Leduc County

Subdivision and development

Leduc County's Planning and Development department serves the public by promoting and maintaining a safe, vibrant and sustainable living and working environment through the administration of provincial planning and safety codes legislation and local bylaws and policies in a timely, cost-effective and consistent manner.

Each group within the department is responsible for various stages and aspects of land development and building construction.

Land Use Bylaw

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires all municipalities in Alberta to adopt a Land Use Bylaw. The Land Use Bylaw divides the municipality into districts, or zones, which describe the permitted uses of land. In addition, a decision process must be outlined to issue development permits and the number of dwellings permitted on a parcel of land must be determined.

The Land Use Bylaw may also include regulations concerning subdivision design, building appearance and design, landscaping, the height, size and location of buildings, parking, loading, fences or walls, signs and lighting.

View/download the Leduc County Land Use Bylaw and related documents.

Land Use Bylaw amendment process

Land use amendments most often refer to the process of changing the current land use district to another designation; however, amendments to the text of the Land Use Bylaw are sometimes required. The bylaw amendment process is governed by the Municipal Government Act.

Landowners can submit an application to change the district applying to their land in order to allow for a change in the use of that parcel of land. Changing the current land use district to another designation is referred to as redistricting or rezoning. Redistricting is required when a proposed development is not permitted in the current land use district. Each of these applications is considered an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw and must follow the below process.

Application

View/download Leduc County's Land Use Bylaw Amendment Application form

To initiate a Land Use Bylaw amendment for redistricting or rezoning, an applicant or landowner submits an application to amend the current land use designation. Prior to submitting an application, the applicant or landowner is encouraged to discuss the requirements of the application with Leduc County staff. Once the Land Use Bylaw amendment application is received, staff will draft the proposed bylaw amendment.

Depending on the complexity of the redistricting application or the potential impact on the community, the applicant may be required to conduct an open house. The need to conduct an open house is at the discretion of Planning and Development staff, but may be also be required by council.

Circulation and staff review

Planning and Development staff circulate the redistricting application to other Leduc County departments, external agencies and the registered owners of all adjacent land for information and comment. Planning and Development staff consider all input received, review the application against relevant planning documents, conduct a site inspection (if site specific) and identify issues.

Staff report

Once the comments have been received and the internal review is complete, staff will prepare a report to be brought forward to Leduc County council recommending to support or not support the application.

Public hearing

A public hearing will be scheduled, with the notice of public hearing to be advertised in the County market for two consecutive weeks prior to the hearing date. Any person, group or persons representing a person or group who claims to be affected by the proposed bylaw and who has complied with the procedures outlined by council, is permitted to present their case at the public hearing. Council may also agree to hear any other person who wishes to make a presentation.

Decision

Following the public hearing, council may ask for additional information, approve the amendment as presented, approve the amendment with modifications, or refuse the proposed bylaw amendment.

In order for a bylaw amendment to be approved, it must be given three readings by council. Decisions are binding and cannot be appealed.

If the application is refused, another application for the same, or substantially the same, amendment shall not be considered within one year of the refusal date, unless council directs otherwise.

Subdivision application process

Subdivision is the process of dividing a parcel of land into any number of smaller pieces, each of which are given a separate legal land title. Subdivision may also include lot-line adjustments. Since all subdivision is subject to Leduc County and Government of Alberta regulation and policy, not all land can be subdivided.

Generally, subdivision approval and endorsement by Leduc County is required before the subdivision can be registered and land titles issued at the Alberta Land Titles Office.

View subdivision fees and charges.

Pre-application

If an application is for anything other than a subdivision of 32 hectares (80 acres) or 1 hectare (2.47 acres) from a previously unsubdivided quarter section, it is recommended that the applicant meet with Leduc County staff prior to submitting an application.

Application

View/download Leduc County's subdivision application form

The legal landowner or an agent authorized by the landowner can submit a completed subdivision application to Leduc County. This application package can include requirements such as a tentative plan, required fees, private ewage information, current copy of the certificate of title, potable water reports, traffic impact assessments, environmental/biophysical assessments or geotechnical reports.

Print copies of the subdivision application can be obtained from Planning and Development.

