipal Government Act, the County is permitted to take a portion of land to be subdivided as reserve if that land is the second or more subdivision from the titled area. While land is not always taken as reserve, land that is taken is owned and managed by the municipality. The County is responsible for ensuring that reserves remain safe and available for public enjoyment in the form of parks, day use facilities and trails if it is a municipal reserve and ensuring that they are retained in their natural state. Reserve lands are not intended for private use by adjacent landowners, however, in some instances, such as winter storage of docks, the County will allow exceptions.

Does the kind of Reserve Matter? 
There are a number of types of reserve land dedications however the most common are municipal and environmental reserves, and environmental reserve easements. While the intent of all reserves is generally understood to be the same, the province has further clarified the intended use of environmental reserves, environmental reserve easements and municipal reserves.

Environmental Reserve (ER) is land set aside to protect the natural environment, people and property from hazardous conditions such as flooding and unstable slopes. It also provides public access to lakes and rivers. Environmental reserves are generally intended to remain in their natural state and where possible are connected to Municipal reserves which provide trail linkages. 

Appropriate uses for ER include:

­   ER lands will generally be left in their natural condition,

­   Public trails may be developed where conditions are suitable,

­   Along lakeshores and rivers, a limited number of public pathways and stairs may be permitted to allow safe access to the water,  

­   Winter storage of boat docks and boat lifts may be approved where environmental conditions are suitable.

Municipal Reserve (MR) land is intended to provide recreational areas such as parks, water access and undeveloped green space for the use and enjoyment of local residents and the general public. Municipal reserves may provide important access links to other lands, including water access, and can also offer undeveloped green spaces that act as buffers between different land uses. 

Appropriate uses for MR include:

­   Recreation facilities like sports fields, play structures, skating rinks,

­   Associated facilities like parking lots and washrooms,

­   Public trails,

­   Natural green spaces,

­   Winter storage of boat docks and boat lifts,  

Environmental Reserve Easements (ERE) are special notations which are caveated on the certificate of title to protect sensitive lands. Easements differ from other reserves as the land remains privately owned and maintained. Easements are typically used as part of smaller (single parcel or fragmented) subdivisions where the natural environment is to be protected but not likely as part of a greater public amenity.

What Policies Does Lacombe County Have on Reserves?
It is important that steps be taken to protect and preserve the County’s environmentally sensitive and significant areas, particularly when development may have a detrimental effect. In order to prevent environmental damage that can result from development and to guard against development occurring on potential hazardous lands that may damage persons or property Lacombe County’s Municipal Development Plan requires an environmental reserve or environmental reserve easement of not less than 30 metres (98 feet) in width from the high water mark of waterbodies and/or the top of bank of watercourses to the lot line. 

Is There a Policy for Private Use of Reserves?
The Reserve Policy adopted by Lacombe County Council aims to manage the County’s reserve lands, protect lakeshores, public land and the natural environment, while also ensuring everyone has access to enjoy these areas. Unauthorized private structures such as pathways, stairs, decks, lawns, fire pits, sheds, fences, gardens, driveways and buildings, are occasionally found to be located on reserve lands. In order to address the problem of private facilities on County reserve lands landowners will be asked to remove unauthorized materials and structures. In unusual or extenuating circumstances, the County may, with a license agreement, consider allowing a structure to remain on reserve lands. 

For More Information?
For more information on reserves feel free to contact Brandon Maier with the Operations Department. Or, if you are thinking of starting a new project the County’s Planning & Development staff would be happy to discuss your ideas to ensure you have information pertinent to your land zoning before commencing a project. Please feel free to contact the office at 403-782-6601.

March 2013 - Second Dwelling & Secondary Suites

I’m thinking of putting a second residence on my property for my parents. What do I need to know?
First, development permits are required for all residences in Lacombe County. Generally, second residences are only allowed under certain circumstances. If you own a parcel of land that is in the Agricultural District and is 80 acres or more, then a second residence is a permitted use.

However, if you live on a parcel smaller than 80 acres in the Agricultural and/or Country Residential Districts, an additional residence may be approved if it is required for a person who will provide personal care to, or require personal care from, the residents of the existing dwelling. Please note that a security deposit of $1000 and a confirmation from a qualified health professional verifying the need for such care is required.

If you operate a major viable agricultural operation on a property that is 80 acres or less, and require a second residence for your farm hands, it may only be permitted if the unit is to be occupied by a person who is solely employed in your agricultural operation on the site. In fact, a third or additional residence may be allowed if the proposed residence and all of the existing residences are occupied by persons who are solely, or mainly, employed in your agricultural operation on the property. Please note that a development permit is required and that the additional residence must be located in the same yard site as the existing residence.

