Development Permits

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Most types of development within the Town require a Development Permit. The Town of High River Land Use Bylaw indicates the type of development allowed in each of the six districts and outlines the rules associated with them.

Before conducting any development in High River, check to see if you need a Development Permit by reviewing the Land Use Bylaw. The Land Use Bylaw outlines when a Development Permit is not required, however, the bylaw must still be complied with. Our Planning Staff are here to help, please contact us if you have any questions or to book a pre-application meeting.

Click on the headings below to expand

Step 1:  What is your zoning?  Click here to find the property

Once you know your zone/district – please review this section of the Land Use Bylaw in order to answer the question in step 2

Step 2:  Is your proposed use discretionary or permitted?

Permitted means:

  • Allowed in the district in the Land Use Bylaw
  • Must conform with the applicable provisions of the Town of High River Land Use Bylaw
  • Will be approved with or without conditions

Discretionary means:

  • Allowed at the discretion of the Town of High River Development Authority
  • May or may not be compatible with neighboring uses
  • May be approved with conditions
  • May be refused

In some circumstances a Development Permit is not required.  Please be sure to review the Development Permit Not Required Section in the District that applies to your site.  If you think the “Development Permit Not Required” section may apply to your project, please confirm with a Planning Staff at (403) 652-2110 or at

Step 3: Contact Planning Staff

Once you have familiarized yourself with the zoning and permitted/discretionary uses of the subject property, and you have a preliminary plan ready, please contact Planning Staff to book a pre-application meeting!  To contact the Planning Department call (403) 652-2110 or to book your pre-application meeting.

In the event you have an application ready for submission, please contact planning staff to book an appointment at (403) 652-2110.

A pre-application meeting gives a chance for the applicant and Town staff to sit down and discuss the details of the proposed subdivision. It is an opportunity to identify concerns and answer questions early in the process and can save time and cost. The applicant is asked to bring all of the available information that they have to the meeting to give planning staff a clear picture of their proposed subdivision. Planning staff will clearly outline the processes, identify any issues or concerns and provide you with the application forms and fees associated with your proposed subdivision.

To book your pre-application meeting, please contact planning staff at 403-652-2110 or

Once applicants have compiled the materials identified as required during the pre-application meeting, they must arrange an Application Completeness Meeting with Planning staff in order to ensure their application package is ready for submission.

The Municipal Government Act currently mandates a 40 day period to render a decision upon receipt of a complete application.  This timeline can be extended if the applicant enters into an agreement with the development authority to extend the 40 day period.

The release of the Development Permit is dependent upon the timeline requirements necessary for the applicant to satisfy any “prior to release” conditions attached to the decision.

Fences Handout

A development permit is not required for the erection, construction, or maintenance of gates, fences, walls, or other means of enclosure which meet the standards in the Land Use District.

Section 3.4.12 (b)

  1. Fencing may be used as a decorative transition from one Use to another, as a screening device, or for security purposes
  2. Fences with the Primary Frontage shall be a maximum height of 1.2 metres.
  3. All other fences shall be a maximum height of 1.8 metres. Where adjacent to a Thoroughfare, fences shall be setback a minimum of 1 metre from the Lot Line.
  4. Security fencing shall only be considered for safety, at the discretion of the Development Authority.

Residential Decks and Porches Handout

A Deck means an uncovered horizontal Structure with a surface height greater than 0.6 metres above Grade at any point that is intended for use as an outdoor amenity space, but does not include a Balcony.

3.4.5 (e) ii

The following features may project into the setbacks for Primary Buildings:

  1. An unenclosed Deck, Porch, or other similar Structure below 0.6 metres in height;
  2. An unenclosed Deck, Porch, or other similar Structure above 0.6 metres in height may project 50 percent in a front or rear yard Setback;

Non-Dwelling Accessory Buildings Handout

A development permit is not required for an Accessory Building in association with an approved Permitted Use when it complies with the standards of this Bylaw.

The Accessory Building must comply with the site coverage, lot coverage and height requirements.

Setbacks for Accessory Buildings in a residential district:

  • Front Setback: Setback of the primary building +1 meter.
  • Secondary Front: 1 metre to 3 metres
  • Side Setback: Minimum 1 metre
  • Rear Setback: Minimum 0.5 metres

All buildings on site shall not exceed a lot coverage of 70%.  All Accessory Buildings on site shall not exceed a lot coverage of 15%.

No Accessory Buildings shall be used as a Dwelling Unit unless the Building meets the requirements of the Safety Codes Act.

Home Occupation Handout

Home Occupation Application

There are two types of Home Occupations, a Major Home Occupation and a Minor Home Occupation.

Home Occupations are allowed in the Traditional Neighborhood District (TND), Neighborhood Centre District (NCD), Central Business District (CBD) and the Service and Employment District (SED).

To find out what district you are in, please refer to the Land Use Bylaw map. The Land Use Bylaw map will take you directly to the district and will outline the regulations for the type of Home Occupation you are looking for.  

Minor Home Occupations, do not require a Development Permit, however they do require a business license.  Minor Home Occupations typically consist of an office setup with a desk and telephone.  You can obtain a business license by contacting our office at (403) 652-2110 or by e-mail at

All Major Home Occupations require a Development Permit.  Examples of a Major Home Occupation are Hair Salons, Massage Therapy or any business that generates client visitation or deliveries to the residence.  You can contact the Planning and Development Division for more information by calling (403) 652-2110 or by e-mail at

The Town of High River Land Use Bylaw regulates the type of signage that is allowed in each district. To read more about our signage regulations and how to obtain a development permit for signage, visit If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact our Planning and Development division at (403) 652-2110 or by e-mail at

Naming (or renaming) an existing or new structure, park, area, municipal facility or road follows requires adherence to our policy that honours notable persons who impacted the community and flora, fauna and natural features found throughout High River.

If you wish to submit a name for consideration by the Town of High River, you will need to fill out an application. Proposed names are to be submitted for new or existing development areas, parks, municipal facilities and roads.

The information provided in this application should be as detailed as possible in order to assist the Planning & Development Services and Council in making a fair, balanced and timely decision.

Naming Policy POL-22-101-00

Naming Procedure PRO-22-101-00 

Naming Application Form

An Application Completeness meeting is intended to give the applicant and Town staff the opportunity to review all materials compiled into the Application package for submission, and ensure that all required forms, fees and back-up materials which have been identified during the Pre-Application Meeting are included. Therefore, it is essential that applicants arrange and attend a Pre-Application Meeting prior to requesting an Application Completeness meeting.

Please note that an incomplete application will not be accepted.

To book your Application Completeness meeting, please contact our Planning Staff at:

Phone: (403) 652-2110