Circulation and staff review

Planning and Development staff circulate the subdivision application to other Leduc County departments, external agencies and the registered owners of all adjacent land for information and comment for a period of three weeks. Planning and Development staff consider all input received, review the application against relevant planning documents, conduct a site inspection (if site specific) and identify issues.

Staff report

Once the comments have been received and the internal review is complete, staff will prepare a report to be brought forward to Subdivision Authority recommending to support or not support the application.

Subdivision Authority meeting

The report addressing the subdivision application will be presented at the Subdivision Authority meeting held on the third Tuesday of each month. These meetings are open to the public and the applicant/owner is encouraged to attend the meeting and speak to the application.

Decision

The Subdivision Authority may ask for additional information, approve the application as presented, approve the application with conditions or refuse the application.

The Municipal Government Act stipulates that the Subdivision Authority must render a decision on an application within 60 days of accepting the application as complete, unless the applicant and the Subdivision Authority agree to a time extension. If the Subdivision Authority fails to issue a decision within the specified time frame and extensions are not granted, the applicant may initiate an appeal. The appeal would be considered an appeal of a deemed refusal.

Appeal

View/download Leduc County's subdivision appeal form

The applicant, affected government departments or the school authority may appeal the decision of the Subdivision Authority and/or any or all of the conditions of approval.

Appeals to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) are made by the applicant or school authority in relation to Subdivision Authority decisions. Notices of appeal must be received within 19 days from the mailing date of the decision letter. The appeal hearing will be held within 30 days of the date the appeal was filed.

Appeals to Municipal Government Board are made by provincial government agencies in relation to Subdivision Authority decisions or by the applicant in relation to provincial government authority interests in Subdivision Authority decisions. Notices of appeal must be received within 19 days from the mailing date of the decision letter. The appeal hearing will be held within 60 days of the date the appeal was filed.

The decision of the SDAB is final, and no further appeals may be made, except to a court on a point of law or jurisdiction.

Plan endorsement

Once the above conditions have been satisfied, the applicant or his or her surveyor may submit one print and one digital copy of the plan and required affidavits for county endorsement. The digital copy must be in AutoCAD format and can be supplied via memory stick, CD or email to PandD@leduc-county.com.

Registration

Once endorsed, Planning and Development staff will contact the applicant and/or the applicant's surveyor. The endorsed plan may then be registered at the Alberta Land Titles Office.

Subdivision frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to subdivide?

The cost of subdivision depends on the number of lots being subdivided and the types of supporting documentation required. Learn more about subdivision fees.

How long is the subdivision process?

The subdivision process, from application to final plan registration, is a minimum of six months. Several factors can influence the length of the process, including the complexity of the application, the number of applications being processed at the time, the types of studies or reports required, surveyor availability and satisfaction of the subdivision approval conditions by the applicant.

How many lots can I subdivide from my quarter section?

The number of lots one can subdivide is dependent on the districting of the subject lands and the policies of the Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan, Area Structure Plans/Local Area Structure Plans (if applicable) and Government of Alberta regulation.

When does my property need to be surveyed?

An Alberta land surveyor is required to survey the lands and provide a plan to Leduc County when a subdivision application receives conditional approval from the Subdivision Authority. Once the plan is endorsed, the surveyor will take the plan to Alberta Land Titles for registration.

What surveyor should I use? How much does it cost?

Leduc County does not endorse a particular Alberta land surveyor. The Alberta land surveyor must be a current member of the Alberta Land Surveyors Association. Costs for the surveyor depend on the type and complexity of the plan to be prepared. Costs may also vary between different surveying companies.

Can I appeal my neighbor's subdivision?

The Municipal Government Act does not permit adjacent landowners to appeal an approved subdivision. After a subdivision application is made, a referral letter is sent out to adjacent landowners and other affected agencies. Adjacent landowners have the opportunity to submit comments regarding the subdivision during the referral period outlined in this letter.

Why do I have to pay the Rural Road Surfacing Contribution?

In 2008, Leduc County council approved the Rural Road Surfacing Contribution (RRSC) catchment area. If a subdivision application is within the catchment area, the subdivided lot is subject to a fee, as per the Fees and Charges bylaw. In addition to the RRSC, subdivision of those lands in the Highway 625/Range Road 232 Upgrade Area or Highway 625/Range Road 234 Upgrade Area is subject to an additional fee, which goes directly into the upgrading of the specified county roads to meet the demand of new development.

