Development and Planning
A Development Permit is needed for most new construction or changes of use to an existing property. Development permits within the Town of Three Hills are governed by the Municipal Government Act (Part 17 – Division 5 Land Use) and the Land Use Bylaw 1398-17, whereby the Development Officer or Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) is authorized as the development authority as per Bylaw 1404-17.
Section 624 of the Municipal Government Act requires a municipality to designate a development authority to exercise development powers and perform duties on behalf of the municipality. The Town of Three Hills Bylaw 1405-17 establishes the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) as this development authority. It is the Development Officer’s responsibility to review development proposals on behalf of the Town and make a recommendation to the MPC.
Before any construction can begin on a site, an application must be provided to the Development Officer for a Development Permit. This ensures that the proposed structure or use conforms to the applicable regulations outlined in the Land Use Bylaw 1398-17 for that site. Uses identified in each land use District are grouped into two development classifications to reflect the impacts or intensity of the proposed development or use:
Permitted Uses: are those that are considered to be the most appropriate for lands subject to a particular District. Section 642 (1) of the Municipal Government Act identifies that if a development permit application is made for a permitted use in a District, and if the proposed development conforms to all of the applicable regulations of the Land Use Bylaw, the Development Authority must issue the permit to the applicant.
Discretionary Uses: are those that may be considered appropriate on a particular site; however, depending on the nature of the application, and the type of development surrounding the site in question, a discretionary use may be deemed inappropriate for that site by the Development Authority, and the permit may not be approved. Section 642 (2) of the Act indicates that a municipality may issue a permit to an applicant for a discretionary use however it is not obliged to approve the development.
Development Permit Process