Planning and Development FAQ

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Do you have a question that hasn’t been answered here?  Please send your inquiries to planning@didsbury.ca.  Please make note that you checked the FAQs on the website so we know to add your question/answer.

A Certificate of Compliance or compliance stamp is when the Town of Didsbury reviews your Real Property Report and provides a signed acknowledgment that your development/property meets the Town of Didsbury Land Use Bylaw.  If a property does not meet the regulations set for by the Town of Didsbury, a compliance stamp will not be provided. 

The Town of Didsbury does not require a Certificate of Compliance – it is a service provided by the Town of Didsbury on a request basis. The need for a Certificate of Compliance generally arises when you are going to buy or sell a developed property and is generally requested by mortgage companies, realtors, lawyers, etc.

(a) A Development Permit is valid for a period of one year from the date of issue or the date of the decision of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

(b) A Building Permit is valid providing the project is not abandoned for more than 120 days; work must commence within 90 days of permit issuance.

(c) A Gas Permit is valid providing the project is not abandoned for more than 120 days; work must commence within 90 days of permit issuance.

(d) An Electrical Permit is valid providing the project is not abandoned for more than 120 days; work must commence within 90 days of permit issuance.

(e) A Plumbing Permit is valid providing the project is not abandoned for more than 120 days; work must commence within 90 days of permit issuance.

Taxes are based on the market value of your property. For how your specific project may affect your taxes, please contact the Town of Didsbury Tax Officer at taxation@didsbury.ca.  More information can also be found on the Taxation page of our website under Business Services.

Your building permit will outline the schedule of when you need to call for inspections for building permit services.  At the time of the final inspection for your building permit, a development permit inspection may also be scheduled.

The Town of Didsbury appreciates five days' notice for your building permit inspection requests.  If a development permit inspection is not scheduled or performed at the same time as the building permit final inspection, please provide a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to occupancy for this inspection.  Gas, Electrical and Plumbing Inspections are scheduled as per our contracted agency.

A development permit is not required for a residential area for a solid fuel-burning appliance installed inside the dwelling; however, a building permit is required. A Development Permit and Building Permit are required for the installation of a solid fuel-burning appliance in a commercial or industrial district (inside or outside) or outside in a residential district.

DEVELOPMENT PERMIT:Apply for your Development Permit through that Town of Didsbury. Permits are issued through the Town of Didsbury.
BUILDING PERMIT:Apply for your Building Permit through the IJD Inspection LTD. The Town of Didsbury contracts out Building Permit services (permit issuance and inspections) but all the documentation is processed through the Town of Didsbury.
GAS PERMIT:Apply for your Gas Permit through the IJD Inspection LTD. The Town of Didsbury contracts out Gas Permit services (permit issuance and inspections) but all the documentation is processed through the contracted agency.
PLUMBING PERMIT:Apply for your Plumbing Permit through the IJD Inspection LTD. The Town of Didsbury contracts out Plumbing Permit services (permit issuance and inspections) but all the documentation is processed through the contracted agency.
ELECTRICAL PERMIT:Apply for your Electrical Permit through the IJD Inspection LTD. The Town of Didsbury contracts out Electrical Permit services (permit issuance and inspections) but all the documentation is processed through the contracted agency.

A home occupation development permit is required to operate a business out of your home.  Depending on the scope of the business (office in the home only versus a full operation) may require more or less information to be provided.

Upon an approved home occupation development permit (and a successful appeal period), a yearly business license will also have to be maintained with the Town of Didsbury.

Once a decision has been made on a development permit application, the applicant will be notified by mail.  The applicant has 19 days from the date of the notice of the decision to appeal the decision and/or any conditions placed on the decision.

For affected persons, approved development permits are advertised in the local newspaper and on the Town of Didsbury website.  An affected person has 14 days from the date the advertisement to appeal a permit; after that 14 day appeal period has lapsed, the decision is final.

You can do your own contract work as long as you are the homeowner, you live in the house you’re taking the permit out for and you have a familiarity with the applicable Safety Codes Act.  A homeowner cannot take out a gas, electrical or plumbing permit for a home that they do not live in, nor for a commercial or industrial project.

A contractor requires a Town of Didsbury business license. Contractors may also require Provincial licenses.  Make sure you are checking with your contractor for proof that they have all the licenses required.

A development permit ensures that you meet all requirements of the Land Use Bylaw.  Setbacks from property lines, parking requirements, impact on the neighborhood are a few of the things that are reviewed when your development permit is processed. A building permit ensures that the construction of the project will meet the Alberta Building Code.

Fences, gates, walls, hedges or other means of enclosure less than 1.0 m (3.28 ft.) from grade in height in front yards and less than 2.0 m (6.56 ft.) from grade in the side and rear yard, do not require a permit.

There are special rules if your fence is adjacent to an intersection or roadway (road, lane, etc.) Please contact the Town of Didsbury to find out what they are.

If you would like to build your fence (gate, hedge, etc.) taller than the heights listed above, you will require a development permit.

The costs associated to inspect your project are included in the fees that you pay when you take out your building permit, gas permit, electrical permit and/or plumbing permit.

Each property in Town is given a land use designation (zoning).  Each zone has different rules and regulations whereby some zones allow for secondary suites and some do not.  This information is found in the Land Use Bylaw.

To have a secondary suite in a location that allows for them will require both an approved development permit and an approved building permit.  If you need further clarification, please call the Planning and Development department at 403.335.3391.