It is important to note that more than one dwelling unit may be allowed on a parcel of land in the Hamlet District, Higher Density Lakeshore Residential District and the Residential District (H-R1) of the Hamlet of Mirror if the second dwelling is contained in a building that is designed for more dwelling units (such as duplexes or multiple housing).

What about a secondary suite?
A development permit is required for all secondary suites and they are restricted to single detached dwellings.  In addition, secondary suites are only permitted in the Agricultural District, Hamlet District, Country Residential District, Residential Conservation (Cluster) District and the Residential District (H-R1) of the Hamlet of Mirror. It is very important to note that the suite must be designed to meet safety codes set out in the Safety Codes Act.

More Information
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.

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

February 2013 - Unsightly Property

Spring will soon arrive!
Spring will soon arrive, and our yards and communities will once again be exposed from the white blanket that once covered everything during the winter months.  It will be nice to see new growth on all the trees and shrubs, but it also reminds us all that garbage and unwanted material that has made its way to our yards.

Why are maintaining properties important?
Properties that are well maintained, including private, commercial or industrial, add great beauty to our Municipality of Lacombe County.

Poorly maintained properties may lead to the perception that an area could be unsafe, untidy and not really cared for which could lead to negative effects such as increased levels of graffiti, potential vandalism, and other negative activities. 

Private property that is unsightly can devalue your own home, pose general health and safety risks, or can make the sale of the home difficult, as well as compromise situations with your neighbours.

There are five Transfer Stations located throughout Lacombe County including the Bentley Transfer Station (NE 22-40-1-W5M); the Spruceville Transfer Station (NW 29-40-27-W4M); the Prentiss Transfer Station (NW 7-40-25-W4M); the Eckville Transfer Station (NW 34-39-3-W5M); and the Alix/Mirror Transfer Station (NW 24-40-23-W4M).  Each transfer site has specific hours of operation and accepts various waste and recycled products, and our website provides this detailed information at http://www.lacombecounty.com.

What does “unsightly property” mean in Lacombe County?
Unsightly property can be described as any land that contains unconstrained garbage, abandoned excavations, excessive waste and/or vegetation, unlicensed, dismantled, wrecked or dilapidated machinery and vehicles, and partially completed or partially demolished buildings.  Anything from lawnmowers in various states of repair to old tires, bags of garbage, stacks of wood, can make our property something of an eyesore.  The County’s Land Use Bylaw describes objects that are prohibited or restricted in yards throughout the number of Districts within the County.  A copy can be obtained from the County’s website.

Action will be taken by Lacombe County.
Please note, the County will continue to enforce unsightly properties throughout the entire municipality.  Please act accordingly if you receive a letter from the County this year requesting that you clean up your property, so that it complies with the appropriate District established under the County’s Land Use Bylaw.

Part 7 of the County’s Land Use Bylaw established several Districts that covers the purpose, uses, and regulations that are relevant specifically to that District.  Several of the Districts include regulations regarding the matter of objects that are prohibited or restricted in yards.  A complete copy of the County’s Land Use Bylaw may be viewed on the County’s web site at http://www.lacombecounty.com.  If you require more information, please contact the County’s Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601, and staff will be happy to discuss matters with you or to set up a meeting.

January 2013 - Development Permits

How does someone know what types of uses are allowed on their property?

The types of uses allowed on your property are determined by its land use designation (zoning).  The County’s Land Use Bylaw sets out the rules and regulations describing how individual properties may be used or developed in each land use designation.  You can refer to the Land Use Bylaw maps to find out the zoning of your property.  You can view a copy of the Bylaw in person at the County Office, or on the County’s Website at:   http://www.lacombecounty.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=121&Itemid=251       

 How do I know if I need a development permit?

A development permit from the County is required for most development, such as a new building, addition to an existing building, or to operate a business.  A development permit is not generally required for agricultural buildings on land zoned Agricultural, or for accessory buildings less than 150 square feet, however all development must comply with the regulations of the Land Use Bylaw, such as setback requirements.  Please contact the County’s Planning and Development Department to find out if you require a development permit.

 When should I apply for a development permit?

You must apply for a development permit before you start development.  A development permit is valid for one year, so it’s a good idea to apply early to make sure you have your permit in time to start your project on schedule.  This is particularly important if you want to start work in the spring, when the County office receives the highest volume of applications.

 The processing time for an application may vary depending on how busy the Planning and Development Department is, the complexity of the application, and whether the decision will be made by a Development Officer or the County’s Municipal Planning Commission.  Before a decision can be made, the County may need to refer an application to agencies such as Alberta Transportation, Alberta Environment, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Canadian Pacific Railway, neighbouring municipalities, or affected parties such as neighbouring property owners. The Municipal Government Act requires that the development authority decide on an application within 40 days, unless the applicant agrees to a time extension.

 What information will I need for the development permit application?

