Respecting the rights of our neighbours and ensuring that property values are maintained is an important aspect of community living.
Big Lakes County added the role of a Bylaw Enforcement Officer in 2017, with the hopes to fulfill our goal of improving our communities and building a better future.
The Bylaw Enforcement Officer helps to ensure compliance in a variety of areas and works to investigate incoming complaints from members of the community. He is also responsible for conducting routine patrols, issuing notices, or tags and offence tickets, and acting on behalf of the County before the courts.
Big Lakes County’s goal in bylaw enforcement is to achieve compliance through education and providing information to our residents in order to preserve our quality life in the County.
If you have any question or would like to file a complaint, please contact our Bylaw Enforcement officer at 780-523-5955 or stop by the County Administration Office at 5305-56 Street, High Prairie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sea cans allowed in the County?
Land Use Bylaw Section 6.1 — Accessory Buildings
Industrial structures such as sea can (shipping container) units and similar storage containers may be approved as an accessory building provided the said structure is aesthetically compatible to the main residential structure on the lot and the surrounding neighborhood.
A Development Permit is required to put a sea can on your property.
What constitutes a property development violation?
All development within Big Lakes County requires a development permit except for:
- The maintenance or repair of any building not including structural alterations
- Extensive agricultural operations Water reservoirs or dugouts for water supply
- Above ground pre-manufactured swimming pools with a water volume less than 6.11 cubic metres (72 cubic feet)
- Solar panels affixed to a roof or wall of existing buildings
- The erection of an uncovered deck which has a height of less than 0.6m (1.97 ft.) above grade
- The construction of farm buildings in the AG district
- Hard-surfacing of any yard area on a parcel to provide vehicular access
- The erection of freestanding towers or poles not exceeding 6.1m (20.0 ft.)
- Landscaping – not including changes in grade, drainage, stockpiling or excavation
- The construction of 10.0 m2 (107.6ft.2) maximum floor area storage or sheds
- A fence no higher than 1.83m (6 ft.)
- provided that these projects meet the requirements under our Land Use Bylaw. For more information and to access the full list of exceptions refer to our Land Use Bylaw located on our website: biglakescounty.ca
A notice will be issued for any property development violations, and fines may be incurred.
What are the regulations for Off Highway Vehicle Use in the County?
Bylaw No. 41-2007 — General Traffic
Anyone that is at least fourteen years old and the holder of a valid Class 7 Operator’s Licence may operate an off-highway vehicle on a highway that is maintained by the County, subject however to the following conditions:
- the Traffic Safety Act and its regulations apply to off highway vehicles on County highways,
- operators of off-highway vehicles shall travel single file on the extreme right-hand side of the road or in the ditch, in the same direction as the motoring public,
- all off-highway vehicles are restricted to travelling no more than 30 km/h within the limits of any Hamlet in the County and 50 km/h on any County highway,
- the hours of operating an off-highway vehicle within a Hamlet is restricted to 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- operating an off-highway vehicle on any schoolyard, any posted recreation area or playgrounds within the County is prohibited,
- no person shall operate or ride as passenger on an off highway vehicle unless they are wearing a safety helmet,
- the number of passengers shall not exceed the number of seats the vehicle is designed to carry
- an operator of an off-highway vehicle must immediately pull over and stop at the request of a Peace Officer
Provincial legislation under the Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation and Traffic Safety Act, considers golf carts “miniature vehicles” and are not permitted on highways which includes County roads and sidewalks.
What are the regulations for Recreational Vehicles (RV's) in the County?
No recreational vehicle shall be parked and used as temporary accommodations on any developed or undeveloped lot within a Hamlet Residential District, Hamlet Residential Estate District or Hamlet Mixed Use District unless a development permit for a Recreational Vehicle parking site has been approved.
With an approved development permit, the parking or storage of any recreational vehicle on developed or undeveloped residential lot in a Hamlet Residential District, Hamlet Estate Residential District, or Hamlet Mixed Use District, shall be limited to two (2) per lot, provided that the lot coverage of 40% or a maximum coverage of 371m squared (3,993.4ft squared), whichever is greater, is not exceeded.
Within the Communal Recreation District (CMR), lots shall be limited to one (1) Recreational Vehicle- Permanent, and one (1) Recreational Vehicle Parking Site. However, Communal Recreation District lots that are greater than 2.5 acres in size shall be limited to four (4) with an approved development permit.
If you have any questions regarding the designation of your property or lot size, please contact the Planning and Development department at 780-523-5955.
What is the County's Noise Control policies?
Bylaw No. 7-99
Except to the extent it is allowed by this bylaw, no person shall make, continue, cause to be made or allow to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise whatsoever which unreasonably either annoys, disturbs, injures, endangers or detracts from the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of other persons within the boundaries of Big Lakes County.
Except as otherwise provided in Section 4, no person shall operate or allow to be operated construction equipment of any kind between the hours of 11:01 PM and 7:00 AM.
Where a person occupies premises abutting a highway, he shall not make or cause to be made or allow another person within or upon the premises to make any unusual or unnecessary noise which will disturb or is likely to disturb persons in his neighbourhood or apartment building, whether of his own volition or because of a party or gathering on his premises between the hours of 12:01 AM and 7:00 AM.
No person shall permit the engine of a motor vehicle of a maximum allowable weight or licensed weight of over 7000 kg (1 ton) to run for a period of time in excess of thirty (30) minutes in any residential area between the hours of 11:01 PM and 7:00 AM
What is considered an Unsightly Property in the County?
Bylaw No. 01-2020
Unsightly Property is property that, in the opinion of an Enforcement Officer, is detrimental to the surrounding area because of its unsightly condition.
Some factors which may be considered unsightly include but is not limited to:
- the presence of uncut grass or weeds,
- the presence of trees, shrubs or other vegetation that interferes with signage, roads, sidewalks, municipal works or public utilities,
- the presence of wrecked or dismantled vehicles, including vehicles that are inoperable, unregistered and uninsured,
- the storage or accumulation of garbage, litter, refuse, dilapidated furniture, machinery, machinery parts or other similar materials or items,
- specified or general lack of repair or maintenance,
- the location, land use designation, use and visibility of the property