Development and Subdivision Application Process
Applying for a Development Permit
Unless exempted by the Land Use Bylaw or other legislation, all developments within the Town of Falher require a development permit. A development permit provides legal authorization for a development; having it protects the property owner or renter/leasee against future legal or transactional issues. Development permits must be obtained prior to undertaking a development. The process of applying for a development permit, including all the documents required, is detailed in the Guide to Applying for a Development Permit. Applicants for a development permit are advised to read the guidelines prior to completing an application.
To apply for a development permit, please download and complete the Development Permit Application Form and submit it to the Town Office. If the proposed development is not enabled in the district where your site is located, you must first apply for an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw, to enable the type of development you want and, if successful, apply for a development permit. To apply for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment, use the Land Use Bylaw Amendment Application Form.
The process of applying for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment, including all the documents required, is detailed in the Guide to Land Use Bylaw Amendment.
Unless extended by a written agreement between the Development Authority and the applicant, the Development Authority has 40 days to make a decision on a development permit application from the date the applicant is issued a Notice of Complete Application. To ensure timely processing of applications, it is important for applicants to submit a complete application and also provide any additional information, if required by the Development Authority during the review process. Please contact the Development Officer at the Town of Falher Municipal Office prior to submitting an application, if you have any questions about completing the application form.
Depending on the nature of the proposed development, applicants may require additional permits/licenses from external organizations before commencing or operating their development. Permits/licenses from external agencies may include building, fire, mechanical/electrical, plumbing and gas permits from an accredited Safety Codes Agency and/or license from a federal or provincial agency (e.g., Cannabis Store License from AGLC to operate a cannabis retail facility).
In addition to permits/licenses, inspections may also be conducted by the Town Office, provincial authorities or external agencies to verify that the completed development complies with applicable legislation, standards or conditions of the approved permit or license. These inspections may include fire, safety codes and health inspections.
Applying for a Subdivision
Subdivision is the process of dividing a single parcel of land into two or more parcels, each with a separate Certificate of Title. A registered land or property owner (or their authorized agent) wishing to create two or more lots from a single parcel of land must obtain a subdivision approval prior to subdividing the land. The Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency (MMSA) is the Subdivision Authority for the Town of Falher. Applicants for subdivision can download the application package, which include the Subdivision Application Guidelines and application form, which are available on the MMSA website.
Subdivision planning within the Town of Falher is guided by the MGA, the Subdivision Authority Bylaw (which designates MMSA as the subdivision authority for the Town of Falher), the Subdivision and Development Regulation, the Land Use Bylaw, any applicable statutory plans, policies, other bylaws, standards and regulations.
Development and Subdivision Appeal
Development and Subdivision Appeal Decisions of the Development Authority and Subdivision Authority may be appealed to the Peace Regional Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (PRSDAB) or the Municipal Government Board (MGB). The PRSDAB is an independent, intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board established by Bylaw No. 19-07. PRSDAB deals with appeals regarding development permit decisions and stop orders issued by the Development Authority as well as Subdivision Authority decisions that are outside the jurisdiction of the MGB, as per section 687(2) of the MGA. The MGB only hears subdivision appeals where the land that is the subject of the appeal is:
- within Alberta’s Green Area;
- ‘adjacent’ to or contains a Body of Water; (‘Adjacent’ means contiguous or would be contiguous if not for a railway, road, utility right of way or reserve land).
- adjacent to or contains (either partially or wholly) land identified on the Listing of Historic Resources or public land set aside for use as historic resources.
- within the following distances:
- 1600 metres of a Provincial Highway;
- 450 metres of a Hazardous Waste Management Facility;
- 450 metres of the working area of an operating Landfill;
- 300 metres of the disposal area of any Landfill;
- 300 metres of a Waste water Treatment Plant; or
- 300 metres of the working area of a Non-Hazardous Waste Storage Site.
The PRSDAB and the Municipal Government Board are impartial, quasi-judicial bodies that make independent decisions on appeal cases before them, strictly based on the evidence presented to them at a hearing, and in accordance with the MGA, other provincial legislation and municipal appeal bylaw. The process for appealing a decision of the Development or Subdivision Authority, including the timelines for filing an appeal, are outlined in the Guide to Applying for a Development Permit and the Subdivision Application Guidelines, respectively. The PRSDAB’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Bylaw outlines the duties, powers and functions of the Appeal Board, including the procedures for organizing an appeal hearing and making a decision. More information about the PRSDAB, including the process for filing an appeal, are available at https://mmsa.ca/services/peace-regional-sdab.