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Development & Planning

We Are Here To Help!

Our planning & development team will assist you with any aspect of planning and development of lands within Town boundaries such as:

  • Development and building permits
  • Home Occupation permits
  • Letters of compliance
  • Assistance with the processes for subdivision review
  • Re-designation of land

Contact us via e-mail or by phone at 403-443-5822 if you have any questions regarding construction projects such as basement development, sheds, hot tubs, and garages.


All submitted permit applications must include detailed drawings and site plan(s), if applicable, of the proposed development.

As per the Land Use Bylaw 1458-20, the definition of development includes:

  • a building, addition to, or replacement/ repair of a building;
  • a change of land use, building, modification of land, or a building that is likely to change its use;
  • a difference in the intensity of use to land or building or modification to land or building that results in a likely change in the intensity of use.

A development permit is needed but not limited to for the following developments:

  • New or moved-structures (includes Sea Cans);
  • Accessory buildings that are larger than 108 square feet 
  • If the building use changes, 
  • Decks higher than 2′ above grade
  • home occupations Class 1 and Class 2
  • Commercial, Institutional, and Multi-family developments prior to being issued a building permit.


Building, electrical, gas and plumbing permit application forms for the Town of Three Hills can be found on Superior Safety Codes website. Applications can be emailed, faxed, mailed or dropped off in person at the Calgary Office for review and approval.

Permits are required for the construction, demolition, alteration or change in occupancy of any building in the Town of Three Hills in accordance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act, the National Building Code and the National Energy Code. In addition to your Construction Permit, you may also require a Development Permit, so ensure that you review the Development and Planning regulations as well. 

Some of the projects requiring a permit include (but are not limited to):

  • Any Building, Gas, Electrical or Plumbing work that falls under the guidelines of the National Building Code or the National Energy Code;
  • Construction, addition, renovation, relocation or demolition of any building;
  • Construction or placement of a temporary structure;
  • Change in occupancy of a building (converting a building from one use to another);
  • Installation of a solid fuel-fired appliance (wood or pellet stove);
  • Interior structural alterations (i.e. adding or removing walls, finishing a basement);
  • Construction or installation of above ground, on ground or in ground swimming pool or hot tub with water depth greater than 2 feet and any fence surrounding a swimming pool;
  • Maintenance or repairs that are structural in nature or restoration of a building (i.e. following fire damage or wood rot);
  • Construction of a deck over 24" in height;
  • Alterations to heating/ventilation systems;
  • New or replacement fireplace and furnace installation (Building, Electrical and Gas Permits may be required);
  • Any construction where health or safety matters are a concern;
  • New Electrical, Gas or Plumbing;
  • The alteration or addition to any existing Electrical, Gas or Plumbing;

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Am I constructing, renovating, altering, repairing, relocating or demolishing any building?  Will there be any structural change to that building?  
  2. Am I installing, altering or adding to any electrical system? 
  3. Am I installing, altering or adding to any gas system?
  4. Am I installing, altering or adding to any plumbing system? 

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, contact Superior Safety Codes at 1-888-717-2344 to determine your permit requirements.

Why do I need a Permit?

  1. Construction permits are mandated through the Alberta Government as a means to ensure that builders and property owners are adhering to the National Building Code (NBC). Its the Law.
  2. Permits are about enforcing safety! Your permit fee pays for your associated inspections.  Having a professional Inspector check you and/or your contractor's work is up to code is the best way to ensure your home is as safe as possible.
  3. Your permit provides you with professionals who review your plans to ensure that work will meet NBC before the project is started, saving you both time and money.  Further, those professionals are available throughout the project to provide you with NBC advice.
  4. Your Insurance requires them! Work completed without a permit may result in your insurance company not honouring your policy or denying a specific claim.
  5. Are you planning on selling? Your realtor or buyer may require that you provide them with a copy of all the permits associated with your property. Failure to produce these permits may delay the process of selling your home until they can be obtained.
  6. Property owners are solely responsible for ensuring that the appropriate permits are pulled on their buildings, however, arrangements may be made with your contractor to pull the necessary permits. Ultimately the property owner is liable for all fees and fines associated with failure to purchase applicable construction permits.

