Development Permit Applications

A development permit is a document issued under the Land Use Bylaw that approves a development. It is always best to assume that a development permit is required in order to engage in any activity that comes under the definition of development.

Section 4.1 of Foothills County Land Use Bylaw states that:

Except as provided in Section 4.2.0 of this Bylaw, no person shall undertake any development unless a development permit has been issued and the development proceeds in accordance with the terms and conditions of the development permit issued in respect of the development...

Section 4.2 of the Land Use ByLaw outlines those development activities for which a development permit is NOT required.

Development Permit Applications

Applications for a development permit shall be accompanied by the following information:

Development Permit Application Package

    Change in Use or Intensity Applications

    Change in Use or Intensity Application Form

    A Change of Use or Intensity Permit may be obtained to occupy a site where a Multiple Potential Use Development Permit is in place in Foothills County.

    A Change in Use or Intensity Permit shall not be issued until the property, the building, or portion of the property or building that will house the proposed use has passed a safety codes inspection to the satisfaction of the Safety Codes Officer and passed a fire inspection to the satisfaction of the Foothills Fire Department.

    If alterations to the building are contemplated to accommodate a new use or intensity of use, or changes are required as a result of the safety codes inspection or fire inspection, appropriate permits (building, gas, plumbing, electrical) shall be obtained.  A Change in Use or Intensity Permit shall not be issued until construction is complete and all permits are closed.

    The approval of a change in use or intensity permit will require:

    1. Development Officer Review of Multiple Potential Use Development Permit and Change in Use or Intensity Permit application to ensure:
      • Application is complete and all information and fees submitted;
      • Multiple use development permit is in good standing and all conditions met;
      • The proposed use is contemplated under the existing development permit;
      • No variances to the Land Use Bylaw required to accommodate development;
      • All applicable building and safety codes permits have been closed.
    2. Internal Circulation:
      • Building and Safety Codes Department;
        • Building/Safety Codes Inspection of the site, building or portion of a building.
      • Fire Department (Fire Inspector)
      • Other applicable referrals required based on proposed use;
        Note: This division will report back any requirements, new construction, or alterations required to accommodate the new use, note all appropriate building permits, plumbing, electrical, and gas permits necessary, specify all outstanding requirements, permits and fees, and notify of inspections completed and permits closed prior to Change of Use or Intensity permit being granted.
      • Confirmation that all Building, Safety Code, and Fire permits and inspections are completed, and permits are closed;
      • Confirmation of current Business license application;

    Application Requirements

    An application for a Change in Use or Intensity Permit shall be accompanied by the following information:

    1. Applicable fees for Change in Use or Intensity Permit and Safety Codes inspection fee as outlined in the Foothills County Fee Schedule (online in the Resource Library);
    2. A completed Change in Use or Intensity Permit Application form;
    3. A Landowner/Applicant declaration that the proposed use complies with all conditions of the existing development permit; and
    4. A description of the proposed use, with sufficient detail that a development officer can verify that the use is in compliance with the existing Multiple Potential Use Development Permit. 
    5. An application for a Foothills County business license.

    Development Authority

    According to the Foothills County Land Use Bylaw: Development authority means the development authority provided for by Council from time to time pursuant to 623 (b) and 625 of the Act to exercise development powers and duties on behalf of the County.

    Section 623 (b) and 625 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA or the Act) is as follows:
    Section 623 (b):

    (b)       subject to section 641, a development authority to exercise development powers and
                perform duties on behalf of the municipality.

    Section 625:

    (1)  The council of a municipality may, by bylaw,

                                 (a)    establish a municipal planning commission, or
                                 (b)    authorize the municipality to enter into an agreement with one or
                                          more municipalities to establish
                                        (i)    an intermunicipal planning commission, or
                                        (ii)    an intermunicipal service agency.

    (2)  An intermunicipal planning commission is deemed to be a municipal planning
           commission for the purposes of this Part.

    (3)  The bylaw establishing a municipal planning commission and the agreement
            establishing an intermunicipal planning commission must

                                 (a)    provide for the applicable matters described in section 145(b),
                                 (b)    prescribe the functions and duties of the commission, including but
                                          not limited to subdivision and development powers and duties, and
                                  (c)    in the case of an intermunicipal planning commission, provide for its

    (4)  The council of a municipality may make a bylaw authorizing a municipality to delegate,
            by agreement, any of its subdivision authority or development authority powers, duties
            or functions to

                                 (a)    a municipal planning commission,
                                 (b)    a regional services commission, or
                                 (c)    an intermunicipal service agency.

    In Foothills County, there are development officers who have been given the mandate to act as the development authority in most cases; although certain types of development will require approval by Council.