Development Permits

A Development Permit is a written approval issued by the County under the Land Use Bylaw authorizing development to proceed, which includes excavating, stockpiling, building, additions, replacements, repairs, and changes in the use or intensity of a parcel of land and/or a building.

The County processes a variety of applications that impact land use in the County throughout the year, some of which require public notification and/or public input before final approval can be granted. Other applications can be approved without public consultation, assuming they meet regulations set forth in the Land Use Bylaw.

Development Permit Approvals are posted on the Public Participation Page during the 21-day appeal period. These decisions may be appealed to the relevant appeal board during this time. The Development Approval is not final until the appeal period has expired. See below for more information on how to submit an Appeal.

Development Permits are required for any development (excavating, stockpiling, new buildings, additions/replacements/repairs to existing buildings, and changes in the use or intensity of a parcel of land and/or a building) except those listed  in Table 2 – Development Not Requiring a Development Permit in Section 2.2 of the Land Use Bylaw.

It is always a good idea to check with the Planning and Development Department about Development Permit requirements prior to starting any work.

The following outlines the general process for Development Permit applications. Scheduling a pre-application meeting with the County is strongly encouraged. The Development Permit Process document is also available to help identify the steps to follow.

  1. Download or Pickup Application: Applicants are encouraged to download or pick up a copy of the appropriate development permit application form and review it to ensure they understand all the information that will be required to submit an application.  
  2. Consult the Land Use Bylaw: Applicants must consult the County’s Land Use Bylaw prior to making a Development Permit Application. If the proposed use of the land aligns with its current designation and discretionary uses, an application may be submitted. 
  3. Changes to Existing Land Use: If the proposed use of the land does not conform to the current land use designation or regulations, an application for a Land Use Amendment must be submitted and approved prior to the Development Permit application being made.
  4. Fill Out application: Once you have reviewed the Land Use Bylaw and verified your use is allowed in the specific land use district, fill out the application package with as much information as possible.
  5. Pre-Application Consultation: We understand that some applicants may not be familiar with the process or terminology used in development and we are always available to assist in completing permit applications. If you require assistance, please book an appointment by contacting the Planning and Development Department.
  6. Application Submitted: The application is submitted with the necessary forms, fees, and supporting information which varies depending on the project. Once all required information has been received the application will be deemed complete. 
  7. Evaluation of Application: The County reviews the application for missing information, evaluates the impact on adjacent properties, considers comments made from circulation to other agencies, and assesses the project’s compliance with the Land Use Bylaw.  
  8. Decision: A decision is made either approving or refusing the application. The applicant will be mailed a Notice of Decision.
  9. Approval and Public Appeal Period: If a Development Permit is approved, it is advertised through the County’s Public Participation page for the 21-day period to allow for public appeals. The receipt of a public appeal would start an appeal process heard by the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB), or the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT).
  10. Permit Issuance: Provided that appeals (if any) are resolved, the approved Development Permit is released. If the development proposal entails erecting any building or structures, Construction Permits must be obtained prior to beginning construction.
  11. Completion: A Development Completion Inspection may be required to ensure all the requirements of the Development Permit have been met and the construction reflects the approved plans.

The application process takes approximately 5-9 weeks to process. It is advisable to plan accordingly and apply well in advance.

Development Permit Submission Check List:

Use this form to ensure you have all the information you need in order to properly submit your development permit application:

Development Permit Application Submission Requirements Form

Development Permit Application Form

This form must be filled out for Residential, Home Based Business 2, Commercial, and Industrial applications:

Development Permit Application Form 

Form A1: Home Based Business 2 Application

This form must be filled out in addition to the Development Permit Application Form for Home Based Business 2 applications.

Form A1: Home Based Business 2 Application 

Form A2: Commercial/Industrial Application

This form must be filled out in addition to the Development Permit Application Form for Commercial/Industrial applications.

Form A2: Commercial/Industrial Application Form

Form A3: Sign Application

This form must be filled out in addition to the Development Permit Application for Sign applications:

Form A3: Sign Permit Application

Road Approach Application Form

This form must be filled out with most applications.

Road Approach Application Form

Additional Application Information:

If you are buying or selling a property in the County of Newell, you may need a Certificate of Compliance and a Real Property Report, especially if there have been any improvements to the property.

What is a Certificate of Compliance?

A Certificate of Compliance is an endorsement by the County of Newell confirming that development on a property meets the requirements of the Land Use Bylaw. The County does not inspect the property, the endorsement only applies to the improvements shown on a Real Property Report.

What is a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report is a legal document prepared by an Alberta Land Surveyor that clearly illustrates the location of development (dwelling, accessory buildings, decks, sheds, fences and other structures) on a property relative to the property boundaries.

The County of Newell cannot provide you with a Real Property Report. If you do not have a copy of a recent Real Property Report, you can obtain one through a registered Alberta Land Surveyor.

If you have a Real Property Report that is older than six (6) months and less than ten (10) years old, you will need to complete a Statutory Declaration. A Statutory Declaration is a legal document that declares all information on the Real Property Report to be true and affirms there have been no alterations or improvements made to the principle buildings shown on the Report.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Compliance?

You can apply by making request to the County of Newell Planning and Development Department (Request for Certificate of Compliance). 

Application Outcomes

Our review of your application will result in one of the following outcomes:

  • Compliance: if all developments shown on your Real Property Report meet the requirements of the Land Use Bylaw, the County will endorse compliance by issuing a letter.
  • Non-Compliance: if a property does not comply with requirements of the Land Use Bylaw, a Development Officer will contact you and outline what must be done to bring the property into compliance. This may include: 
    • Removing or relocating accessory buildings or fences to meet required setbacks.
    • Removing any structures located on County property such as municipal reserve land, drainage easements or utility right-of-ways.
    • Obtaining approvals to allow for structures included on the Real Property Report by applying for Development Permits.

The property owner is responsible for bringing the property into compliance before a Certificate of Compliance can be endorsed.

  • Legal Non-Conforming: if the development was in compliance with the Land Use Bylaw in effect at the time of the original development, it may be deemed to be legal non-conforming as outlined under Section 643 of the Municipal Government Act and shall be allowed to remain, subject to the conditions outlined in the Act.

Approved Development Permits can be viewed on our Public Participation Page during the 21 day appeal period. An appeal can be submitted by the development permit’s applicant or any person affected by a decision made by the development authority. To submit an appeal, fill out the Appeal Application Form.