Your development permit application will need to provide information about the proposed development, such as its size and location.  You will be required to submit a site plan showing existing structures on the property, as well as any proposed new structures or additions.  For any dwelling unit or building equipped with washroom facilities, the application must include a copy of a private wastewater disposal system permit issued by an accredited agency.  If you are applying to operate a business, you will need to submit a supplementary business form with detailed information about the business such as business activities, materials and equipment, number of employees, hours of operation, and signage.

 Depending on the nature of the proposed development, some applications may require additional information.  Examples include the location of all existing utility easements and rights of ways, a geotechnical report for lands that may be subject to hazard risks such as flooding or erosion, or information about buffering treatments to minimize the impacts of commercial or industrial uses on neighbouring land uses.

 Please note that most development will also require building, plumbing, gas, electrical and/or private sewage disposal permits to ensure that construction is done in accordance with the Provincial Safety Codes Act. Lacombe County is not an Accredited Municipality and therefore does not issue these permits.

 How will I know if my application has been approved?

A notice of decision is mailed to the applicant. For a discretionary use, a copy of the notice of decision is also mailed to neighbouring landowners, and any authorities or persons as the development authority considers necessary, or as required by any Plans.

 Can the decision of a Development Authority be appealed?

An appeal may be made to the County’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) by an applicant, or by a person person claiming to be affected by a decision made by a Development Authority regarding an application for a discretionary use.  To start an appeal, a notice of appeal containing reasons for the appeal must be filed with the Secretary of the SDAB within 19 days of the date on which the notice of decision is issued. The SDAB must hold an appeal hearing within 30 days of receiving the notice of appeal. The decision of the SDAB is final and binding on all parties, subject only to an appeal upon a question of law.

 For more information about what is involved in obtaining a development permit, to set up a meeting, or to discuss a potential development project please contact Lacombe County’s Planning and Development Department at (403) 782-6601.

December 2012 - Business on Agricultural Parcels

Is a development permit required for a business on land within the Agricultural ‘A’ District?

All non-farming businesses that operate in Lacombe County must be approved by the County and be in receipt of a valid development permit.

 What is the difference between a minor home-based business, a major home-based business and a minor business or trade?

A minor home-based business must be located within the principal dwelling or accessory building(s) and cannot employ any people who are not residents of the principal dwelling.  They also do not allow for the on-site visit of clients and exterior storage is not permitted.

 A major home-based business must be operated by the resident(s) and cannot employ more than two on-site non-resident employees.  These businesses allow for the on-site visits of clients but must not have an unreasonable number of late visits, cause traffic congestion or excessive off-street parking.  Outdoor storage must be suitably screened to the satisfaction of the County.

 A minor business or trade is similar to a major home-based business, but allows for up to six non-resident employees, although the number can be increased by MPC.  Also, any retail sales have to be secondary to the industrial or service aspect of the business.

 I’m looking to start a home-based business, what is the process?

The County requires that applicants provide a completed Development Permit application form together with a site plan and a completed Supplementary Business Form.  This form should include details of the business, including, but not limited to; the nature of the business, buildings that will be used, number of employees, traffic generated by the business and measures taken to minimize potential nuisance to neighbouring properties.  Other information deemed necessary by the County may be requested to assist the Development Officer in making a decision.

 Who makes the decision on my Development Permit Application?

Decisions on business applications are made by either the Development Officer or the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC).  Development Officers usually provide a decision on business renewals, provided that no changes have been made to the business since the issuance of the previous permit as well as minor and major home based businesses.  MPC make the final decision on businesses considered a minor business or trade and where these businesses have expanded or wish to expand (increased the number of employees, the applicant would like to construct a new shop etc.) 

 My Notice of Decision has been sent out for circulation.  What is this?

For new businesses considered a major home-based business or minor business or trade, as well as expansions to these businesses, the County refers the application to neighbouring landowners within ½ mile of the subject property as well as the appropriate municipal and provincial agencies.  Decisions on these applications can be appealed by any interested party.    The appeal period lasts for nineteen days from the date the decision is made.  Appeals are made to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB).

Looking For More Information?

For more information on businesses within the Agricultural ‘A’ District please contact the Planning Department at 403-782-6601.

November 2012 - Is a Development Permit Required for Signs?

Yes, in Lacombe County a development permit is required for the placement of a sign on your property.  No sign shall be placed on land or affixed to the exterior surface of a building or structure unless an application for the purpose of a business has been approved by the Development Officer and a development permit has been issued.  Signs are permitted uses in all Districts of the County’s Land Use Bylaw, subject to the relevant regulations.  A development permit for a sign may be issued subject to conditions as to its location, size and the time it may remain on the site.  Furthermore, a development permit is required from the County to structurally alter a sign.

 What are types of signs allowed in Lacombe County?