Who is in charge of dust control in my subdivision?

During construction of the internal road for a new subdivision the developer is responsible for dust control measures.

Can I share a septic system? What do I have to do to get my subdivision's septic system up to standards?

All private sewage disposal systems (PSDS) must meet provincially regulated setbacks and standards.

How does subdivision impact private sewage disposal systems?

All private sewage disposal systems that exist on  the title property prior to subdivision must comply with the private sewage disposal system regulation after the subdivision is complete.

For low-density subdivisions – the subdivision of up to three parcels of land for agricultural or residential use, four parcels for smallholdings intensive agricultural use or a lot line adjustment – this may require no changes, or may require an alteration such as the relocation of a discharge line or replacement of a faulty septic tank, or it may require that a new sewage disposal system be installed. A private sewage disposal system permit is required for alterations or new system installations.

In cases of multi-lot subdivisions – the subdivision of four or more parcels for residential, commercial or industrial use – the requirements may be more complex and involve Alberta Environment and Parks approval for communal systems.

Do you have a list of private sewage disposal system (PSDS) installers?

Leduc County does not endorse any particular PSDS Installer. Local contractors can be found on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website.

How do I know where to put my fence?

In order to ensure the correct location for a fence, a real property report or a plan of survey should be referenced. An Alberta land surveyor should be contacted if there is no current real property report or a plan of survey for the subject lands.

Where can I find a Commissioner of Oaths?

Leduc County has several qualified Commissioner of Oaths that can commission land titles documents.

Who takes the subdivision approval to land titles?

The Alberta Land Surveyor that prepared the final subdivision plan.

What is a "deferred reserve caveat"?
At the time of subdivision approval, the Subdivision Authority will determine if municipal reserves will be provided for as land, money in place of land or deferred onto the subdivided titles.

If the municipal reserves are deferred, a deferred reserve caveat will be placed onto the newly created title(s). In the event that the lands are further subdivided in the future, the deferred reserves will once again be considered by the Subdivision Authority and may be taken as land or money in place of land.

Development process/permits

Development is the act of changing or enhancing the use of land by constructing new buildings or additions, replacing or repairing existing buildings, changing the use or intensity of use of land or buildings, excavating or stockpiling soil or installing signage on buildings or on private land.

Any use or development of lands, buildings or signs in Leduc County requires a valid development permit, unless it is specifically exempt from requiring a development permit under the Land Use Bylaw or by federal or provincial legislation. A development permit is required prior to the commencement of development.

View development fees and charges

Application

The applicant must submit a completed development permit application to Leduc County.

Residential development undertaken within Leduc County requires a development permit, unless exempted under Part 3 of the Leduc County Land Use Bylaw. Projects requiring a development permit include, but are not limited to building a house or addition, erecting a sign, operating a home occupation, building a deck, building a fence or building a garage.

View/download Leduc County's residential development permit application

Industrial and commercial developments shall be considered only within appropriate land use districts and in accordance with all regulations of the Land Use Bylaw.

View/download Leduc County's commercial development permit application

Circulation and staff review

Planning and Development staff circulate the development permit application to other Leduc County departments, external agencies and registered owners of all adjacent land for information and comment. Planning and Development staff consider all input received, review the application against relevant planning documents and render a decision.

Decision

The development officer may ask for additional information, approve the application as presented, approve the application with conditions or refuse the application.

Appeal

View/download Leduc County's development appeal form

If you are refused a development permit, are not satisfied with the conditions of approval, or you feel you are adversely impacted by a development permit decision, you may appeal the decision of the development officer to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB).

Notices of appeal to the SDAB must be received within 14 days from the mailing date of the decision letter. The appeal hearing will be held within 30 days of the date the appeal was filed. The SDAB must give its decision in writing, along with its reasoning for the decision, within 15 days of concluding the hearing.

The decision of the SDAB is final, and no further appeals may be made, except to a court on a point of law or jurisdiction.

Development frequently asked questions

When is a development permit required?

Any use or development of lands, buildings or signs in Leduc County requires a valid development permit, unless it is specifically exempt from requiring a development permit under the Land Use Bylaw or by federal or provincial legislation. A development permit is required to be issued prior to the commencement of development.

