Development and Permits


  • Land Use Bylaw
    • Development Permits
    • Sign Permits
    • Demolition Permits
    • Home Occupations (Home-based business)
    • Building Permits
    • Electrical / Plumbing / Gas Permits
    • Certificate of Compliance Requests
    • Zoning & Information Requests
    • Business Licensing
    • Development / Building Stats
    • Fees, Forms, Maps


The Land Use Bylaw is a document created to regulate the use and development of land and buildings in the Town of Claresholm, with the goal of achieving orderly and efficient development of land. For information about land use districts, please see the Land Use Bylaw Map


The Municipal Development Plan provides a planning framework for the future sustainable growth and development of the Municipality that will assist in realizing the physical, social and economic opportunities in Claresholm.


The Municipal Sustainability Plan provides a planning framework to ensure that Claresholm will continue to be a vibrant caring community with a diverse population of involved citizens committed to sustainability, self-sufficiency and the health and well-being of its population.


Appraisers, realtors, purchasers and other interested parties can find property information regarding land use district (zoning) and current and future land use planning in the Town of Claresholm Land Use Bylaw (which includes a land use district map) and Municipal Development Plan. Please contact the Town of Claresholm Development Officer (403-625-3381) for specific inquiries or for further assistance regarding permitted and discretionary uses, parcel dimensions, assessed value and to discuss the workability of potential development scenarios.


For Certificate of Compliance requests please contact the Town of Claresholm Development Officer (403-625-3381). The fee is $50.00 for residential properties and $100.00 for commercial and industrial properties. The Town will either issue a certificate of compliance, legal non-conforming status to the property, or determine that the property is in a state of non-compliance. For further detailed information: Compliance Policy


A Development Permit is a document issued by the Town that authorizes the construction of a development and includes the plans and applicable conditions of approval. The approval process guides ‘what’ goes ‘where’ on a property. New construction, signs, and ‘change of intensity of use’ (e.g. house to duplex, or new business location) usually require a permit, though there are exceptions. A number of things don’t require a permit but must still meet Land Use Bylaw requirements for things such as setback from property line, height restrictions, visibility and site coverage. Refer to the Land Use Bylaw for more information. Development fees are as follows: Planning and Development Fees (updated March 2016).


A Sign Permit is a type of development permit issued by the Town that authorizes the placement and/or construction of one or more of a variety of signs on a property. A sign permit is required prior to the construction, reconstruction, location, relocation, alteration, modification or use of all signs except for those specifically exempt under the Land Use Bylaw. Refer to the Land Use Bylaw for more information.


A Demolition Permit is a type of development permit issued by the Town that is required in order to demolish or remove a building or structure from a site. No person shall commence or cause to be commenced the demolition or relocation of any building or structure, or portion thereof, unless a permit has first been obtained. The permit process ensures that buildings are dismantled and removed in a safe manner and that the land will be left in a suitable state after removal. The demolition of a building or structure shall require a building permit and will be subject to the requirements of the Town’s Safety Codes Officer. Refer to the Land Use Bylaw for more information.


The Town of Claresholm encourages and supports the establishment and operation of home occupations (home-based businesses) in residential areas, provided they meet performance standards in the Land Use Bylaw. A Home Occupation is any occupation, trade, profession, service or craft carried on by the occupant of a residence as a use that is secondary to the residential use of the lot. A Home Occupation is non-transferable; the permit is only valid for the property for which it was applied for. All permits issued shall be subject to the conditions that it is renewed annually and may be revoked at any time if, in the opinion of the Municipal Planning Commission, the use is, or has become detrimental to the residential character and amenities of the neighbourhood. All Home Occupations must possess a valid town-approved business license. If the license is not renewed annually, the permit will expire and the occupant would need to reapply for Home Occupation. Refer to the Land Use Bylaw for more information.


A Building Permit is a document issued by the Town’s Building Safety Codes Officer (formerly Building Inspector) that authorizes construction. Building inspection is a legal requirement of the Safety   Codes Act, ensuring that the construction meets the requirements of the Alberta Building Code and is as per the specifications outlined in the building permit application.

The permit fee is payable to Superior Safety Codes by credit card or cheque.  For more information please contact the Superior Safety Codes Lethbridge Office by e-mail or by telephone at 1-877-320-0734.


An Electrical / Plumbing / Gas Permit is a document issued by the Town’s Safety Codes Officer that authorizes construction. In the interest of public safety and as required by the Safety Codes Act, all electrical, plumbing and gas installations require a permit and must be acquired prior to undertaking any work. Inspections are also a legal requirement of the Safety Codes Act, ensuring that the construction meets the requirements of the appropriate Safety Code and is as per the specifications outlined in the permit application.

The permit fee is payable to Superior Safety Codes by credit card or cheque.  For more information please contact the Superior Safety Codes Lethbridge Office by e-mail or by telephone at 1-877-320-0734.


A Zoning or Information Request is required if written verification of specific information for a property is needed. A written request that outlines exactly what you are searching for and a request fee of $20 must be submitted to the Town of Claresholm.