In accordance with Part 6.22 of the County’s Land Use Bylaw No. 1056/07, there are several types of signs allowed including, functional signs, identification signs, directional signs, warning signs, election signs, and other temporary signs.  The Development Officer may require the removal or renovation of any sign that is not kept in a safe, clean and tidy condition.

 Where can signs be located?

No sign other than traffic and directional signs authorized by the County, or an election sign permitted under the regulations shall be placed in the right-of-way of a County main road or road without the prior approval of the Development Officer.  Signs shall not obstruct the view of or be liable to be confused with any traffic sign or signal, or otherwise pose a potential hazard to traffic.  All signs must receive prior approval from Alberta Transportation to be placed within 304.80 m (1,000 feet) of a highway, or 0.80 km (0.50 miles) of a highway intersection.

 Are there any exemptions for requiring a development permit for a sign and what are the restrictions?

The following signs may be placed on land or affixed to the exterior surface of a building or structure without a development permit provided that such signs are not illuminated:

 Functional Signs - These are signs which are needed by public bodies, such as local authorities and utility companies, to give information or directions about the services they provide.  There are no restrictions for the placement of a functional sign.

 Identification Signs - Signs advertising a business or trade, they may relate to religious, educations, cultural, recreational, medical or similar institutions, or are signs displayed at the farm or other residential sites as means of property identification will be permitted.  These signs must not exceed 2.97 m2 (32 feet2) in area, and only one sign may be placed on the premises occupied by the business, trade or institution.  Only one identification or directional signs in total of all signs shall be permitted without the approval from the Development Officer on a parcel of 32.38 ha (80 acres) or more.

 At the intersection of two rights-of-way (other than lanes), permission from the Development officer is required for a sign to be displayed within the area defined by the corner sight triangles as shown in the illustration below:

Signs_-_Road_Diagram

Directional Signs – These signs provide direction to a business trade or institution, and must not exceed 1.40m2 (16 feet2) in area and are limited to parcels of 32.38 ha (80 acres) or more where only one identification or directional sign in total of all signs shall be permitted without approval from the Development Officer.  Once again, at the intersection of two rights-of-way (other than lanes), permission from the Development Officer is required for a sign to be displayed within the area defined by the corner sight triangles as shown in the illustration above.

 Warning Signs – Are signs to be displayed on land or buildings for the guidance, warning or restraint of persons, and these signs must not exceed 0.37 m2 (4 feet2) in area and are limited to one sign per parcel.

 Elections Signs – Related to a federal, provincial or local authority election, and there are no size limits, unless the sign is to be place in a County main road or road right-of-way in which case the sign must not exceed 1.86 m2 (20 feet2).  All election signs shall adhere to the County’s Guidelines for the Placement and Installation of Election Signs.

 Other Temporary Signs – These signs may advertise land or a building for sale or lease, announce the sale of goods or livestock on land or property which is not normally used for commercial purposes, relate to buildings or other construction work in progress, signs intended to advertise a local even for religious, educational, cultural, social or recreational purposes, and for the demonstration of agricultural methods and processes.  These signs must not exceed 1.86 m2 (20 feet2) and shall be removed by the advertiser within seven (7) days after completion of the sale, event or work to which the sign relates.

 Signs located within the Highways and County Main Roads Overlay District.

All signs located within the area of the County’s Land Use Bylaw Highways and County Main Roads Overlay District has their own requirements.  Billboards advertising developments or services off-site are not permitted within the Overlay District.  Where more than one business occupies a building, additional signage shall be located in accordance with a comprehensive signage package prepared for the building, and submitted as part of the required landscape plan.  Only one freestanding sign per lot may be allowed, and the sign shall not exceed 9.14 m (30 feet) in height with no dimension exceeding 4.42 m (14.5 feet).  Illuminated freestanding signs shall not exceed 7.62 m (25 feet) in height.  Moving or animated signs and electronic message boards that may distract highway users are not permitted within the Overlay District.

 Where buildings abut the highway corridor, signs facing and visible from that corridor may be considered by the Development Authority if they comply with the following principles:

 (1)  one illuminated business logo sign per visible façade.  The maximum dimension of such sign shall not exceed 3.05 metres (10 feet) in vertical and horizontal direction, parallel to the façade of the building, nor exceed a depth of 0.30 metres (1 feet);

(2)  one illuminated business name per visible façade shall not exceed 15% of the area of the façade of the building or business premises, whichever governs and shall in no case exceed 40.04 m2 (431 feet2) less the area of any logo referred to in subsection (a); and

(3) to discourage the use of building facades as billboards, a business sign exceeding an area of 10.03 m2 (108 feet2) and 1.52 metres (5 feet) in height, shall be limited to individual letters or shapes. 