If the deck that you are building is more than 600 mm (2 feet) above grade, you require a development permit and a building permit.

The Town of Didsbury may be able to provide you a relaxation of a bylaw requirement that will make your property become a legal non-conforming use.  You would be able to obtain a certificate of compliance if a relaxation was granted.  The process to apply for a relaxation is to complete the development permit application process including supporting documents and fees as set out in the Rate and Fee Bylaw.

Sheds 10.0 m2 (107.64 ft2) or less and 2.5m (8.2 ft.) or less in height and used as a garden/tool shed is deemed approved and does not require a development permit nor a building permit.

Each property in Town is given a land use designation (zoning).  Each zone has different rules and regulations set out what can and cannot be built on a specific parcel of land.  This information is found in the Land Use Bylaw.

The Town of Didsbury cannot release information regarding a proposed development until a formal application is made.  Once an application is made, certain details within the application can be disclosed. Once a development permit has been approved, it is advertised in the local newspaper and on the Town of Didsbury website.  You may, at that time, inquire in regards to the development.  If you are an affected person, upon giving reasons and paying the applicable fee, you have an opportunity to appeal the decision.

You, or your contractor, will need to get a permit to do plumbing, gas and/or electrical work unless the work is minor maintenance.  Please call IJD Inspections Ltd. to discuss further requirements at 1.877.617.8776.

The requirement for permits will largely depend on the scope of the project.  You will need a development permit if the project intensifies the use of the property or changes the footprint of the building.  You will need a building permit if you are doing any structural changes – maintenance, painting, residing, etc. does not require permits.  You will need gas, electrical and/or plumbing permits if you are doing anything more than minor maintenance.

The placement of a fence is not regulated by the Town of Didsbury.  Upon a legal land survey, it will show the exact placement of the fence.  This matter is of a civil nature and if it cannot be worked out between your neighbor and yourself, you may have to get legal advice.

The subdivision is governed by many documents including the Municipal Government Act, Subdivision and Development Regulations, Municipal Development Plan, and Land Use Bylaw only to name a few.

The Town of Didsbury may require large parcels to undergo an Area Structure Plan prior to proceeding with a subdivision application.  Pending receipt of all required documents, a completed application form and meeting all regulations, you may be able to subdivide your property.  Please contact the Planning and Development department at 403.335.3391 to arrange a meeting to discuss your project further.

Each property in Town is given a land use designation (zoning).  To find out what zone your property is, check out the Town of Didsbury Land Use District Map. If you cannot determine your land use designation (zoning) from the map, please call the Planning and Development department at 403.335.3391.

Prior to the expiration of the original development permit, on receipt of a written application, an extension may be granted for a period of no longer than an additional 6 months.

The Development Authority shall determine the completeness of a received application within twenty (20) days of receipt. The Development Authority must make a decision on an application for a Development Permit within forty (40) days (excluding the 21 day appeal period).

Development Permit: Six weeks (this includes the 21-day appeal period)

If a decision on an application for a development permit has not been made within 40 days of the receipt of a completed application, the applicant may:

(a) consider the application a deemed refusal; or

(b) enter into an agreement with the Development Officer/ Municipal Planning Commission to extend the 40 day period within which a decision on the application may be made.

Building Permit: Two weeks after the date of an approved Development Permit (after the 14-day appeal period)

Electrical Permit: Same day

Plumbing Permit:  Same day

Gas Permit:  Same day

* The Town of Didsbury reserves the right for permit issuance to take more or less time as indicated above.  The time frame to receive your permit is largely dependent on the project and the volume of permits being received by the Town of Didsbury at the time of application.

Each property in Town is given a land use designation (zoning).  Each zone has different rules and regulations.  To find out what zone your property is, check out the Town of Didsbury Land Use District Map.

If you cannot determine your land use designation (zoning), please call the Development Services department at 403.335.3391

Approved development permits are advertised in the local newspaper and on the Town of Didsbury website.  This is the form of notification that the Town of Didsbury chooses as per the Municipal Government Act. An affected person has 14 days from the date of advertisement to appeal a permit; appeals must be accompanied by a letter stating the reasons for the appeal and the applicable fee.

Click HERE to view the Development Permits listed on our website.

A Real Property Report is a site plan/plot plan drawn and/or certified by an Alberta Land Surveyor. It gives the dimensions of your lot and illustrates any improvements on the lot including the location of the dwelling and buildings relative to property boundaries.  A Real Property Report shows visible encroachments onto or from the property, right of ways, and easements as noted on the Title at the date of survey, etc.

A Real Property Report is a legal document that can be relied upon as an accurate representation of the improvements on your property.  The Town of Didsbury does not provide the services or facilitation of obtaining a Real Property Report.  The cost of obtaining a Real Property Report by an Alberta Land Surveyor may vary and costs are not associated with the Town of Didsbury.

A Development Permit needs to be advertised in order to give any person deemed affected by the development an opportunity to know about the development, review the development and/or appeal the development.  This is regulated by the Municipal Government Act.

The size of your lot is recorded on the survey plan that was registered at the time of subdivision or on a Real Property Report. 

If you do not have a Real Property Report and simply need the dimensions of your lot, the Town of Didsbury can provide you with a copy from the plan of survey.  This copy will not show any improvements on your lot.

Only a legal land surveyor can tell you where your property line is.  An Alberta Land Surveyor, once hired, can survey your property and provide you with documentation (see question #9) and tell you where your property line is and where any buildings on the property are in accordance to those property lines.