Development and Planning

Development Permits 

Residents interested in acquiring a development permit application may phone the County’s Development Officer prior to submitting an application to discuss the proposed development. Development permit applications can be found here.
Cardston County’s Land Use Bylaw (Bylaw No. 443/98) establishes two categories of development permit. Permitted Uses in the Land Use Bylaw may be processed by administration without the need for approval from the Municipal Planning Commission. Discretionary Uses in the Land Use Bylaw must be approved by the Municipal Planning Commission.
The County’s Development Officer may only process a development permit for a Permitted Use when that application is deemed to be complete. A list of approved applications will be submitted to the Municipal Planning Commission at each meeting for its review.
Applications for a Discretionary Use development permit will be forwarded to the Municipal Planning Commission for final approval. Applicants are encouraged to attend Municipal Planning Commission meetings and will be given an opportunity to speak to their application in front of the Commission.
Approved Development Permits  



Cardston County                                                                                                                
   Approved Developments
Permit #LegalUseDistrictZoneDecision DateEnd of Appeal Date
66.2021NW/SW 15-4-24 W4M29.5 MW Solar PV Electric Generating Facility5RCISeptember-27-21October-18-21
69.2021Lot 25; Block 1; Plan 18116202596 Single Family Dwelling5GCRSeptember-28-21October-19-21
75.2021Lot 6; Block 1; Plan 091183280sqm Accessory Building7GCROctober-12-21November-02-21
76.2021Lot 4; Block 3; Plan 1014308150KW Solar Energy System, Agriculture5AGOctober-12-21November-02-21
77.2021NW 28-1-24 W4MSecondary Residence2AGOctober-12-21November-02-21

Pursuant to Section 686(1) of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), any person affected by this decision may appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board by filing a notice of the appeal, containing reasons, with the board within 21 days of receiving this notification. An appeal may be left at Cardston County with the $500 appeal fee, to be forwarded to the SDAB.

Subdivision Applications

Residents interested in submitting a subdivision application may phone the County’s Chief Administrative Officer, Development Officer, or designated planner from Oldman River Regional Services Commission prior to submitting an application to discuss the subdivision. Subdivision applications can be found here.
Subdivision application forms may be received from the County or from Oldman River Regional Services Commission. Completed subdivision application forms must be submitted to Oldman River Regional Services Commission for processing.
Subdivision applications received and processed by Oldman River Regional Services Commission will be forwarded to the County’s Municipal Planning Commission for a decision. Applicants are encouraged to attend Municipal Planning Commission meetings and will be given an opportunity to speak to their application in front of the Commission. 
For more information on the subdivision process, please see the following links Before You Subdivide Finalizing a Subdivision

Municipal Reserve

As outlined in Section 666 and 667 of the Municipal Government Act, a subdivision authority (Cardston County’s Municipal Planning Commission) may require the dedication of municipal reserve on subdivision applications.
If the Municipal Planning Commission determines that a municipal reserve is required as part of the subdivision approval process, the value used in the municipal reserve calculation for the parcel will be used as followed:
  • Del Bonita: $1,500 per acre.
  • Magrath / Hill Spring / Glenwood / Kimball: $2,500 per acre.
  • Cardston / Mountain View / Waterton / Welling: $3,500 per acre.

If the applicant disagrees with the above municipal reserve values as the basis for calculation, he/she will be given the opportunity to submit a market value assessment by an independent appraisal firm, at the applicant’s own expense, to be considered by the Municipal Planning Commission.
The market value assessment must be submitted at the time of the subdivision application and applications will not be deemed complete until the appraisal is received in writing. The Municipal Planning Commission will consider independent market value appraisals submitted to it in writing.

Subdivision and Development Appeals

Subdivision and Development Appeal Boards hear appeals regarding decisions made by a municipality's subdivision and development authorities. Its decisions are based on the evidence presented to it during a public hearing. Briefly, the function of a SDAB is to provide a mechanism for interested parties to challenge:
  • A decision of a development authority on a development application.
  • A decision of a subdivision authority on a subdivision application.
  • The issuance of a stop order issued by the municipality.

If an interested person disagrees with a decision on a development application or subdivision application, he/she may file a notice of appeal with the appropriate board. We recommend that individuals looking to file a development or subdivision appeal contact our office or the Oldman River Regional Services Commission prior to filing an appeal so that we can help you with the process.

Land Use Bylaw

Every municipality in Alberta is required to have a Land Use Bylaw as per requirements in the Municipal Government Act. The Land Use Bylaw establishes rules and regulations for land development as well as the process for making decisions for development permit applications within Cardston County.

The Land Use Bylaw includes land use districts (zones) such as Agriculture - AG, Grouped Country Residential - GCR, and Rural Recreational - RR in order to separate residential, commercial, and industrial land development and regulate specific land uses and buildings.

Each land use district (zone) has certain land uses that are permitted outright, others are conditional upon approval, and some are prohibited. Examples of land uses include a detached dwelling, merchandise sale, a restaurant or manufacturing.

A Land Use Bylaw is made up of text and maps; the text sets forth the regulations for each land use district (zone) and the maps show what land use district (zone) applies to each parcel of land.

Cardston County's 1998 Land Use Bylaw No. 443/98 was replaced by Bylaw 762.2021in May 2021. The new bylaw is now available on the ORRSC website.

Municipal Development Plan

The Municipal Development Plan a high-level policy document that provides the framework for how Cardston County will change and grow over time. The MDP is visionary, strategic and long-term in its outlook and application. The Plan reflects the kind of community residents wish to see in the future and identifies ways to achieve this future.

The MDP is primarily a policy document that serves as a framework for the physical development of the community. The MDP was adopted by Council in 1999.

Intermunicipal Development Plans

Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) are statutory documents used to address planning issues between neighbouring municipalities. IDPs promote consultation and coordination between municipalities in areas of joint interest, establish a framework for addressing land use concerns, and create procedures for dealing with development proposals within a defined planning area.

Cardston County currently has Intermunicipal Development Plans with the Town of Cardston, Town of Magrath, the County of Warner, and the M.D. of Willow Creek. Draft IDPs with the Villages of Glenwood and Hill Spring are currently being reviewed by Council.