Subdivision & Development Appeal Board

A decision of the Development Authority (Municipal Planning Commission or Development Officer) or Subdivision Authority may be appealed to the County's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB).

In some cases, subdivision appeals are heard by the provincial Municipal Government Board (MGB) instead of the SDAB. For example, if the subdivision is adjacent to a highway, a major waterbody, or a landfill, the MGB will hear the appeal. For information on the MGB process you can go to the provincial website. The Conditional Subdivision Approval you received will specify which Board you should file your appeal with.

All development appeals are heard by the SDAB.

Where Can I Find Out More About the Project?

The County notifies people of projects through a combination of direct letters, the website, and the local paper. More information is available at the County Office or on the County website.

All Municipal Planning Reports are published online. The reports include project details like the project plan, site plan, any pictures or drawings and applicable planning regulations. You can also contact the planning department if you want details about a proposed development before you file an appeal. The planning department will only provide project details, not advice on whether to appeal or not.

To find the relevant report go the Municipal Planning Commission Agenda, click the meeting date included on your Notice of Decision from the top menu bar. The agenda will appear and you can select the report for the item you are interested in.

Who Can Appeal a Subdivision Decision?

  1. The applicant
  2. A government body – appeal must be related to their authority (Environment, Transportation)
  3. The school board – appeal must be related to school reserves
  4. The municipality – if they don’t think their interests were considered

Note: An adjacent landowner does not have the right to appeal a subdivision decision.

Who Can Appeal a Development Decision?

  1. The applicant, or authorized agent, can appeal an approval with conditions, a refusal, or a deemed refusal. A deemed refusal is when the Development Authority has not made a decision within 40 days of accepting an application as complete, unless an extension was granted by the applicant.
  2. By anyone else who feels they are affected by an approved discretionary development permit. There is no appeal for a permitted use development permit.

When Do I Need to File My Appeal?

The appeal deadline is specified in the Notice of Decision/Conditional Approval Notice you received. Generally, there is 21 days to file an appeal. The legislation states there is 7 days mailing time and 14 days to file the appeal.

Where Do I File My Appeal?

The details on where to file your appeal are included in the Notice of Decision you received. Generally, SDAB appeals are filed with the Secretary of the SDAB, at 3755-43 Avenue, Camrose, AB, T4V 3S8.

What Do I Need to Include in My Appeal?

All appeals must:

  1. Be submitted in writing
  2. Include:
    1. Your name and contact information,
    2. The file number and/or legal description of the project, and
    3. the reasons for appeal.
  3. Contain the appeal fee

If any part of the requirements is missing at the appeal deadline, the appeal will be void.

What Happens After I File My Appeal?

Once an appeal has been accepted the Secretary of the SDAB will arrange a hearing date. Hearings must be held within 30 days of receiving an appeal. Once the hearing date is set everyone who received the initial Notice of Decision will be sent a Notice of Appeal by direct mail (unless email has been agreed to). This includes:

  • The applicant
  • The registered owner
  • The appellant
  • Any municipality that is adjacent to or has an Intermunicipal Development Plan in the affected area
  • The local school board(s)
  • Any adjacent landowners
  • Any relevant government department

The notice must include:

  • the place, time and date of the Hearing
  • the nature of the proposed development which is the subject of appeal
  • that any person claiming to be affected by the appeal may submit a written brief to the Secretary of the Board prior to the date set for the Hearing, and
  • that any person who has not submitted a written brief in accordance with subsection (iii) and who claims to be affected by the appeal and that the Board agrees to hear, may speak to the appeal at the Hearing, and

I’m at the Hearing, Now What?

An SDAB Hearing is a ‘quasi-judicial’ hearing and runs much like a court would. This means that the Board makes decisions based on the findings of the fact-based evidence that they are presented with, and the legal rules related to the application. This process allows the SDAB to make a decision on a subdivision or development matter after conducting a hearing fairly and in accordance with the legislation, administrative laws, and the principles of natural justice.

Hearings use the following format:

  1. Introduction by the Chairperson. The Chairperson will outline how the hearing will take place and what the parties’ responsibilities are. They will also introduce the members of the board and ask in there are any concerns about conflict of interest with the board members and the people in the room.
  2. Planning Authority’s Presentation. The Planning Authority will provide the background on the subdivision or development, including why the decision was made and all the resources used to reach the decision.
  3. Applicant’s Presentation. The applicant will describe its proposal.
  4. Appellant’s Presentation. The appellant will explain why they submitted their appeal. This is done by reading any written submissions first, then allowing anyone in support of the appellant’s presentation to speak.
  5. Presentations opposed to the appeal. Again, written submissions are provided first, then verbal submissions are allowed.
  6. The Board can ask questions of anyone present to seek clarification.
  7. The Board closes the hearing. At this point no more submissions can be made to the Board and they deliberate in private.

The SDAB can amend the process above or provide additional guidelines in the interest of a fair and efficient hearing. For example, they can limit speaking time, or ask that only new concerns be raised.

What Outcome Can I Expect from the Appeal?
The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, or Municipal Government Board can:

  • uphold the decision of the Development Authority,
  • reverse the decision of the Development Authority, or
  • change, add, or remove any of the conditions attached to the decision. 

The decision of the SDAB is final and binding. The only appeal is on a rule of law, where fair procedure was not followed.
 

Who is the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board?

The County's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board consists of five members of the public at large. Members are chosen by Council at the Organizational Meeting from applications submitted to the County. All SDAB members are trained on their roles and responsibilities as board members.

General Information

  1. Where a notice of appeal against the issuance of a development permit is made to the Secretary of the Board, the development permit shall be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.
  2. For the purpose of this section, the registered owner shall be that which appears on the County tax roll on file in the County Office.
  3. The Secretary of the Board shall serve written notice of the decision of the board to:
        • the appellant
        • the applicant for the development permit if he is not the appellant
        • any person who so requests in writing or verbally at the Hearing
  4. Where an application for a development permit is refused, the submission of another application for a permit for the same or a similar use on the same land may not be made by the same or any other applicant for a period of 12 months from the date of the issuance of the notice of refusal, except where Council has by resolution, waived the 12 month waiting period.
  5. The SDAB also hears appeals on Stop Orders.