Development Permits

When is a Development Permit required?

Provided that the setback requirements and any other applicable land use regulations and standards are complied with, an agricultural operation as defined in the Land Use Bylaw is exempted from the requirement to obtain a development permit. Also some other types of development are deemed approved. For all other types of development, the landowner or the person undertaking the development must first obtain a development permit from the County. Please call Planning and Development Services at 403-742-4441 if you are unsure whether or not your project is deemed approved.

Zero Tolerance For Starting Development Without the Benefit of a Development Permit
The County expects that ratepayers and developers will show respect for the right of other ratepayers to provide their views on any proposed development, and to not start development prior to obtaining the relevant approvals. The County's development authority adopted a zero tolerance approach to developers starting development without the benefit of a development permit.

All developments other than those that are deemed approved, require a Development Permit
When a landowner wants to change the use of their property or put up a new building, except for those developments that are deemed approved, they require a development permit from the County. The Land Use Bylaw divides the County jurisdiction into several land use districts, each of these having land uses and development regulations and standards specific to it. Within a land use district a proposed development may be either a permitted use, a discretionary use, or it may not be allowed at all. It is possible that a proposed building may be too high or does not comply with the required side, rear or front yard setback distances of the district. As a result, a variance may be required. Please contact the Planning and Development department before you start to build and preferably when you start to plan your development, so that your project can run smoothly and on time. It is our job to help you obtain all the approvals that you require.

Compliance With Site Plan
A proposed development shall be undertaken and completed in accordance with the site plan submitted with the application (for example site layout, landscaping, parking layout, building elevations, fascia signs, stormwater management, and utility servicing).

Setback Requirements
The location of the building(s) must meet the setback requirements of the land use district in which it is located. There are also other setback requirements in the Land Use Bylaw - e.g. setbacks from roads, steep slopes and water bodies. Please ensure that your development complies with these setbacks.

Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells
Pursuant to Alberta Energy Regulator Directive 079 and as part of the development permit application review process, the Planning and Development department will assist you in determining the location of any abandoned oil and gas wells on your land. If an abandoned well is located on your property, you would have to contact the licensee to determine the exact location and any setback requirements, which you would have to accommodate into the site planning for your proposed development.

Road Access and Approaches into Parcels

Satisfactory arrangements must be made with the County of Stettler No. 6 for access to the proposed development, including the construction or upgrading of approaches and off-site access roads, where deemed necessary. Please refer to the County's Policy PW 2.6 Installation of Approaches and Culverts and its Attachment, Policy PW 2.9 Road Construction, and Policy PW 2.10 Road Specifications and its Attachment. If you are required to construct or upgrade a road as a condition of your development permit, you may be eligible for road construction cost sharing from the County (see Policy PW 2.13).

What to do if your development is accessed from an Alberta Highway

Before the development officer will accept an application for a development permit affecting land within 1,000 feet (304.8 meter) of the right of way of a highway or within half a mile (800 me­ter) of the intersection of two highways, the applicant must obtain the necessary roadside development permit or other permission from Alberta Transportation. The staff in the County's Planning and Development department will assist you with making an application to Alberta Transportation for roadside development.

Gravel Road Dust Reduction


You may be required to provide dust reduction where your development impacts other residences. The Municipal Development Plan and Policy PW 2.2 Gravel Road Dust Reduction provide more information.

Selling of Motor Vehicles
Where a development permit is approved for the selling of motor vehicles, the applicant must provide written proof of holding a license from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council.

Rural Addressing

The applicant must comply with the County's Rural Addressing Bylaw relative to making arrangements for civic addressing.

Timing of Decisions

The Municipal Government Act states that a municipality must make a decision on a development permit application within 40 days of receiving a complete application. Usually the County is able to meet this processing timeline; however, if we do not, the applicant has the option of either deeming the application refused and appealing it to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board or entering into an agreement with the County to extend the timeline. The County's development permit application form provides for such an agreement.

Development Permit Conditions

Pursuant to a provision in the Municipal Government Act, the County's Land Use Bylaw provides that construction of any development shall not proceed beyond grade level until all conditions listed on the development permit, except those conditions of a continuing nature, have been met or fulfilled.

Safety Codes Act

It is the landowner's responsibility to comply with the provincial Safety Codes Act for new construction, additions or renovations, electrical, plumbing, gas, and private sewage disposal systems by obtaining a safety codes permit. The County is not accredited for the purposes of the Safety Codes Act, which means that any safety codes permit must be obtained from any safety codes inspection agency accredited with the Safety Codes Council. A building permit application must be consistent with a development permit issued by the County in respect of the land use, yard setbacks, building height, floor area requirements, etc.

Contact Information

There may be many other aspects that impact your proposed development. It is our role to advise you of these matters. If you are planning to apply for a development permit in the County, it may be helpful to review the Land Use Bylaw and contact the Planning and Development department. Call (403) 742-4441.