Do You Need a Development Permit?

The requirement for a development permit gives Starland County a tool to review all proposed developments and to ensure that they comply with the land use bylaw. This enables us to prevent development that may cause conflicts between neighbouring land owners and ensures that land is developed to the standards of Starland County. Additionally individuals or businesses looking to tear down structures will require a demolition permit. All three of these documents are available for download below, for more information continue reading this page.

Form - Development Permit Application
Form - Demolition Permit Application
Bylaw 1125 - Land Use Bylaw

Under the Municipal Government Act a development can mean a number of different things for example:

Excavating, grading or preparing land for construction

This can include all types of site preparation work including grading, digging and stockpiling material.

Construction, renovation, repair or the placing of buildings on land

This category covers most types of development such as the construction of any of building.  However other common types of activities which also require a permit include renovations and additions to buildings, the replacement of buildings or placing of prefabricated homes on lots.

Changing the use

Land use needs to be regulated just as much as actual construction and Starland County requires that a development permit be obtained if you are changing the use of your land.  A common example is opening a home based business on a residential or agricultural lot.  In some cases this may require you to obtain a Land Use Bylaw Amendment.  Either Starland County or our contract planning authority Palliser Regional Municipal Services can advise on necessity to obtain an amendment.  If this is the case you will be required to submit an application for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment, both the application form and a visual representation of the Bylaw Amendment Process can found in the document links below.

Form - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Application
Land Use Bylaw Amendment Flowchart

Changing the intensity of the use

Additionally major changes to the current operation of land requires a development permit.  A common example may be the expansion of a trucking business to include more trucks and more frequent hauling in and out of the site.  As with the case of changing the use this may also require you to obtain a Land Use Bylaw Amendment.


Of course not all development on land requires a permit.  Accessory structures such as the first shed on a property which is smaller that 100 sq. ft. and 12 ft. in height, or other common structures such as decks and fences are also excluded provided that they meet the minimum distances from other property required in the land use bylaw for that zone.  Agricultural buildings such as grain storage bins and barns are also excluded.


The applicant submits an application to the Development Officer along with all required information and required fee.  The application will then be decided on by the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) which usually meets once a month, or the Development Officer depending on the type of development.  If the applicant wishes to speak to MPC before it considers the application, arrangements can be made by making a request to the Development Officer .  The MPC or Development Officer then decides on an application which it may:

  1. approve without conditions; or
  2. approve with conditions; or 
  3. refuse; or
  4. table pending further investigation or information.
If an application is refused by the Development Authority the applicant may appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.  For more information see the Subdivision and Development Appeals link on the right.  If an application is approved with or without conditions, the County will:

When a permit has been granted, the Development Officer shall:

(a) In all cases, a notice shall be immediately published in a newspaper circulating in the municipality stating the location of the property for which the application has been made and the use approved; and/or
(b) a notice of the decision shall immediately be posted conspicuously on the property for which the application has been made; and/or
(c) a notice in writing shall be immediately mailed to all adjacent land owners and all registered owners of land who in the opinion of the Development Authority may be affected.

Once notice has been received other parties wishing to appeal the development have 14 days from the time they received notice to file an appeal to Starland County.  For more information on the appeal process please see the Subdivision and Development Appeal link on the right.  For a visual representation of this approval process please click on the document below.

Development Permit Approval Process


Before filling out and submitting your development permit make sure you have the following information about your development:

1) a site plan in duplicate, drawn to scale, which shows the following:

(i) legal description of the site with north arrow;
(ii) area and dimensions of the land to be developed including the front, rear and side yards if any;
(iii) area and external dimensions including the heights of all buildings and structures to be erected on the land;
(iv) any provisions for off-street loading and vehicle parking, including all access and exit points to the site; and
(v) rights-of-way and easements; and
(v) the position and distances of any existing building, roads, water bodies, trees or other physical features on the land to be developed.

2) floor plans, elevations and sections of any proposed buildings, as required by the Development Officer;
3) a statement of the proposed use or uses;
4) a statement of ownership of land and interest of the applicant therein;
5) the estimated commencement and completion duties/dates;
6) the estimated cost of the development;
7) the development permit fee as prescribed by Council; 

As well there are a number of items such as private sewage disposal suitability site evaluations, drainage plans and anything else the development officer may consider necessary.

Other permits

Other permits required for construction under the Safety Codes Act such as building, electrical and plumbing permits may also be required for your development.  Please visit our page on Other Permits on the right for more information on Safety Codes Permits.

Updated 7 years ago on Jun 30th, 2017