Why is a development permit important?

The purpose of a development permit and the process involved in obtaining a development permit is to assure conformance with the district and development regulations under the Land Use Bylaw.

When does a development permit expire?

Construction on the development must commence within 12 months from the date of issue, or the permit will expire.

Who is the development authority?

Unless the land is designated direct control, the development authority is the development officer appointed by council. In the case of direct control districts, Leduc County council is considered to be the development authority.

Are there situations where you won’t require a development permit?

Yes, many situations do not require a development permit. Some examples include accessory buildings not exceeding 10 square metres (107.6 square feet) in area and two metres (6.5 feet in height), decks up to 40 square metres (430 square feet) with a floor level not exceeding 0.6 metres (1.9 feet), and fences, gates or walls no more than two metres (6.5 feet) in height or, in a non-residential area, a chainlink security fence no more than 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) in height.

What happens if I build without a development?

Individuals who build prior to obtaining a development permit could face enforcement such as fines or court action, and rectification of infraction on the applicable tax roll.

What is a change of use?

Change of use is when the use or intensity of use of land or a building or an act done in relation to land or a building results in, or is likely to result in, a change in the use of the land or building. When a change in the intensity of use of land, building or an act done in relation to land or a building that results in, or is likely to result in, a change in the intensity of use of the land or building.

Direct control

The general purpose of a direct control district is to provide for development that, because of unique characteristics, unusual site conditions or innovative design, requires specific regulations unavailable in other land use districts. This district is not intended to be used instead of another land use district in this bylaw that could be used to achieve the same result.

Land uses

Land uses within a direct control district shall be determined by council and adopted through a bylaw, and may apply to a specific development application on a single lot or to unspecified future development on more than one lot, in accordance with the regulations of the direct control district.

Delegation of authority

Where council deems that there are sufficient and appropriate regulations within a direct control bylaw, authority to approve development within the direct control district may be delegated to the development authority.

Re-designation of existing parcels

A parcel designated as direct control district prior to passage of this bylaw may be re-designated to a new land use district where the development is consistent with the regulations of the new district.

Direct control district regulations

All direct control district regulations are contained in Appendix "A" which forms part of the Land Use Bylaw.

Interpretation

Direct control district regulations adopted under the County's former Land Use Bylaw 1665-83 shall be interpreted using the definitions and context of that bylaw.

All regulations in the Land Use Bylaw shall apply to development within any direct control district, unless such regulations are specifically excluded or modified within Appendix 'A', the direct control district, Council's directions or the development permit.

Council has the discretion to grant variances to regulations respecting development within a direct control district and the restrictions in 3.6.1 do not apply.

Off-site levies

An off-site levy is established by municipal bylaw and is a charge or a requirement to make a payment and is imposed as a condition of approval for some developments and subdivision. Off-site levies help pay for road and municipal utility systems required outside or "off" the site of a development or subdivision to serve that development.

Many municipalities impose off-site levies. In Leduc County, off-site levies apply to parts of the land in and adjacent to:

  • the Nisku Industrial Business Park area
  • the Vistas and lands north of Highway 625
  • Saunders Lake areas

View the off-site levy map

An off-site levy may be used to pay for all or part of the following, whether they are new or expansions to existing infrastructure:

  • water treatment, storage facilities and pipelines
  • sewage treatment, disposal facilities and pipelines
  • storm sewerage facilities
  • roads
  • land for any of the above

In Leduc County, the off-site levies imposed in parts of the Nisku Industrial Business Park areas and Vistas areas contribute towards the cost of water and arterial road system improvements. In addition to water and road levies, off-site levies imposed in the Saunders Lake area, there is a requirement for a contribution to off-site sanitary sewer installation.

Payment of off-site levies

The payment of an off-site levy can only be required once and can only be required for the development or subdivision of land. Leduc County exempts certain minor developments and subdivisions from the need to pay the levy. If an off-site levy is required, it must be paid upon the completion of a development agreement, prior to the commencement of development or prior to the approval of a survey plan for registration at the Land Titles Office. If the levy exceeds $1 million, a request can be made to defer the payment over a period of two years. A formal agreement will be required in order for payment to be deferred.

If you want to know whether an off-site levy payment will be required for a particular development or subdivision, please contact Leduc County's Planning and Development department.