Signs_-_Facade_Example

If you require more information, please contact the County’s Planning & Development Department.  Department staff would be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation, and if your proposal may be subject to the requirements of the County’s Overlay District.  For more information or to set up a meeting with Department staff, please contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

October 2012 - Amendment to the Subdivision and Development Regulation

Amendment to the Subdivision and Development Regulation (Alberta Regulation 160/2012)

What is Subdivision and Development Regulation (Alberta Regulation 160/2012)?

The Planning and Development Regulation sets out the legislative requirements for subdivision and developments the application process, what considerations must be taken account of and conditions that may be placed on the subdivision or development.

What amendment was made to the Subdivision and Development Regulation (Alberta Regulation 160/2012)

The Regulation will require as of November 1, 2012 that all municipalities obtain from an applicant/developer information on the presence or absence of abandoned wells for the titled property of a proposed development or subdivision from the Energy Resources Conservation Board.

Why was this amendment made?

This amendment has been made to ensure that the setbacks from abandoned oil and gas wells are being met. While these abandoned wells do not pose significant danger to the property owner(s), adequate access to these wells does need to be maintained in case a leak does occur.

How does it affect me?

If you are considering subdividing your property or building a structure which requires a development permit under the regulations of the Land Use Bylaw, then you will be required to bring confirmation from the Energy Resources Conservation Board about the location of abandoned wells on your property to the County when making your application.

Is it hard to get confirmation from the Energy Resources Conservation Board?

It is not hard to gather this information. You can contact the Energy Resources Conservation Board directly at their Customer Contact Centre at 1-855-297-8311 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also download the information from the Abandoned Web Viewer on the website at www.ercb.ca.

More Information

For further details on the information provided, please contact the Planning & Development Department at 403-782-6601.

September 2012 - Recreational Vehicle Resort (R-RVR) District

I am looking to purchase a lot within the Recreational Vehicle Resort “R-RVR” District.  What bylaws should I be aware of?

 Where can I locate my recreational vehicle/Park Model and accessory building?

All recreational vehicles (including Park Models) shall be located no closer than 6.09m (20 ft) from the front property line and 1.52m (5 ft) from the rear property line.  They should be located a minimum of 0.6m (2 ft) from the side property line and no less than 1.5m (5 ft) from the other side property line.  No recreational vehicle/Park Model shall be located within 4.88m (16 ft) of another.

The accessory building is to be located no closer to the front property line than the recreational vehicle/Park Model and no less than 0.91m (3 ft) from the rear property line.  They should have a minimum 0.6m (2 ft) on one side and not be closer than 1.5m (5 ft) to the other side property line.  No accessory building should be located within 3.05m (10 ft) of another structure. 

 What structures can I have on my lot?

Each lot is limited to one recreational vehicle (including Park Models) and one accessory building not exceeding 13.94m² (150 ft²) in size.  In addition to this, one wood storage box no greater than 1.22m (4 ft) in height and 2.23m² (24 ft²) in size is allowed.  Covered decks are allowed.  However, covered decks for recreational vehicles (excluding park models) must be contiguous with the recreational vehicle and cannot be enclosed by any impermeable material.

The total area covered by all structures within a lot is not to exceed 40% of the lot, up to a maximum of 134.7m² (1,450 ft²) in total size.

Accessory buildings are not to exceed 3.35m (11 ft) in height and should complement the recreational vehicle/Park Model in material, colour and appearance.

 What structures am I not allowed?

Garages, carports and guesthouses are prohibited.  Furthermore, off-road vehicles should be stored in a communal storage area.

No relaxations of the regulations will be permitted in the “R-RVR” District

 More Information

For further details on the regulations for RV developments, please consult Sections 7.8 and 6.2 of the 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 at 403-782-6601.

August 2012 - Subdivision

I live on a quarter section in the County and I am thinking of subdividing out a parcel of land.  What should I consider before applying for a subdivision?

Does my land qualify for subdivision?

It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to subdivide in Lacombe County, however there are a number of policies which allow for a quarter section of land to be subdivided.

  • First parcel out subdivisions may be considered on lands that have not been previously subdivided and that contain a habitable permanent residence that has been on the site for at least five years.  These parcels are generally restricted to 1.62 hectares (4 acres) in size.
  • The subdivision of a fragmented parcel may be considered where lands are separated from the balance of the existing titled area by a natural or artificial feature, such as a road, railway, river or lake.
  • An agricultural subdivision on lands that have not been previously subdivided may be considered for specialized or intensive agricultural operations, such as a greenhouse or horticultural operation.  These parcels are generally at least 4.05 hectares (10 acres) in size.

It is also important to note that each type of subdivision application must meet a number of criteria and that each application is judged on its own merit.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient information for the County to adequately assess an application.

 Why does Lacombe County restrict the subdivision of agricultural land?

