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 the 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 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.
Permit costs can be found here.
Approved Development Permits
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 the Oldman River Regional Services Commission for processing.
Subdivision applications received and processed by the 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.
As outlined in Sections 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 follows:
- Del Bonita: $2,000 per acre.
- Magrath / Hill Spring / Glenwood / Kimball / 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 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 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 the Municipal Government Act requirements. 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 use include a detached dwelling, merchandise sale, a restaurant, or manufacturing.
A Land Use Bylaw comprises 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 is a high-level policy document that provides the framework for how Cardston County will change and grow over time. The MDP is a 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. Council adopted the MDP in 1999.
Intermunicipal Development Plans
Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) are statutory documents used to address planning issues between neighboring 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, the 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.
- Town of Cardston IDP (2021)
- Town of Magrath IDP (2021)
- Village of Glenwood IDP (2021)
- M.D. of Pincher Creek (2019)
- Lethbridge County (2019)
- M.D. of Willow Creek IDP (2015)
- County of Warner IDP (2015)