Planning & Development


General Permit Information

Whether you are constructing a residence on your land, relocating a building, renovating an existing building, operating a home-based business, constructing or operating a commercial or industrial operation, or operating an intensive livestock operation, etc., a number of permits and approvals may be required prior to beginning your project.

Important Note: A development permit is separate from a building permit.

Development Permits

A development permit &/or a building permit is required for any & all development within the RM of Spiritwood No. 496. Please contact the municipal office for development & building permit forms or you can download the forms from the forms tab.

A development permit acknowledges the use of land or buildings and its compliance with the applicable Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.  In almost all cases an approved development permit is required before commencing any development or use of land in the RM of Spiritwood, (which includes proper zoning, permitted or discretionary uses, setback from lot boundaries, etc.)

Building Permits

Building Permits are issued by the RM’s Building Official, after review of proposals for compliance with the RM’s Building Bylaw and with the National Building Code. Building Officials will need to inspect your project at various stages of completion.

The first step in your planning is to ensure that your development has access to an all-weather road that meets the RM of Spiritwood road standards.

Minor Variances

A minor variance is a request for a relaxation of the minimum required setback distance of a building.

Development Not Requiring a Development Permit

Forms of development that do not require a development permit are:

  • Buildings and structures under 9.3 m2 (100 ft2), which are accessory to the principal use;
  • The erection of any fence, wall, gate, television antennae, or radio antennae;
  • The temporary placement of a recreational vehicle trailer during the construction or alteration of a primary structure for a term not to exceed that provided by an active approved building permit issued for the project.
  • Internal alterations, provided that such alterations do not result in a change of use, structural changes or increase in the number of dwelling units within the building or on the site.  Basement development requires a permit.
  • Internal alterations and maintenance to other buildings, including mechanical or electrical work, provided that the use, or intensity of use of the building, does not change
  • Landscaped areas, driveways and parking lots, provided the natural or designed drainage pattern of the site and adjacent sites are not adversely impacted.

Development Permit Decision Time Frames

The timing associated with the notification, review and approval process will depend solely on the completeness and quality of information provided. A Development Permit may be issued within 7 -10 business days of receiving a complete application. However, it may take up to six (6) weeks to process a development permit application for a permitted use, depending on the circumstances.

Development Permit Categories

The RM of Spiritwood has two development permit categories – permitted uses and discretionary uses that have different approval processes.

Permitted Uses

These uses are permitted within the appropriate Zoning District in which they are listed and do not have major impacts on adjacent land uses. The Development Officers approves these applications, not RM Council.  The Development Officer has the ability to approve, approve with conditions or refuse a permitted use application. A Building Permit is also required for all residential and commercial development.

Discretionary Uses

These uses may have one or more features or potential effects that warrant specific review with a recommendation made to RM Council. Discretionary use development permits are reviewed by a Planning Consultant under a set of evaluation criteria included in the Zoning Bylaw.

Discretionary use applications will also be circulated for a minimum of 7 days to all assessed landowners within 1 mile radius of the subject property to provide comments and local knowledge into the decision making process.

Once the landowner comment period has elapsed and the Planning Consultant has reviewed all the required information, they will provide a recommendation to Council for approval or refusal based on the merits of the discretionary use application. Council will consider the recommendation of the Planning Consultant as well as any written or verbal landowner responses received during the process. Council has the ability to approve, approve with conditions or refuse a discretionary use application.

Under normal conditions, the recommendation can be presented to Council within 30-45 days of receiving a completed application.