It is possible to propose to change the land use District that applies to a particular site, if the proposed development considers a use for a site that is not allowed in the district.  This process involves an amendment to the Town of Three Hills Land Use Bylaw, and is referred to as rezoning. A change in the zoning of a particular site may also require a change to the Municipal Development Plan.

A person may apply to have the Land Use Bylaw amended by applying and paying the appropriate fee as established by resolution of Council.  All applicants are required to attend a mandatory pre-application meeting with the Town planning and development staff to review application requirements and to ensure a timely process. To arrange a meeting, please call 403-443-5822.

The New Home Buyer Protection Act came into effect on February 1, 2014, requiring builders to provide home warranty coverage for all new homes built in the province. New homes (single detached family homes/duplexes/multi-family homes/condominiums/manufactured homes/recreational properties) include, at minimum, a warranty for:

  • one year labour and materials
  • two years for defects in labour and materials related to delivery and distribution systems
  • five years building envelope protection, with a requirement for the warranty provider to offer the consumer the option to purchase additional years of coverage
  • 10 years' coverage for major structural components

Learn more about Alberta’s better warranty standards and get to know your role at Home Warranty Alberta.

Further information to assist with permit regulation can be found in the Permit Regulation Handbook.

A variety of local bylaws and provincial regulations govern when you need a permit. This may also vary with the specific circumstances surrounding your project. It is always best to check with the Town of Three Hills before starting any new work.  

Building, electrical, gas and plumbing permit application forms for the Town of Three Hills can be found on Superior Safety Codes website. Applications can be emailed, faxed, mailed or dropped off in person at the Calgary Office for review and approval. 

Find more information on construction permits and codes here:

Permit Forms

Safety Codes Council

Town of Three Hills Land Use Bylaw

A statutory plan is a legal document/bylaw that must go through three readings and a public hearing before it is adopted by a municipal Council. Once adopted, there is a legal obligation on the part of both the municipality and the residents to adhere to the plan.

As per the Municipal Government Act, Town Council is required to hold a public hearing as part of the process to approve or amend a land use bylaw or other statutory plans. The purpose is to receive comments on related land use and rezoning applications. All hearings are open to the general public and your attendance is encouraged as they are an opportunity to let Town Council know your views on various issues regarding land use and development. You are encouraged to submit your comments in writing to Planning and Development prior to a hearing. Written submissions which have been received before the designated meeting time will be included in the report for the public hearing. 

View the Town of Three Hill Statutory Plans and Regulations

Development is guided by legislation and policies that consists of the following:

The Planning Hierarchy in Alberta

In Alberta, Land Use Planning is carried out at Three Levels - Provincial, Regional and Municipal. Planning Decisions may also be subject to federal and provincial regulations. The planning hierarchy diagram below outlines different levels of land use legislation. 

A Subdivision is the process whereby a parcel of land is divided into two or more parcels in order to obtain separate legal titles for each parcel. Subdivision of land within the Town of Three Hills (and all of Alberta) is governed by two Provincial statutes: the Municipal Government Act (Division 7 - Subdivision of Land) and the Subdivision and Development Regulation, whereby the Municipal Planning Commission is authorized as the approving authority.

Potential applicants are requested to arrange a pre-application meeting with the Town Planning and Development staff.  Note that this meeting is mandatory in order to review application requirements prior to submission and to ensure a timely process.  To arrange such a meeting, please call 403-443-5822.  For this meeting, an applicant should have the legal description of the subject property and should be prepared to discuss the intent of the application.  At this time, if required, Town staff can also identify the potential requirement to provide reserve dedication from the subject property to the Town.