Development & Planning

Development & Planning

The Cardston Development Office can help you understand how each Bylaw applies to the development that you are wishing to complete. You can call or come in to the Office and the Development Officer will review your plans and help you through the process of applying for the permits or filling out any applications that you will require.  

Development Permits

A Development Permit is the first requirement that you will need to complete prior to starting any development within the Town of Cardston. You can apply for a development permit at the Town office, you will need to have a drawing of the development that you want to complete showing all the distances from property lines, all other structures, as well as the height and size of the project. If the development fits the regulations in the Land Use Bylaw and is a permitted use you can receive a Development Permit. Once you have a Development Permit you will need to get a Building Permit.

Building Permits

A Building permit is required prior to you starting any construction within the Town limits. It is obtained from Park Enterprises Ltd. in Lethbridge (the building inspectors that the Town contracts to oversee and inspect construction within the Town limits). To get a Building Permit you will need to have a Development Permit from the Town, two full sets of plans for the development which Park Enterprises will review and if they fit the building codes, they will give you a Building Permit.


The first step in doing a subdivision is to come into the Town office and speak to the Development Officer to see if the subdivision that you want to do complies with the Bylaws that are in place. The Development Officer will review your plans, and if they fit the Bylaws that are in place, you can get an application form that will need to be submitted to Oldman River Regional Service Commission (ORRSC). You will then need to contract a surveyor to have them draw the plot plan that is needed to complete the subdivision. Once you have all the necessary information, ORRSC will file the application, send letters out to the adjourning land owners, and a public meeting will be set for the Subdivision and Development Authority to review the application and make a decision. If the subdivision plan is approved and not appealed by anyone, ORRSC will file the final subdivision. After Alberta Land Titles accepts the final plan, your surveyor will set the new pins in the property lines and your subdivision will be completed.

Development Bylaws and Plans

Up to date planning documents can also be found on the Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC) website:

East Cardston Area Redevelopment Plan 1573 & West Cardston Area Structure Plan 1559

Area Structure & Redevelopment plans are in place to design and regulate the development in a certain area in the Town limits. The purpose of these plans is to provide a framework for subdivision and development within the specified area that allows for the distribution and collection of utilities, drainage & traffic. The plans also provide some certainty to adjacent landowners and interested parties as to what the future development in the area will be.

Intermunicipal Development Plan 1565

An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IMDP) is another statutory plan used to control development and address planning issues between neighboring municipalities. IMDP’S promote coordination between municipalities in areas of joint interest. The Plan sets up rules for addressing land use concerns and creates the procedures for dealing with development within a defined area along the boundary of the municipalities. The Town of Cardston has an Intermunicipal Development Plan with Cardston County. 

Municipal Development Plan 1631

A Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is a statutory plan that must be consistent with Provincial Land Use Policies; it is a long range planning tool that addresses the future land use, future development, transportation and other municipal services. 

Land Use Bylaw 1647

The Land Use Bylaw regulates the land uses and development within the Town limits. This Bylaw breaks the Town up into different zones that allow different types of development. (ex. Residential, Commercial, Industrial etc.). The Bylaw also has two different types of developments: permitted uses and discretionary uses. Permitted uses are the developments that are allowed in the zone. If the development fits the required setbacks from the property lines and other general rules, a Development Permit may be issued. The Discretionary Uses require an approval by the Subdivision and Development Authority prior to receiving a Permit. The Authority meets once a month to make decisions on discretionary uses.

Development and Planning FAQ


Q. Can I have a rental suite in my house?

A. Secondary Suites are a "Discretionary Use" in Residential zones. They are subject to approval by the Municipal Planning Commission and the following regulations apply:

