Development Permits

A development permit is required for most forms of development within the Town.  The Land Use Bylaw outlines the types of development allowed in each land use district and the rules and regulations governing those uses.

Not all proposed development requires a development permit. Smaller sheds, fences and decks may not require a development permit. Section 1.2.1 of the Land Use Bylaw outlines developments that do not require a development permit however it is best to confirm with Planning Services whether you need a permit for the development you are considering.

Residential Development
Building a Deck

The Town of Okotoks regulates decks on residential properties. A Development Permit or Building Permit is not required if the deck surface is 0.61 metres or less above finished grade at any point.  However your deck must meet the setback requirements outlined in the Land Use Bylaw.  If your deck surface is higher than 0.61m above finished grade, you may need to obtain a Development Permit, and will need to obtain a Building Permit. Construction within Overland Drainage and Utility Rights-of-Way are not permitted.


For more information please click the button below:

Building and Construction

Building a Detached Garage

A building permit is required for all residential detached garages.  These structures should not exceed 5 metres in height for the portion that projects into the rear yard, and shall meet the side yard requirements of the land use district for the principal building. An electrical permit is also required if interior work is being completed. The exterior finishes of detached garages shall match or complement the exterior finishing of the principal building.

If your garage does not meet the Land Use Bylaw requirements (for height, size, setback, etc.) you must apply for a development permit prior to making an application for a building permit.

For more information, please click the button below.

Building and Construction

Building an Accessory Building (i.e. shed, gazebo, pergola)

“Accessory Building” means a building or structure which is separate from the principal building on the same site, and the use of which is normally incidental, subordinate, and exclusively devoted to the principal use on the same site.  Typical buildings include antennae, satellite dishes, private tennis courts, private swimming pools, private hot tubs, water features, private garages, studio suites and private greenhouses.

For an accessory application form click the button below.

Application Form

 For more information, click the button below.

Building and Construction

Building a Fence

Fence means a vertical physical barrier constructed out of typical building material to provide visual screening or prevent unauthorized access or both, and is considered to be an integral part of an approved use on a sit; this can include hedges.   

Click button below for fence regulations.

Fence Regulations

Click button below for arterial fencing information.

Wood Screening Fences along Major Corridors

Building a Retaining Wall

Retaining wall means a structure constructed to withstand lateral pressure in order to hold back earth, loose rock, or similar materials.  Click button below for more information. 

Retaining Wall Information Sheet

Developing a Studio Suite / Secondary Residential Suite

A Secondary Suite or Studio Suite is a self-contained dwelling unit that is accessory (or secondary) to the principal dwelling unit on the same site.  For more information, click on the buttons below.

Building and Construction

Non-Residential and Multi-Unit Development:
Constructing a New Building

The Planning Services staff are here to assist you through the new construction process and you are encouraged to meet with us for pre-application discussions and the submission of a preliminary application.  There is no charge for these preliminary discussions and application.  For more information, click the button below or contact Planning Services.

Major Development Permit Application Process

Shipping Containers

Shipping Container means a standard metal ISO (International Organization for Standardization) container that can be loaded on container ships, railroad cars, and trucks and may only be used for storage of goods and materials accessory to the principal use of a site.  Click the button below for more information.

Shipping Container Information 


Sign means anything that serves to indicate the presence or the existence of something, including but not limited to a lettered board, a structure, or a trademark displayed, erected, or otherwise development and used or serving or intended to identify, to advertise or to give direction.  For more information, click the buttons below.

Sign Regulation & Information Brochure

Town Sign Guidelines

Non-Profit Signage:  

Non-Profit Signage is temporarily on hold due to the Northridge Modernization project which is scheduled to start May 11, 2020.  The Town is assessing alternative options and will update once a solution is finalized.

In the meantime, we recommend that you take advantage of the free Community Events Calendar on the Town website here.

Commercial and Home Based Business Development
Change of Use or Intensification of Use

All businesses require land use approval and a business license. The use of a space and the business license are separate approvals, each with their own set of requirements, definitions, and bylaws.

There are a number of variables that the Town assesses in determining permitting requirements for each business. Variables include the land use district, proposed business activities, and historical approvals at the location.  For further information on a change of use, please view Planning's information sheet, or contact Planning Services to discuss your specific details and land use approval requirements.

Businesses are required to obtain land use approval prior to any safety codes permits (building, electrical, plumbing, and gas) and business license being issued.

Operating a Home Occupation / Home Based Business

A home occupation is a business that operates out of a home in a residential neighbourhood.  For further information on home occupations, please click the buttons below.

Planning's information sheet

Business Licensing Brochure