Development Permits

A Development Permit is a written approval issued by the County under the Land Use Bylaw authorizing development, including excavation, stockpiling, building, additions, and a change in use or intensity of the use of the land or building, to proceed.

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 is granted. Other applications can be approved without consultation, assuming they meet regulations set forth in the Land Use Bylaw and other applicable Statutory Plans.

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.

Development Permits are required for any development (excavation, stockpiling, new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and a change in use or intensification of the use of the land or building) except those listed under Section 26 of the Land Use Bylaw. Some exceptions include:

  • Maintenance or repair of structures that do not include structural alterations, or change the use or intensity of the use of the structure
  • Any use, building or structure associated with extensive agriculture or grazing (including corrals, stockpiles, hay stacks, pole-barns, fencing, grain bins, greenhouses, sheds and barns not located:
    • 30.5m (100ft.) from the right-of-way of any road;
    • 30.5m (100ft.) from any naturally occurring water body or outside the 1:100 flood levels, whichever distance is greater;
    • On a flood plain, or within 152.4m (500ft.) of the boundary of a flood plain.
  • A dugout, if applicable setbacks are met.
  • Garden sheds, tool sheds, or similar accessory buildings provided that:
    • The accessory buildings do not exceed 9.2 m2 (100ft2)
    • One such structure is allowed inside a hamlet and two outside a hamlet.
  • Construction of uncovered decks and patios that are less than 0.61m (2 feet) from the finished grade to the underside of the supporting structure.

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. A flowchart (PDF) is also available to help identify the steps in the process.

  1. Download or Pickup Application:        Applicants are encouraged to download or pick up a copy of the appropriate permit application form and review it to ensure they understand all the information that will be required to submit an application.  
  2. Consult 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 Redesignation 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 zone, fill out the application package with as much information as you can.
  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 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.
  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, then 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

General Application Form

This form must be filled out for Residential, Home Occupation, Commercial, and Industrial applications:

General Development Permit Application Form A1

Home Occupation Application Form

This form must be filled out in addition to form A1 for Home Occupation applications.

Home Occupation Development Permit Application Form A3

Commercial/Industrial Application Form

This form must be filled out in addition to form A1 for Commercial/Industrial applications.

Commercial/Industrial Development Permit Application Form A4 

Sign Application Form

This form must be filled out in addition to form A1 for sign applications:

Sign Permit Application Form A5

Road Approach Application Form

This form must be filled out with most applications.

Road Approach Application Form 

Additional Application Information:

Whether 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?

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.  You will be required to submit the following:

  • The legal description or municipal address of the subject parcel
  • A Real Property Report: 
    1. An original Real Property Report signed by a surveyor licensed to practice in Alberta OR
    2. A legible, unaltered copy of an original Real Property Report that is less than ten (10) years old with a completed Statutory Declaration indicating no changes, alterations, or additions to the principal buildings have been made since the report was prepared.
  • An Application Fee as described in the fee schedule adopted by Council and amended from time to time. 

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 with a stamp on the original Real Property Report submitted for review.
  • 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 way.
    • 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.  For information on filing an appeal please contact the Planning and Development Department.