Depending on the location of the property and type of development, a development permit may be required

A Development Permit initiates an opportunity to review proposed developments to ensure that they comply with the policies and objectives of the  Official Community Plan (OCP), including design, heritage and environmental guidelines. A Development Permit may be required when the Official Community Plan designates an area for one, or more, of the following purposes:

  1. Environmental - Protection of the natural environment, its ecosystems and biological diversity.
  2. Hazard - Protection from development in hazardous conditions.
  3. Form and Character - Establishment of objectives for the form and character of commercial, industrial or multifamily and intensive residential development.
  4. Heritage Conservation.
Application Process

Please see the Development Application Procedure Bylaw for detailed information on the application process.  The application fee is $300, except for minor (less than $5,000 in construction costs) Form and Character Development Permit applications where the fee is $50.

Form and Character Development Permits

Form and Character Development Permits are required for new construction and additions to Multi-Family, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional development, except where exempted by the OCP. Development Permits may also be required for any subdivision or development where land is within an Environmental or Hazard Development Permit Area.

Provincial Riparian Area Regulations

Development permits for development near protected water courses may require a Riparian Area Assessment, in compliance with the Provincial Riparian Area Regulations.

Development Permit Area (DPA)

Within a DPA, a property owner must obtain a development permit before subdividing land or constructing, adding to, or altering a building. A local government may issue a development permit (DP) that varies or supplements a subdivision or zoning bylaw.

Below are the Development Permit Areas that are applicable in the District of Sparwood:

  • The Riparian Protection Development Permit Area is comprised of land and vegetation adjacent to watercourses such as rivers, creeks, springs, and wetlands and help to maintain healthy aquatic environments. These sensitive aquatic ecosystems are designated as a Development Permit Area because of their environmental significance as a habitat for fish and wildlife, their vital function in natural water storage and flood protection, their increasingly important role in reducing the effects of climate change and their sensitivity to disturbance by development. The designation of these lands as a development permit area further supports the Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Management Framework (CEMF) initiative. The development permit process will be used to determine how adverse environmental impacts can, or cannot, be abated using appropriate precautionary measures as part of site and building design, construction, and long-term maintenance. The Development Permit Area designation is intended to complement federal and/or provincial acts and regulations.

    Riparian protection area setback widths are measured perpendicular from the watercourse according to the following:

    1. Elk River, creeks and streams – measured from the natural boundary;
    2. Ravines and other stream corridors with steeply pitched banks – measured from the top of the ravine bank; and
    3. Wetlands and water bodies with gradually sloping shores – measured perpendicularly from the natural boundary
    Watercourse Riparian Protection Setback Distances (metres)
    Elk River 30
    Michel Creek 30
    Alexander Creek 30
    Summit Lake 30
    Bodie Creek 15
    Cummings Creek 15
    Erickson Creek 15
    Summit Creek 15
    Unamed tributaries of the Elk River and Michel Creek 10

  • Sparwood is located in a valley framed by steep slopes known to experience flooding, erosion, land slips and subsidence, avalanches, and other slope stability hazards. As well, the 1:200 year floodplain surrounding the Elk River and its tributaries exists within the municipality’s boundaries.

    Sparwood strives to ensure that the development of land in the community does not result in damage to personal property or injury to people. Known hazards are documented in the 1994 “Hazard Land Study – Assessment and Management.” 

    Sparwood is located in a valley framed by steep slopes known to experience flooding, erosion, land slips and subsidence, avalanches, and other slope stability hazards. As well, the 1:200 year floodplain surrounding the Elk River and its tributaries exists within the municipality’s boundaries. Sparwood strives to ensure that the development of land in the community does not result in damage to personal property or injury to people. Known hazards are documented in the 1994 “Hazard Land Study – Assessment and Management.” 

  • Increasing design expectations from residents require that Design Guidelines with respect to site layout, building form and character, and landscaping apply to multi-family residential, commercial, and light industrial development.

    Official Community Plan: Contains the guidelines and best practices for the Form and Character DPA