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Understanding permits and the review process

Below is a breakdown of the permit types that may be required for your project. In most cases, only a building permit, homeowner electrical/plumbing permit or contractor trade permits are required. However, if your project does not meet the Land Use Bylaw​ rules, you may require a development permit (e.g. building too close to a property line). If the Land Use Bylaw does not currently allow you to build your project on your property, you may also need a land use re-designation (e.g. adding a secondary suite).

 

Building permit

A building permit is an application with The City to ensure your project meets the minimum Alberta Building Code requirements and, more importantly, is safe. The code provides guidance on approved building materials and construction methods.

​Examples: building a deck in your backyard or developing your basement.

Homeowner ele​ctrical/plumbing permit

A homeowner electrical/plumbing permit or a contractor trade permit is an application with The City to ensure your project is safe and meets the minimum requirements of the respective codes. These codes provide guidance on approved building materials and construction methods.

Examples: wiring your garage for power or adding a shower to your bathroom.

Deve​lopment permit

A development permit is an application with The City for a project that does not meet the Land Use Bylaw rules.  This process allows The City to make sure your project will fit in with the community and gives the public a chance to provide feedback.

Examples: building your raised deck up to the property line or adding a rooftop deck on your garage.

L​and use re-designation permit​

A land use re-designation permit is an application with The City to change what is allowed on your property. This review process assesses the context within the community and requires City Council approval.

Examples: building a secondary suite where not allowed or changing your single house property to build a skyscraper.

More info

For detailed information on Calgary land use and development rules, view the Land Use Bylaw.

The Alberta Building Code can be viewed through the public library or purchased through the Government of Canada. Alberta Municipal Affairs also provides a summarized version of the Alberta Building Code.​​​​​​​​​​​