Development Permits

18471767956_7d5c190780_oA development permit is required for most types of new construction, redevelopment projects, additions, signs, accessory buildings, home based businesses and changes in use of land or a building. The purpose of a development permit is to ensure that all proposals comply with the Land Use Bylaw, and the general development principles within other applicable municipal planning documents.

Development Permit Application

Development Permit Applications requirements for for River’s Bend (residential) and Limestone Valley (industrial) subdivisions.

Home-Based Business Application

Development Permit Application Process

A completed development permit application, including fee, will be processed by either a Development Officer or the Municipal Planning Commission, depending on the type of application. If an application is approved by the Municipal Planning Commission, a notice is placed in the local newspaper and the 14-day appeal period begins. A development permit will be issued, with or without conditions, to the applicant once the appeal period has passed and no appeals are made. If applicable to the type of project, the applicant may also be required to apply for and obtain a Building Permit.


If an appeal is received, a hearing is held by the municipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (S/DAB).

Building Permits

Building permits are required to ensure that all buildings are safely designed and constructed in accordance with the Alberta Building Code. It is necessary to obtain a building permit for:

  • all new construction
  • redevelopment projects
  • removal or demolition of buildings,
  • changes in use
  • some renovations
  • additions.

This notice serves as a reminder that the transition period for voluntary application of the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011 and Section 9.36. Alberta Building Code (ABC) 2014 for housing and small buildings ends on November 1, 2016. Where an application for a building permit for a site-constructed building is received on or after November 1, 2016, the building design must comply with the requirements of the NECB 2011 or Section 9.36. ABC 2014 as appropriate. Please click on link below to view entire Notice about the National Energy Code.
NOTICE: New National Energy Codes 

Alberta Building Code (ABC) submission requirements for a building permit application:

Demolition Permit Application

Building Permit Application Process

The MD of Bighorn operates on a two permit system. Prior to application for a building permit, a development permit may be required. Please contact the planning and development department staff to determine all the necessary permits for your project.

A completed building permit application is reviewed by the Safety Codes Officer for the building discipline. Please note your application must include, among other things, a waste management plan and a security deposit as per the MD’s fee schedule bylaw. When the application meets the requirements of the Alberta Building Code, a building permit is issued. The applicant is responsible to ensure that all the required site inspections are completed during construction. A building cannot be occupied prior to the issuance of an occupancy approval permit by the Building Safety Codes Officer. An Application for Occupancy Form must be submitted to request this inspection. Once the Occupancy Approval Permit has been issued, your security deposit is returned.

The MD of Bighorn’s Safety Codes Officer is currently available for questions and for booking site reviews on Wednesdays and Thursdays (days are subject to change). Please provide at least one week notice to the planning and development department (Janice Thompson) if you require a site review.

General Information for House Builders – Alberta Building Code Changes – May 3, 2009

Gas, Plumbing and Electrical Permits

While the MD of Bighorn issues Building Permits, the applicant is required to obtain all other necessary permits for gas, plumbing (Including Septic) and electrical installations. Effective May 1, 2016 the Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA) will begin operations to oversee the safety and compliance monitoring activity in your area. To find out where to get a permit in your area visit: Alberta Safety Codes Authority If you have questions or trouble navigating the site please call ASCA at 1-877-413-6725

Compliance Assessment Letters

By request, the Planning and Development Department will issue a compliance assessment letter which states whether or not buildings or structures on a property are in conformance to the regulations within the Land Use Bylaw. A compliance assessment letter is not required by legislation, but is typically requested by a lending institution prior to approving a mortgage, or a lawyer to facilitate the sale of a property. To obtain a compliance assessment letter, please provide a written request for such service including the civic or legal address of the property and minimum of two copies of a current Real Property prepared by an Alberta Land Surveyor, and the appropriate fee.

Bylaw Enforcement

Municipal staff, including a Development Officer, Safety Codes Officer and a Bylaw Enforcement Officer, respond to concerns, inquiries or complaints that relate to possible contravention of regulations in the Land Use Bylaw or the Building Code. The Development Officer may also issue an Order to ensure compliance with the MD’s regulations.