Lacombe County’s priority is to protect viable agricultural land.  Farmland is a valuable and limited resource – once it is converted to other uses, it can be difficult or impossible to put back into agricultural production.  Residential development in agricultural areas can also cause land use conflicts related to normal farm practices that generate dust, noise, light or odours.

What will it cost me?

Subdivision applications are subject to a $500.00 fee.  If the application is approved, there is an additional $250.00 endorsement fee at the final stage of the process.

What additional costs should I consider?

When considering a subdivision of land, you should consider any additional costs that may be associated with the conditions of approval for a subidivision.  Common expenses include having the parcel surveyed by an Alberta Land Surveyor, an inspection from a Safety Codes Officer of existing sewage disposal systems, and/or the installation of a new wastewater system that meets current safety codes, as well as ensuring that all property taxes on the subject quarter section are paid.  In some cases cash payments may be required in lieu of a municipal reserve.

Will my municipal taxes change?

Generally, if ownership of the new parcel (and the balance of the quarter) is retained, few changes will occur.  However, with any new development or changes in land use it is typical to expect that there will be an increase to property taxes. For more information on taxes please contact the Assessment Department at 403-782-6601.

How do I make a subdivision application?

Please contact the Planning and Development Department to discuss your proposal for subdivision prior to submitting an application.  Department staff will be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation.  For more information, to set up a meeting with Department staff, or to obtain an application for subdivision, please contact the Planning and Development Department at (403)782-6601.

July 2012 - Home Based Business

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.  Lacombe County does not issue business licenses; however, development permits are required to operate a business in the County.  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.

What are Home Based Businesses?

There are two types of home based businesses defined under the County’s Land Use Bylaw.  A minor home business is defined as a secondary use of a principal dwelling, its accessory buildings, or a combination thereof, by at least one resident of the dwelling to conduct a business or activity or occupation.  It does not include the visiting of clients to the site, any outside storage, or any non-resident on-site employees.  The use has no external impact on adjacent residential dwellings.  A major home business is defined as a secondary use of a principal dwelling, its accessory buildings, or combination thereof, by at least one resident of the dwelling to conduct a business or activity or occupation.  It includes client visits and in the Agricultural District allows for no more than two (2) non-resident employees or non-resident business partners to work on-site in the business.

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 development permits require renewal?

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

More Information

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.

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

June 2012 - Riparian Areas

What are riparian areas, and why are they important?

Riparian areas are the lush strips of land adjacent to lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands.  Native riparian plants include sedge, cattail, willow, cottonwood, and poplar.  Most native riparian plants have deep roots that protect shorelines from erosion.  They resist the flow of floodwaters, giving the water more time to infiltrate the soil and be stored for use by plants, or recharge groundwater supplies.  Native riparian vegetation is like nature’s water filter: it improves water quality by trapping sediment, nutrients, and pollutants from surface runoff before they reach the water and downstream water users, or enter the water table.

Many human activities add nitrogen and phosphorus to water runoff.  Urban development, agricultural uses, and low density suburbs served by septic systems all increase nitrogen and/or phosphorus loading.  Fertilized lawns are one of the highest contributors.  The cumulative effect can exceed a water body’s capacity to absorb nutrients.  For example, one kilogram of phosphorus can spark the growth of 500 kilograms of algae in a lake.  Excessive algal blooms can decrease water quality for domestic and agricultural use, cause the loss of fish populations, make water-based recreation unappealing, and even cause human health problems.  Riparian areas help to filter nutrients out of runoff water, and remove them from groundwater via uptake in riparian vegetation.

What is an environmental setback, and what is its purpose?

An environmental setback from a watercourse or water body identifies a minimum distance between water bodies and development of any kind.  Setbacks create a buffer between where we want to live and work from areas we need to conserve and protect.  To function effectively, riparian areas need to be healthy.  Placing permanent structures in riparian areas, or removing native plants, compromises riparian function.  This can cause drainage problems, erosion and sedimentation, decreased bank stability, excess nutrients, increased pollution, and invasion by non-native plant species.  These effects can impact surrounding areas, not just the area where the development occurs.  The most effective filter strips contain healthy, native forest vegetation and perennial grasses.  Environmental setbacks allow riparian areas to protect water quality.

How big does a riparian buffer or environmental setback need to be?

The ideal buffer depends on many factors, such as topography, slope, till material, and water table height.  Buffers should always include 1 in 100 year river floodplains, and 1 in 100 year lake flood levels.  The 1 in 100 year flood level means that every year, there is a 1% chance that that flood level will be met or exceeded. 

How does Lacombe County protect riparian areas?

The Municipal Government Act authorizes municipalities to require environmental reserves for buffers, and to create development setback land use bylaws on any land subject to flooding or subsidence or that is low lying, marshy or unstable or on land adjacent to or within a specified distance from the bed or shore of any lake, river, stream or other body of water.

