Development & Building Permit Application Forms

Most construction, demolition and renovation projects require permits before you start doing any physical work. This ensures that local and provincial laws are followed, and is especially important when it comes time to sell your property. Any developments taking place without permits can be fined up to triple the regular fees.

The Town of Olds issues two different types of permits for most projects:

Electrical, gas and plumbing work need separate permits not issued by the Town. To learn more about them, please click here.

Please obtain line locates before digging:

The locates must be available on site as the work is being completed.

Renovations that do not change the structure or use of your building do not require permits, such as installing new flooring, painting the walls, etc. 

I am building a...

Accessory Building - Deck, Shed, Playhouse, etc.

    Accessory Building Application Package

    Accessory buildings:

    • require a permit if larger than 10 m2 (107.6 ft2);
    • cannot be located in the front yard;
    • must be a minimum of 1.0 m (3.28 ft) away from the side and rear property lines; and
    • must not be taller than 4.5 m (14.76 ft).

    If you are building a garage, it can be located:

    • between 1.0 m and 2.0 m (3.28 ft to 6.56 ft); OR
    • 6.0 m (19.7 ft) or more from the rear property line.

    Garages may also require a hard surfaced driveway, and are subject to size limitations depending on the zoning and size of your property. For example:

    • 70m(754 ft2) in R1 and R2
    • 143m2 (1539ft2) in R5

    Addition to an existing building

    The existing building with an addition can take up a maximum of 55% of your parcel. (If your lot is zoned R2 and doesn't access a lane, 65% can be used.)

    The Town also requires certain amounts of space between your front, rear and side property lines, depending on the zoning of the lot. Please consult with the Land Use Bylaw for specifics.



    Commercial, Industrial or Institutional Project


    You do not require a permit to build a deck that is:

    • Shorter than 0.61m (2 ft); and
    • Not covered or enclosed.

    If your deck will be more extensive, please download the Deck Permit Application Package.

    If your deck will include a gazebo or pergola, please also fill out the materials for Accessory Buildings (above).

    Decks still require permits even if they are not attached to a building.

      Driveway, Parking Pad or Curb Cut

      Please fill out a Driveway / Parking Pad / Curb Cut Application.

      If the driveway accesses an unpaved alley, it can be unpaved as well. If it accesses a paved road, it must also be hard surfaced within 1 year of permit approval. There is a $1000 refundable security deposit in this case to ensure the driveway is paved.

      Driveways must also be at least 6m (20 ft) away from any property boundary that is next to a street intersection.

      The maximum allowed width of new driveways depends on the size of your lot:

      Lot FrontageMaximum Driveway Width
      Less than 12.5 m (41 ft)7 m (23 ft) or 60% of lot frontage, whichever is less.
      12.6m (41.3ft) - 18m (59ft)10 m (32.8 ft) or 60% of lot frontage, whichever is less.
      More than 18 m (59 ft)10 m (32.8 ft)

      If you are planning a curb cut, Operations staff will inspect the site within 5 days of receiving the application and provide you an estimate of cost. If you agree, the Town will hire a contractor to do the curb cut in accordance with design standards.


      A fence does not require a Development Permit if it is:

      • Less than 1.0 m (3.28 ft) tall in the front yard; or
      • Less than 2.0 m (6.56 ft) tall in the side or rear yard.

      If you plan on building a fence that goes beyond these specifications, please download and fill out:

      If your fence will be near an intersection of a road or railway, it needs to maintain a "sight triangle" (pictured below). The fence can't be higher than 0.5 m (1.64 ft) above the road or rails so that vehicle operators can see approaching traffic.

        Fireplace / Wood Burning Unit

        Please fill out the Wood Burning Unit Form.

        Manufactured Home

        Manufactured homes are allowed in most residential zones in the Town of Olds. They should have:

        • a minimum roof pitch of 4:12
        • a roof surface of wood or asphalt shingles, clay or concrete tiles, slate or wood shakes
        • a minimum roof overhang or eaves of 0.45 m (1.48 ft) from each external wall
        • a maximum length to width ratio of 3:1
        • a minimum width of 6.7 m (22 ft)
        • a permanent foundation.

        They should also be compatible with the appearance of the other buildings in the area.

        Multiple Housing Developments, Apartments, Rowhouses

        Please download the Multi Unit Dwelling Package.

        This section applies to buildings with 3 or more separate dwelling units. These are only permitted in the medium density residential (R3), central commercial (C1), and mixed use 1 (DC-MU1) districts. To find the zoning of your property please see the zoning map.

        The Town requires:

        • A "loading space" in the side or rear yard - to make it easy for a vehicle to enter and turn around;
        • 1.75 parking spaces per dwelling for apartments; 2 per dwelling for muliplexes;
        • A minimum of 30% of the parcel landscaped, to separate parking facilities from residence windows.
        • Enough space for waste removal bins appropriate for the number of units.

        Apartment buildings can take up to 75% of the total parcel space, while other multi-residential buildings can take up to 55%.

