Everything You Need to Know about Development in the Crowsnest Pass

Development Authority

Depending on the scope of your development project, your application may be processed by either the Development Officer or the Municipal Planning Commission.  The Municipal Planning Commission meets every fourth Wednesday and reviews development permit applications related to the variance of development standards that are outside of the Development Officer’s mandate and the consideration of discretionary uses in accordance with the provincial land use policies, the Municipal Government Act and the associated Subdivision and Development Regulations, and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Land Use Bylaw and statutory plans.

1042, 2020 - Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw

1066, 2021 - Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw Amendment


The Crowsnest Pass Development Office can assist you with interpreting the Land Use Bylaw, acquiring the appropriate permits for building, and taking you through the steps to make sure your new dream home, addition, or renovation is completed appropriately, saving you time, money and frustration as you develop your project. The most up-to-date Land Use Bylaw can be found on the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) website.  ORRSC is our local planning commission. You can also contact our Development Officer for assistance by e-mailing development@crowsnestpass.com or by phone at 403-563-2202.

Development Permit Application Form


The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass provides a public version of our Geographic Information System (GIS) for residents to utilize. Residents may access this map and view legal land description’s, addresses and land use zoning. They may also use features such as a measuring tool or aerial photo to gain basic information about parcels and developments.

CLICK HERE to go to the website to access the system

This page is provided for information only, and it not intended to replace bylaws or legal counsel.  Please contact the Development Officer for the most up-to-date information.


Development Permits are issued by the Municipality and authorize the construction, development or use of a property. They include the plans and applicable conditions of approval. The approval process guides 'what' goes 'where' on a property. New construction, the use of signs, demolition, and 'change of use (house to duplex as example)' 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 such things as setback from property line, height restrictions, visibility and site coverage. Refer to the Land Use Bylaw, contact the Development Department via development@crowsnestpass.com or at 403-563-2202 for more information.

Other Safety Codes Permits may be required as part of your development.  Please see https://www.crowsnestpass.com/planning-development/safety-codes/permitting for details and forms.


Subdivision is the dividing of a single parcel of land into two or more parcels.

This process is governed and regulated by a number of various provincial and municipal legislations. Subdivision approval is also required for title separations, property line adjustments, bare land condominiums and the registration of long-term leases. The subdivision of land is part of a larger process of land use planning beyond just the lots being created. Planners and those assigned process subdivision proposals on behalf of a municipality. They 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 Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.

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 available below or for pick up at the Municipal Office.

Before You Subdivide Brochure

Subdivision and Development Securities Policy

Business Licenses

No person shall engage in or operate within or partly within the Municipality any business described within this bylaw or any non-resident business unless that person holds a business license authorizing the engagement in or operation of that business and having paid to the municipality the fee as per the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

Business License Application Details

1084, 2021 - Business License Bylaw Consolidated

Home-Based Businesses

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.   

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass encourages and supports home occupations (home-based businesses) in residential areas, provided they meet the standards in the Land Use Bylaw. Depending on the type of Home Occupation, you may also require a Development Permit.  To obtain a home occupation business license complete the application here. If the license is not renewed annually, the permit will expire and the occupant would need to reapply for Home Occupation. 

For information on Business License Fees click here. For more information on Home Based Occupations refer to our Land Use Bylaw as well as our Business License Bylaw on our Bylaws page here. Please contact our Development Office at development@crowsnestpass.com or 403-563-2202 for more information.

Certificates Of Compliance

For Certificate of Compliance requests please contact the Development Office at 403-563-2202. The fee is $100 for a new Compliance Certificate and $25 for a revision of a Compliance Certificate within 6 months of issue.  When submitting a Compliance Letter Request Form you must include either a original digital or original Real Property Report (RPR). All Real Property Reports older than two (2) years must include a Statutory Declaration that indicates that no changes have been made to the property since the RPR was prepared. If there have been any changes, however slight, or the RPR is older than 15 years, a new and updated Real Property Report is Required. 

The Municipality will issue a notice indicating if the improvements are in compliance, if the improvements are non-conforming and/or if development permits will be required to bring it into compliance. For further detailed information, please see the Compliance Certificate Policy & Procedure on our policies page.


Bylaws and Policies

The Municipal Development Plan is a long-range land use plan and development framework.  

The Intermunicipal Development Plans establish joint planning policies and reflect a continuing cooperative approach between the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and either the MD of Pincher Creek or the MD of Ranchland No. 66 and the desire to see well-planned, orderly, and managed growth. Find the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework plans here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/municipal-government/municipal-documents/icf-agreements and the Intermunicipal Development Plan Bylaws here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/municipal-government/council/bylaws

Area Structure Plans (ASP) describe the existing land use structure and establish objectives for the plan area.  The primary goal is to plan a development that is in keeping with and complimentary to its surroundings.  The ASP provides a guideline for development in order to maintain efficient and orderly use of the lands.  It describes the density and layout of the development, proposed land use, roadway access, and basic servicing.  All current ASPs can be found here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/planning-development/municipal-planning-documents/area-structure-plans

Land Use Bylaw

The Land Use Bylaw governs and regulates the use and development of all property within the Municipality. This means that if you are a landowner, renter or prospective buyer, you may be affected by the bylaw. 

The Land Use Bylaw and the Land Use Bylaw Map, which lays out the zoning of each property, can be found on ORRSC's website here.

Development Policies

The Town has a number of policies related to planning and development. The below document contains a list of the relevant policies with a brief description of each one. For a copy of the policies themselves please visit our Policy page linked here.


An Encroachment is anything constructed or placed with a fixed location on the ground or attached to something having a fixed location on the ground, that extends on, over or under adjacent private property and/or Municipal Lands, and includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Buildings, projections from buildings (including eaves, footings, foundations,
    weeping tiles, cantilevers, etc.) and siding;
  • Sheds including those attached to a dwelling and/or a fence;
  • Fences;
  • Asphalt, concrete, or brick sidewalks, curbs, parking pads, aprons, or driveways;
  • Structures (including decks, stairs, patios, balconies, etc.);
  • Retaining walls;
  • Swimming pools and hot tubs;
  • Shrubs, trees, or other organic landscaping materials;
  • Hard landscaping (including asphalt, concrete paving stones, retaining walls,
    planters, and structures);
  • Light standards;
  • Permanent Sign

If any of these apply, you will need an Encroachment Agreement authorizing an encroachment onto, respectively, adjacent private property or adjacent Municipal Lands.

Encroachment Policy

Encroachment Procedure

Encroachment Agreement/Discharge of Caveat/Condo Certificate Application Form

Land Use Bylaw Amendments

A Land Use Bylaw Amendment is the process of re-designating the District (zoning) of a property from one to another, for example from R-1 Residential to R-3 Multiple Residential.  A Land Use Bylaw Amendment might also be the amending of regulation by updating text.

How to apply

An application for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment may be initiated by either the property owner or by the Municipality.  If you are the property owner, or an agent acting on behalf of the property owner, you may wish to apply for an amendment to develop you site in a manner that is not allowed by the current zoning.

Schedule an appointment with a Development Officer to discuss your development needs by calling 403-562-8833.  

Land Use Bylaw Amendment Application