The Lacombe County Land Use Bylaw requires an environmental reserve or environmental reserve easement of not less than 30 metres (98 feet) in width from the high water mark of water bodies and/or the top bank of watercourses to the lot line.  The setback is measured from the high water mark or top bank, even if current water levels are lower, but water levels might increase again in the future.  The environmental reserve creates room for a healthy riparian buffer; no development or interference with natural riparian plants is allowed in this area.

If you’d like to learn more about riparian areas, you can refer to the Government of Alberta’s free online publication Stepping Back from the Water.

For more information about Lacombe County’s environmental setbacks, you can view a complete copy of the County’s Land Use Bylaw on the County’s web site at http://www.lacombecounty.com, or you can contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

May 2012 - Fence Regulations

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

Under the Land Use Bylaw of the Lacombe County, a Development Permit may not be required for the construction, alteration or maintenance of fences, gates, walls or other enclosures so longs as they are  built within the regulations of the Land Use Bylaw.  If, for some reason a person is unable to meet the standards, an application for a variance may be made.

What regulations do I need to consider?

Subject to the corner lot restrictions (later described in this article), in the Residential and Hamlet Districts, no fence or hedge shall exceed a height of 1.22 m (4 ft.) in the front setback area and no fence shall be higher than 1.83 m (6 ft.) in the side or rear setback areas. A higher fence or a fence with barbed or other security features may be approved for public safety, security, and privacy or buffering purposes.  

Screening in the form of fences, hedges, landscaped berms or other means shall be required along the property lines of all commercial and industrial lots where such lines are coterminous with a residential property line or are adjacent to lanes that abut a neighbouring residential property.  Such screening shall be at least 1.83 m (6 ft) high. This height requirements is also subject to corner lot restrictions and the extent of the screening shall be at the discretion of the development authority.

Unless required as part of the sale, promotion or display of the vehicle, equipment or product, all outdoor storage of vehicles, equipment, or products shall be screened from public view to the satisfaction of the Development Authority. 

My fence is on my property line, isn’t it?  

When you look at a piece of property that you are interested in buying, it is common to assume that you will own the land right up to the fence. However, the fence might not be on the property line.  When the fence was originally built, the landowner may have decided to build the fence inside the property line, or the boundary may not have been accurately located prior to building the fence. It is also possible that the fence was constructed entirely within a title property to allow for access along both side for ease of maintenance and repair.

A property line has no width to it but a fence certainly does. A wooden fence post can be many inches or centimeters wide. For this reason, an Alberta Land Surveyor, when preparing a Real Property Report can show a fence that is within 0.2 metres of the property line as being on the line. Fences more than 0.2 metres from the property line shall be dimensioned. To avoid confusion and conflict, fence ownership should not be inferred. In rural Real Property Reports, fences are shown at the Alberta Land Surveyor’s discretion. To avoid problems we recommend you initiate a discussion with your neighbours prior to constructing a fence on your property.  If you are unsure of your property boundaries, an Alberta Land Surveyor can help you locate the boundaries.

Can I use my Real Property Report to locate where my fence should go?  

The Real Property Report should NOT be used to establish boundaries due to the risk of misinterpretation or measurement error by the user.  Landowners may want to get out a tape measure and mark off the distance shown on their Real Property Report. However, factors such as slope, the starting point of where you are measuring, the angle coming off the starting point and even the accuracy of the tape measure can all have a significant impact when trying to determine where the fence should be located.

What is the cost of a Development Permit Application?

The current fee for an application where a variance to the County’s Land Use Bylaw is requested is $100, payable in advance by cheque, cash, money order or debit card. There is no GST. 

Looking for more information?

Before constructing a fence, remember to call Alberta One-Call at 1-800-242-3447 to locate your buried utilities. Also, feel free to contact the Planning & Development Department to discuss your ideas prior to digging.  Department staff would be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation.  For more information, to set up a meeting with Department staff, or contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

April 2012 - Compliance Reports

I have listed my property for sale and a prospective purchaser has requested a Compliance Report from the County. What is a Compliance Report and how do I obtain one?

A Compliance Report is a legal document that comments on whether development on a property complies with the municipality’s Land Use Bylaw. They are commonly used by lenders or buyers to confirm whether existing buildings and other structures on the property are located in accordance with the setback requirements of the County’s Land Use Bylaw, although they can also highlight other issues, such as whether a pre-existing building requires a development permit. They can also be used to resolve boundary disputes. 

