A development permit approves the use of a site, as well as the size and location of any buildings or structures. Development permit approvals must be obtained for new construction, renovations, businesses, and changes of use to existing buildings.
A development permit is written approval from the City that your plans are in accordance to the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw regulations.
You are required to have a valid development permit before you can apply for a building permit to construct the building or structure, or to apply for a business licence.
Development permit applications are encouraged to be submitted in person, where staff will screen and ensure that your submission is complete. Some application types are now available to be submitted online, through the City of Edmonton Self Service.
Applications can be made by an agent or consultant on behalf of a landowner.
For major and/or complex development proposals, an applicant may request a pre-application meeting (fees applicable) prior to formally submitting a development permit application.
The Commercial/Industrial Development Application form, as well as the required Drawings and Information Checklist, can be found at www.edmonton.ca/developmentservicesforms
Visit Permanent Sign to find out if you need a permit for your sign.
Zones and Regulations
All development permit applications must meet the zoning regulations of the property, such as land use, lot dimensions, lot area, etc. The Zoning Bylaw outlines the uses and development regulations of a particular zone.
To verify the zoning of a property, visit our office or maps.edmonton.ca.
- Proceed to ‘Zoning’ located on the right side of the photo
- Review the disclaimer and accept it by pressing ‘Ok
- Proceed to ‘Locate Title by Address’ and enter the property’s address
Go to ‘Search’ to view its zoning and any overlay information.
Development Permit Approval Process
The development permit process chart outlines the various steps involved in obtaining a development permit.
- An applicant submits a development permit application.
- A Development Officer reviews the application to ensure it is complete.
- A Development Officer reviews the proposed development to ensure compliance with the Zoning Bylaw and other relevant legislation.
Note: The application may also be reviewed by other City departments. As part of this review process, you may be contacted to resolve any concerns and revise your proposal prior to the development officer approving and issuing the development permit.
- The Development Officer reviews input and identifies any issues.
- The Development Officer renders a decision.
The Development Officer:
- Shall approve applications, with or without conditions, for permitted uses that conform in all respects to the Zoning Bylaw.
- May approve, with or without conditions, applications for discretionary uses, or variances to the Zoning Bylaw;
- May refuse the application if it does not conform to the Zoning Bylaw.
Development Permit Review
Once a development permit application, along with applicable fees, is submitted, the time for reviewing and rendering a decision will depend upon the complexity of the application and work volumes.
Major development applications can take up to several weeks before a decision is made. They are typically circulated to other civic departments for review and comment.
An applicant may be required to submit, as part of the application, one or more special studies, to support a major or complex development. Special studies include but are not limited to:
- Assessment of Risk prepared by an environmental professional
- Traffic Impact Assessments (TIA)
- Parking Impact Assessment (PIA)
- Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
A development permit may also be subject to conditions, such as a requirement to pay for off-site levies such, as a sewer or roadway assessment, used to finance larger shared infrastructure that will benefit the property.
For more information, read Financing New Sanitary Trunk Construction, Servicing Agreement Fee Assessments, and Arterial Roadway Assessments.
- An applicant has the right to appeal any decision of the Development Officer, including a refusal, or approval with conditions. The public can also appeal any decision by a Development Officer, typically where a decision involves the use of discretion or variance of a regulation.
- Appeals are formally made to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB).
- If you are the applicant, you must file your appeal with the SDAB within 21 days after the date the development permit decision was made.
- If you are a person affected by a development permit decision, you must file your appeal with the SDAB within 21 days after the date on which the notice of the issuance of the permit was given.
- There is a fee for filing an appeal.
- The decision of the SDAB can be appealed to the Court of Appeal, but only on a point of law or jurisdiction.
Provincial Requirements for Abandoned Wells
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Directive 079 requires developers and property owners applying for a development permit to identity the location of any abandoned well(s).
This directive stipulates that any development permit application for a new building that will be larger than 47 sq. meters (506 sq. ft), or an addition to or an alteration of an existing building that will result in the building being larger than 47 sq. meters (506 sq. ft) must:
- Use the GeoDiscover Map to identify the location or confirm the absence of any abandoned wells. The wells must be located within the parcel on which the building is to be constructed, or in the case of an addition, presently exists
- The User Guide for the GeoDiscover Map should also be consulted
Applicants can sign and include the Abandoned Wells Confirmation Form with their development application (hardcopy), if they have determined no abandoned wells are located on the property they are trying to develop.
The Abandoned Wells Confirmation Form must be submitted with a printout of the map(s)that was used to confirm the absence/presence of abandoned well(s) with the permit application form.
For questions on the Map Viewers or requirements, call the AER’s Customer Contact Centre at 1-855-297-8311.
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