        New House or Duplex

        Please fill out a Detached Dwelling & Duplex Application.

        The Town will work closely with you to help understand the regulations in place when building a new home. You will be asked to provide:

        • Certificate of Title
        • Site Plan
        • Elevation Drawings
        • Floor Plans
        • New Home Warranty - please click here for more information
        • Written confirmation from an Alberta Land Surveyor of the building location relative to the property lines.

        The East Olds area has specific design standards in place to preserve its character. Please see Schedule E of the Land Use Bylaw if you are planning a new home in this area.

        Secondary Suite

        If you are planning a secondary suite, please provide us with:

        Any parcel of land that has a detached dwelling space can have one secondary suite, unless it already has a bed and breakfast, day care, or Class 2 home occupation. The secondary suite must be completely separate from the main dwelling, with no shared airflow. (Separate furnace, etc.) An extra off-street parking space must be provided.

        The suite can have a maximum of:

        • 80 m2 (864 ft2) in floor area;
        • 40% of total floor area of the detached dwelling (including the basement and main floors);
        • 2 bedrooms, each with a maximum of 15 m2 (161 ft2).

        Secondary suites can be installed above a garage, as long as the suite itself is not taller than either the main dwelling, or 7.5m (25 ft).

        If the suite has its own separate building, the exterior walls need to be at least:

        • 1.5m (5 ft) from the side property boundaries;
        • 1.5m (5 ft) from the rear boundary if there's a window or door facing an alleyway;
        • 3m (10 ft) from the rear boundary if a window or door does not face an alleyway;
        • 2.5m (8ft) from the main and any accessory buildings.

        What is the process for getting permits?

        1. Fill out the application forms (above) and submit all required plans to the Planning Department.
        2. If you will be digging, request locates. Locates must be available on site while work is being done.
        3. If the project is commercial, complete a fire safety plan. This is not required for residential projects.
        4. An invoice will be e-mailed to you for permit fees and security deposits. All fees must be paid before the permit is issued.
        5. Depending on your project, it will be reviewed either by staff or by the Municipal Planning Commission.
        6. If the permit requires a decision from the MPC, there is a 21-day appeal period.
        7. If your permits have been approved, you will receive them along with a Plan Review. This is an overview of what has been approved and will describe when an inspection is needed.
        8. Inspections will be performed by our certified Safety Codes Officer.
        9. After work is completed to Town standards, any security deposits will be returned to you.

        Do I need permits to demolish or rebuild something?

        Yes - if you plan to demolish something larger than 144 ft2.

        Even though it's a demolition, we still require:

        • a Building Permit (to make sure Alberta Building Code standards are followed); and 
        • Demolition Permit.

        You will be asked to contact your utility providers to disconnect all services before the permit can be issued, and to have a plan to dispose of materials.

        If you want to rebuild, please fill out a separate set of building and development forms (above) for the new building.

        Please download the Demolition application package.

        Can exceptions be made to the Land Use Bylaw?

        In some cases, a Development Officer or the Municipal Planning Commission may be able to grant a relaxation.

        Please fill out a Relaxation / Variance Form.

        What if my permits aren't approved?

        After the Municipal Planning Commission makes a decision, there is a 21 day appeal period.

        Appeals can also be made to the regional Appeals Board. This is a separate group serving 18 different municipalities in Central Alberta. For more information please click the link.

        How long will it take to receive my permits?

        Simple permits can be approved in a week by Planning & Development department staff.

        If your permit needs to be reviewed by the Municipal Planning Commission, meetings are held once a month (on the third Tuesday of the month).

        How much time do I have to complete the work?

        You have one year from the day your Development Permit is issued to complete the work.

        If I hire a contractor, do they need licenses?

        They will need a current Business License to operate in the Town of Olds.

        They may also require provincial licenses. Please check with your contractor to ensure they have the required licenses.

        How do I find my property lines?

        Please contact a legal Alberta Land Surveyor.

        How do I find the zoning of my property?

        Check the Town of Old's Land Use District (zoning) map.

        What if I already started building without permits?

        Permits can still be issued after work has begun, but you may be asked to change elements of the design, or even to remove new structures if they don't comply with the safety codes and Land Use Bylaw.

        We highly recommend obtaining all permits before starting the work because it can be much more difficult to find all the needed information after - especially if the permits are requested when you sell the property years later.

        If I'm building multiple projects, do I need multiple permits?

        Yes - please see the section above and fill out all forms for each project you'll be completing. Each of the forms has different details needed to review and approve the permits.

        Planning and Development staff may be able to combine the application fees for you if your project has multiple elements.

        What is an off-site levy?

        An off-site levy is a fee charged by the Town to help pay for expanding municipal services, such as water, sewer and roads.

        Off-Site Levy Bylaw 2018-49
        Off-Site Levy Fee Schedule

        Do I need a permit to relocate a building?

        Yes - please fill in a Development Permit application.