To obtain a Compliance Report, you must first employ the services of an Alberta Land Surveyor to create a legal document called a Real Property Report (RPR). A RPR shows the location of all buildings and structures on a property, their size and distance from property lines and other buildings or structures. Once the RPR is complete, simply submit a legible copy of the RPR to the County office along with the $50.00 non-refundable processing fee and request a Compliance Report. Lacombe County recognizes that a request for a Compliance Report is typically done in conjunction with the sale of a property and as as a result County staff aim to issue the Compliance Report within two (2) weeks of receipt of payment.

If a non-conformance is discovered, the County will describe the nature of the non-conformance and outline what further action must be taken to ensure that compliance is met.

Municipalities are not required by law to issue Compliance Reports, however Lacombe County has recognized the issuance of Compliance Reports is a well established service provided by the County and intends to continue to offer this service.

Although compliance reports are not legally required for the purchase of a property they can save a lot of money and heartache in the long term!

If you have any further questions about Compliance Reports, please contact the County’s Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

March 2012 - ASGA Truck Registry

Many gravel trucks have an “ASGA Registry” sticker that provides a phone and identification number.  What is this “ASGA Registry”?

The “ASGA Registry” is a Truck Registry established by the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association (ASGA) in response to public and industry concerns relating to the conduct of gravel truck traffic.  The ASGA Truck Registry includes a common 24-hour toll free compliant line and unique identification numbers for each registered truck which allows the public to easily identify an offending truck.  If you lodge a complaint to the toll free number posted on the rear of registered trucks, you will have to provide the identification number; the complaint is then forwarded to the pit operation and a database administrator; someone will be in contact with you to follow-up. 

This Registry is more than individual truck registration and a common complaint line; pit operators must meet truck registration eligibility criteria and operate within the specified minimum operating standards that include such practices as tarping all loads, sweeping box sides, and checking end gates before they leave the pit.  When disciplinary actions are taken by a pit operator, the database administrator passes the action to all ASGA Truck Registry pit operators who agree to honour any disciplinary actions taken including truck suspensions. 

In 2007, the County’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) imposed a condition of development approval on all sand and gravel pit approvals and renewals requiring trucks operating from the pit to be registered with the ASGA Truck Registry.  The MPC made this decision because they realized the ASGA Truck Registry offers the public more in terms of enforcing truck conduct and lodged complaints than what the County can provide.  Most of the pits operating within the County are subject to this requirement, and as the County’s deals with future renewals, all operations in the County will be required to have trucks registered with the Truck Registry.

 It is important to note that this Truck Registry requirement is only applicable to commercial haulers.  Those individuals hauling for their own personal use or farming purposes are exempt from this registration requirement.

If you have any questions about the ASGA Truck Registry, or the Association in general, please contact the ASGA by telephone at 780-435-2844 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  If you have any questions about the condition of development approval requiring trucks to be registered with the ASGA Truck Registry, please contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.

February 2012 - Long Range Plan

What is a long range plan?

The purpose of a long range plan is to provide a framework for the subsequent subdivision and development of land within the plan area in order to ensure that the future development of Lacombe County is sustainable. Plans provide policy direction in a wide variety of areas including the sequencing of development, type of land uses for the area, transportation routes, water and wastewater servicing, utilities, environmental management and architectural controls. In general plans provide guidance for County staff, developers and the public on what type of development opportunities are allowed across the County.

What is the difference between a Municipal Development Plan, an Intermunicipal Development Plan and an Area Structure Plan? 

All of the above plans provide guidance for the future subdivision and development of lands within the County, the difference lies in the size and type of land the plan governs. For example a Municipal Development Plan provides direction on land use at the level of the entire municipality, an Intermunicipal Development Plan provides direction on land use on the area by two or more municipalities, and an Area Structure Plan provides direction on land use for a specific area within a municipality.

If my lands are identified in a plan how does it affect me?  

If your lands are identified in a plan for a particular use such as residential, industrial or commercial development, this does not automatically change the zoning on your land. Land remains zoned agricultural until such time as an application is made to the County to redesignate that land for a particular use. Redesignation of lands can only occur by Bylaw which requires further input from the public. This is lengthy process therefore please contact staff at the Lacombe County Planning Department for further information at (403) 782-6601 if your lands have been identified in a plan and you wish to redesignate.

Additionally, having your lands identified in a plan typically does not affect your current opportunities to subdivide under the policies outlined in the County’s Municipal Development Plan such as a “first parcel out subdivision”, “agricultural subdivision” or “fragmented parcel subdivision” nor does it affect your opportunity to develop your lands under the Agricultural District of the County’s Land Use Bylaw.

What happens to my taxes if my lands are identified in a plan?

There will be no change to your current tax classification. You may however expect that there will be an increase to your property tax if you add a new development to you property, change or add another land use for example running a non-agricultural business from your property, and finally change the zoning of your property. For more information on taxes please contact the Assessment Department at (403) 782-6601.

Page 1 of 3