Development Permits

A Development Permit is a written approval issued by the County under the Land Use Bylaw authorizing development, including excavation, stockpiling, building, additions, and a change in use or intensity of the use of the land or building, to proceed. The County processes a variety of applications that impact land use in the County throughout the year, some of which require public notification and/or public input before final approval is granted.

  2. A SITE PLAN including:
    • legal description and dimensions of parcel
    • front, rear and side yard setbacks to any
    • existing or proposed buildings
    • dimensions of existing or proposed buildings
    • access to the parcel; on-site parking spaces
    • storm-water drainage plan
    • location of water and sewage collection systems and
    • existing and proposed parcel elevations and grades
  3. Appropriate APPLICATION FEE
Development Permits: Residential
Single Detached Family Dwelling$100
Additions and Accessory structures
(incl. deck, covered deck, shed,
detached garage, gazebo, garden suite,
overheight fence)
Multi-family (row house, duplex,
Building Demolition$50
Recreational Vehicle Parking Space$50
Development Permits continued: Commercial / Industrial / Institutional
New construction/development$500 +
$50 per
$100,000 of
project cost
Accessory structure$500
Relocatable Industrial Camp Facility
Natural Resource Extraction$250
Minor Home Occupation$50
Major Home Occupation$100
Miscellaneous: Commercial / Industrial / Institutional

Development permit applications will continue to be
accepted for multiple structures on the same
application (i.e. dwelling and shed); however, permit
fees for each structure/use will be applied.

Change of Use (building or site)$100
Land Farming for remediation of
oilfield waste & petroleum
storage sites
Dwelling$100 fee
Shed$50 fee
Total fee$150


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:

Subdivision Permits

Subdividing is the process of legally dividing a single parcel of land into two or more smaller parcels; subdividing results in each of these smaller parcels having their own title. You may wish to subdivide your parcel for many reasons, including:

  • You are looking at retiring from farming and would like to sell off your farmland but keep your home. If this is the first time the quarter section has been subdivided, this is called a farmstead separation.
  • You may wish to subdivide one or more parcels to allow for different ownership of the land rather than joint ownership.
  • You may want to subdivide to allow for the sale of some or all of the land for a number of financial reasons.

In order for the County to properly evaluate and process a subdivision application, the following supporting documents must be provided.

  1. Certificate Of Title

  2. A professionally prepared tentative sketch plan including all of the following:
    • location, dimensions and all boundaries of the land to be subdivided, each NEW lot to be
      created, any exiting buildings or structures, the existing water wells, dugouts or other manmade water sources.
    • location and type of existing private sewage disposal system(s), utility lines or utility rightof-ways and any highways, secondary highways, municipal roads, lease roads or rail lines.
    • any natural water bodies and/or water courses that are within or adjacent to the proposed
      subdivision site, as well as a topography description.


Depending on the proposed application, the following additional supporting documents may also be requested.

  • Area Structure Plan
  • Geotechnical Report
  • Environmental Assessment and Biophysical Report
  • Hydrogeological Report
  • 1:100 Year Floodplain Analysis
  • Traffic Impact Assessment
  • Noise Attenuation Study
  • Private Sewage Assessment of Site Suitability
  • Stormwater Management Plan
  • Design Brief
  • Street Names

Creating fewer than 4 lots

Application fee$300
Per lot created$100
Endorsement fee (per lot)$60

Creating 4 or more lots

Application fee$500
Per lot created$100
Endorsement fee (per lot)$60

The registered owner(s) of the land can applyfor a subdivision. However, they may also appoint an authorized person(s) or agent to act on their behalf by filling out an AUTHORIZATION FORM, complete with land owner(s) signatures.

Under provincial legislation, Big Lakes County has 60 days once an application is received in its completed form to make a decision on your application. Once a decision has been made you will have (21 days) from the decision date to appeal your decision or a condition of the decision.


The applicant will have a year to register the subdivision after the appeal period has expired. If the conditions of approval are not met within the one year timeline, a time extension may be applied for to Council. Time extension fees for endorsements and registrations are $100.00