A Guide to the Building Process

Step 1: The Development Application

The Development Application (PDF) gives the Town the opportunity to review a proposed development to ensure that it complies with the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw which are the tools our community uses to plan for its future. These deal mostly with how land should be used, in order to prevent developments which may cause conflicts with existing or planned land uses in the community. The application also assists the applicant by addressing possible problems early in the planning stage. To process the application the following items are required:

  1. Site Plan – The plan should indicate where your building will be located on the site with dimensions from the property lines, any utility connections, easements or utility right-of-ways.
  2. Two copies of the building plans and profiles
  3. Landscaping plans for the property
  4. Consent from the owner (if the applicant is not the owner)
  5. Description of the development
  6. The application fee

Step 2: Building Permit Application

At the Town of High Level, the Building Permit application is included on the Development Permit application. A building permit is required for most construction projects including, but not limited to, new buildings, additions, renovations, alterations, repairs, demolitions, relocations and change of use to an existing building. The Safety Codes Act requires that all contractors and homeowners in Alberta obtain permits prior to starting any work on buildings covered in the current edition of the Alberta Building Code. To process the application, the following items are required:

  1. Two complete sets of drawings
  2. Buildings with Preserved Wood Foundations must include engineered drawings
  3. Drawings from the roof truss designer for the pre-engineered roof trusses
  4. Completed Building Permit application including:
    1. Owner’s name, address and phone number
    2. Contractor’s name, address and phone number
    3. Engineer/architect name, address and phone number
    4. Construction address
    5. Construction value
    6. Application fee

Step 3: Electrical, Plumbing & Gas Permits

Any Electrical, Plumbing and/or Gas installations or renovations require the appropriate permits. These permits can be applied for by the homeowner or ticketed electrician, plumber or pipe fitter.

Step 4: Inspections

Inspections are required at the following stages:

  • Foundation inspection prior to backfill
  • Prior to drywall
  • Prior to covering any work
  • Prior to occupancy

The Alberta Building Code requires the Owner to notify the Town when the building is at a stage required to be inspected. The inspections can be requested at the Town office during normal office hours at 926-2201. The Town requires 24 hour notice for all inspections. A building inspection report is left on the site after each inspection. If anything is required to be corrected, a re-inspection must be done prior to covering the item.

Please note that building inspections are for compliance to the Alberta Building Code only and do not include inspections on the electrical, plumbing or gas systems. These inspections are performed by a private agency contracted to the Town.

Step 5: Occupancy Permit

An Occupancy Permit is written verification that the above inspections were performed and that any code infractions are corrected or addressed. This permit may be requested by your financial institution. It is contravention of the Alberta Building Code and the Building Permit Bylaw to occupy a building prior to the issuance of the permit. There is no fee for an occupancy permit. This is a general guide only. Different developments may constitute additional requirements under Provincial law or Town bylaws. Please contact the Town office at 926-2201 if you have any questions.

Step 6: Lot Grading Certificate

Lot grading is an important component of new home construction. The purpose of lot grading is to provide good drainage away from buildings and adjacent properties for the benefit of property owners. The Town of High Level requires a Lot Grading Certificate to ensure grading is done properly and in compliance with Bylaw requirements.

A Lot Grading Certificate is a document that can be prepared by an Alberta Land Surveyor. It shows several current elevations of a lot in comparison with design grades that were previously approved by the municipality. It is intended to show where water will drain on a property.

The Lot Grading Certificate needs to be submitted to the Town for rough and final grade approvals. Approval is based on the requirements of the town and is subject to inspection.

If you require a Lot Grading Certificate, it may be more convenient to contact the Alberta Land Surveyor, if you know who it is, who prepared the subdivision plan or real property report.

Step 7: Complete Land Use Bylaw Requirements

There is a $5,000 deposit required on all new construction to be returned upon compliance to all Development Permit conditions and Land Use Bylaw requirements. These requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Landscaping
  • Driveway paving
  • Development Permit conditions