  1. A secondary suite shall only be developed within the principal dwelling and shall not be developed within a detached garage and/or accessory structure.
  2. In the case of a secondary suite located completely below the first storey of a single‐detached dwelling the floor area shall not exceed the floor area of the first storey of the associated principal dwelling (excluding stairways).
  3. The minimum floor area for a secondary suite shall be not less than 30 m2 (323 ft2)
  4. A secondary suite shall be developed in such a manner that the exterior of the principal dwelling containing the secondary suite shall appear as a single‐detached dwelling.
  5. Only one secondary suite may be developed in conjunction with a principal dwelling.
  6. A secondary suite shall not be developed within the same principal dwelling containing a Home Occupation 2 (Home business where clients/sustomers visit the home), unless it is proven to the satisfaction of the Development Authority that the amount of traffic generated is limited and adequate parking is available without adversely affecting the neighbourhood.
  7. The number of persons occupying a secondary suite shall not exceed four.
  8. The secondary suite shall not be separated from the principal dwelling through a condominium conversion or subdivision.
  9. Variances or waivers of setbacks shall not normally be granted to develop a secondary suite.
  10. A secondary suite shall provide off‐street parking in compliance with Land Use Bylaw 1647 Schedule 10: Off‐Street Parking, Loading & Driveway Requirements:
    (a) Off‐street parking areas shall be accessible and designed in a manner which will provide for orderly parking in accordance with the minimum parking space dimensions in Figure 10.1, Parking Layout Alternatives.
    (b) Parking space designs proposing tandem or stacked parking to a maximum of 2 vehicles per stall may be approved by the Development Authority provided the spaces are for employee parking only.
    (c) The stall width and depth requirements for an off‐street parking space may be reduced by the Development Authority where spaces are designed to accommodate compact vehicle parking.
    (d) Where a use or development may need to accommodate over‐sized vehicles such as tractor‐trailers, large recreational vehicles, buses or other similar vehicles, the Development Authority may require larger parking space and aisle dimensions.
    (e) Off‐street parking areas shall be constructed in a manner which will permit adequate drainage, snow removal, and maintenance.
    (f) Off‐street parking spaces adjacent to a road right‐of‐way shall be provided with bumper blocks, curbing or other similar protective feature to ensure public safety and prevent vehicle overhang.
    (g) The Development Authority may require that off‐street parking areas or portions thereof be hard‐surfaced (pavement, cement, etc.) as a condition of approval, prior to occupancy or an alternative timeframe as agreed to between the Town and the applicant. A security deposit for completion of this condition may be required.
  11. All required off‐street parking stalls for a secondary suite shall be hard surfaced (e.g. cement, pavement/asphalt, etc.).
  12. Development of a secondary suite shall adhere to the Alberta Building Code and Alberta Fire Code as a condition of approval

Additional Resources:


2021 Capital Project Schedule

2021 Capital Project Schedule

Project / Task Name Plan/Start Plan/End  Duration Complete

Storm Sewer

Laneway Beside Holland Insurance/TD Bank TBD TBD TBD  

Water (Potable)

2 ave Ave W 7st -8th Street Main Replacement 5-Jul 16-Jul 10 Completed
2 ave Ave W 8th-9th  Street Main Replacement 5-Jul 16-Jul 10 Completed
PLC Upgrade WTP 1-Nov 30-Nov 22  
Filter Media WTP 10-May 2-Aug 51 Completed
Taste odor Treatment Upgrade WTP 10-May 16-Jun 36 Completed


2 ave Ave W 7st -8th Street Main Replacement 14-Jun 2-Jul 15 Completed
2 ave Ave W 8th-9th  Street Main Replacement 14-Jun 2-Jul 15 Completed
2 Ave E 3-4 St Lane 23-Aug 3-Sep 12  
WWTP  Upgrade RBC ***Tender Documents In Process***
Sewer Twinning 3-May 11-Jun 40 Completed
Pump House Roof Replacement 1-Oct 15-Oct 14  
Hvac System Upgrade WWTP 3-May 7-May 5 Completed


Capital Sidewalk Replacements 5-Jul 15-Oct 99 ***


2 ave Ave W 7st -8th Street Paving 30-Aug 10-Sep 12 Completed
2 ave Ave W 8th-9th  Street Paving 30-Aug 10-Sep 12 Completed

Town Facilities

Golf Clubhouse TBD TBD TBD TBD


Campground Expansion 3-May 30-Sep 149 ***
Redford Stairs Waiting on Materials. Work completed in the
  Fall/Winter, Installed in the Spring 2022


Electrical Upgrades 1-May 14-Sep 135 Completed

*** = In Progress