A Business License gives a business owner the right to conduct entrepreneurial activities as set forth in the license application. No person shall, whether in the Town of Claresholm or partially within the Town, carry on or operate any business without obtaining the necessary license. Every license expires on the 31st day of December in the year in which it was issued and must be renewed annually if the business remains in operation. The license inspector may on just and reasonable grounds refuse to issue or renew any license or may cancel the license of any licensee who, in the opinion of the license inspector, is in violation of any Town bylaw or provincial law or regulation. An applicant would be promptly informed in writing of the refusal and the reasons for such refusal. Please refer to the Business License bylaw for more information.


Subdivision is the dividing of a single parcel of land into two or more parcels, each to be given a separate title, which is a legal process governed and regulated by a number of various provincial and municipal legislations. The subdivision of land is part of a larger process of land use planning beyond just the actual lot being created at a specific site. Planners and those assigned the duties of processing subdivision proposals on behalf of a municipality spend a great deal of time reviewing land use, legislation, studies, site suitability and subdivision site specifics of proposals both before and after an actual application is submitted; the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) processes applications on behalf of the Town of Claresholm. Subdivision approval is also required for title separations, property line adjustments, bareland condominiums and the registration of long-term leases. Please contact ORRSC at 403-329-1344 (or toll free at 1-877-329-1387), or refer to the subdivision brochures supplied by ORRSC for more information; the brochures can be picked up at the Town Office.


Municipal Services by the Town of Claresholm, Infrastructure Services.

Mike Schuweiler, Director of Infrastructure Services (403) 625-3964



Fortis Alberta                                                   (403) 310-WIRE (310-9473)

1-855-333-9473 (toll free)


Telus                                                                (403) 310-2255

Natural Gas (Infrastructure):

ATCO Gas                                                        (403) 245-7888

(403) 310-5678 (toll free)

Alberta-1-Call                                                   1-800-242-3447

Cable (Infrastructure):

Shaw                                                                (403) 380-7361


Q: When do I need to obtain a Development Permit?

A: The following will require you to obtain a Permit (source: MGA RSA 2000 Chapter M-26):

  1. an excavation or stockpile and the creation of either of them,
  2. a building or an addition to or replacement or repair of a building and the construction or placing of any development on, in, over or under land,
  3. a change of use of land or a building or an act done in relation to land or a building that results in or is likely to result in a change in the use of the land or building, or
  4. a change in the intensity of use of land or a building or an act done in relation to land or a building that results in or is likely to result in a change in the intensity of use of the land or building;


  1. The carrying out of works of maintenance or repair to any building, if such works do not include structural alterations or major works of renovation.
  2. The completion of a building which was lawfully under construction at the date of the first publication of the official notice required by section 606 of the Municipal Government Act, provided that:
    a) the building is completed in accordance with the terms of any permit granted by the Council or any board in respect of it and subject to the conditions to which that permit was granted; and
    b) the building, whether or not a permit was granted in respect of it, is completed within a period of 12 months from the date of the first publication of the official notice.
  3. The use of any building referred to in section 2 (above) for the purpose of which construction was commenced.
  4. The erection or construction of buildings, works, plant or machinery needed in connection with operations for which a development permit has been issued, for the period of those operations.
  5. The maintenance and repair of public works, services and utilities carried out by or on behalf of federal, provincial, municipal or public authorities on land which is publicly owned or controlled.

Q: How do I get licensed as a Home Occupation?

A: A Home Occupation application must be filled out and submitted to the Town Office. Once the application has been received, a letter will be sent to all adjacent land owners to notify them of the proposed development. The application, along with comments collected from adjacent land owners, will be reviewed by the Municipal Planning Commission, who will either approve, approve with conditions, or refuse the application with reasons. If they choose to approve the application, with or without conditions, it will be subject to an appeal period and an advertisement will be placed in the local newspaper.

Q: What is the Appeal Process?

A: The general public will have approximately 14 days to appeal the development. The appeal must, at this point, include an appeal fee of $300.00. The appeal may be made in writing to the Town Office. If there are no objections to the development, or if the appeals have been satisfactorily dealt with, the development may go ahead. At this point you purchase your Home Occupation Business License from the Town Office for the annual fee of $100.00.

Q: What type of property information would require a Zoning or Information Request?
A: Any information that is particular to a certain property and not available to the general public. Requested information may include, but is not limited to:

  • the current land use designation or the current zoning classification
  • specific types of use that would be permissible
  • any outstanding deficiencies, environmental issues or bylaw violations

Q: What is the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC)?

A: The Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) is a cooperative effort of 38 municipalities in southwestern Alberta who have created an organization that provides planning services and advice to its members. ORRSC is responsible for processing subdivision applications on behalf of its member municipalities and providing recommendations to them. However, the final decision lies with the local municipal Subdivision Authority.

Q: I’m interested in applying for subdivision. What is the first step that I should take?

A: Prior to submitting the application for subdivision, it is essential that you contact a Planner at the ORRSC to discuss site suitability and conformity with local and provincial planning regulations. The ORRSC can also assist you in determining whether additional processes and professional services will be required and what additional costs you may incur. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a Planner in advance.