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 provide information on the Land Use Bylaw, required development permits, and the timeline to make sure your new dream home, addition, or renovation is approved appropriately, perhaps saving you time 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 provides planning, GIS, and subdivision services to member municipalities in Southern Alberta.  For development matters, contact the Development Office by e-mail  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, contours, 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 is for reference only.  Data layers that appear on this map may or may not be accurate, current, or otherwise reliable.  Please contact the Development Office for the most up-to-date information.

Development Permits

Development Permits are issued by the Municipality and authorize the land use of a property. They include the plans and applicable conditions of approval. The approval process guides 'what' goes 'where' on a property. New development, the use of signs, demolition, and 'change of use (eg. barbershop to restaurant)' usually require a permit, though there are exceptions. A number of things don't require a development 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, and contact the Development Department via development@crowsnestpass.com or at 403-563-2202 for more information.

In addition to a development permit, Safety Codes Permits may be required as part of your development. This is separate from the Land Use Bylaw. Please see  Development and Safety Codes Permit Forms: Crowsnest Pass for details and forms. It is the landowner's responsibility to comply with the Safety Codes Act.

Land Use Bylaws and Policies

Land Use Bylaw

All municipalities must adopt a 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 Municipality has a number of policies related to planning and development. The  document below 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.

Engineering and Development Standards

New subdivisions must be designed and constructed in compliance with the Engineering and Development Standards.

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

Statutory Plans

Statutory Plans

The Municipal Government Act sets out an interrelated system of statutory plans, which are either mandatory or discretionary, and provide for different facets of planning and development. The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has several plans that guide development which may include Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDP), Municipal Development Plans (MDP), Area Structure Plans (ASP) and Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP). 

Intermunicipal Development Plan

The Intermunicipal Development Plans establish joint planning policies and reflect a continuing cooperative approach between the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and it's neighbours - the MD of Pincher Creek and the MD of Ranchland No. 66. These statutory plans reflect 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

Municipal Development Plan

All municipalities must adopt a Municipal Development Plan. The Municipal Development Plan is a statutory long-range land use planning framework that sets goals and policies for future subdivision and development. These include the location of growth nodes, major routes, broad land use, and population density.  

Find the Municipal Development Plan here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/planning-development/municipal-planning-documents/municipal-development-plan

Area Structure Plans

An Area Structure Plan (ASP) describes the existing land use and establishes 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 subdivision and 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 servicing.  All current ASPs can be found here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/planning-development/municipal-planning-documents/area-structure-plans

View all active statutory plans by visiting here: https://www.crowsnestpass.com/planning-development/municipal-planning-documents/area-structure-plans

Application Fees

Development Permit Fees are set by Council annually in the Fees, Rates, and Charges Bylaw. Please note that penalty fees apply to starting development without a Development Permit, or for undertaking a development contrary to an approved Development Permit. The penalty fees are five times the regular Development Permit fee.


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

Subdivision approval is the process to legally create new land titles. Subdivision approval is required when: 1) Creating lots for new neighborhoods, 2) Creating separate land titles for each unit of a duplex or row housing, 3) Creating separate land titles for each dwelling on a single parcel, 4) Redefining the property boundaries between two parcels. The subdivision process ensures that proposals are consistent with municipal bylaws, policies and future development goals for the Municipality, as well as providing services to the new parcel(s).

This process is governed and regulated by a number of provincial and municipal legislation. 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. Multi-lot subdivision typically requires an Area Structure Plan.  Please refer to Policy 2003-02 - Area Structure Plan Application (policy and procedure). The Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) in conjunction with the Development Office processes subdivision 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 the Municipality any business described within the Business License Bylaw unless that person holds a valid business license and has paid to the municipality the fee as per the Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw.

Business License Application Details

1084, 2021 - Business License Bylaw Consolidated

Home Occupations

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. Home Occupations require a Business License.  Depending on the type of Home Occupation, you may require a Development Permit.  To obtain a home occupation business license complete the application here. If the license is not renewed annually, the license will expire and the occupant would need to reapply. 

For information on Business License Fees click here. For more information on Home 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 a Real Property Report (RPR). A Real Property Report 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. 

A Certificate of Compliance is not a legal document, and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is not under any obligation to provide this service.

The Municipality will issue a notice indicating if the improvements are or are not in compliance, if the improvements are protected by non-conforming status, 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.



An Encroachment is anything (except as exempted in the policy and procedure) 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 signs;
  • Garbage bins;
  • Flagpoles

Some of these items (eg: a paved driveway) are exempted, but many items require an Encroachment Agreement authorizing an encroachment onto, respectively, adjacent private property or adjacent Municipal Lands. As the Development Authority having jurisdiction, management and control of all development through the Municipal Government Act and the Land Use Bylaw, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass requires to be a third party to an encroachment agreement between two private landowners.

Encroachment Policy and Procedure

Council recently passed a new policy to ensure fair, consistent, and effective management of encroachments onto Municipal lands. Under this new policy, old/existing encroachments onto Municipal property that were built prior to 2023 may be considered for an encroachment agreement.
All buildings and other improvements to your property after December 31, 2022 must be constructed within the boundaries of the private property. There will be no consideration for an encroachment agreement. It is your responsibility to hire an Alberta Land Surveyor to stake out your property boundaries and building or fence location prior to construction.
It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that any buildings or other improvements do not encroach onto Municipal property. In the case that construction was undertaken starting in 2023 that does encroach, the property owner will be required to move the building or other improvement off Municipal property or purchase land to remedy the encroachment. These improvements can include fences, buildings (including eaves, footings, foundations, etc.), sheds, driveways or pads, decks or stairs, retaining walls, shrubs or trees, lights, signs, etc. (see Policy 2001-03 for more details).
Before you build, be sure you know exactly where your property line is! Find your property pins or have your property surveyed.

Encroachment Policy

Encroachment Procedure

Encroachment and Caveat Application Form 2024