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Frequently Asked Questions

Why have Safety Codes fees increased?

The old Safety Codes fee schedule had been in place since 2013. The current permit fee schedule was developed for the new Safety Codes Permitting Bylaw (Bylaw No. 17/023) after careful review of similar sized municipalities and other consultations.

What is an occupancy permit? Who needs one and when is it needed?

An occupancy permit is an authorization in writing that all applicable Safety Codes permits comply and the occupancy or use of the premises is granted. All buildings that are going to be used or occupied will need one. The permit needs to be applied for and approved prior to occupancy.

How long is my permit valid? Can it be extended?

A permit is valid for one year from issuance, subject to the work commencing within 90 days and not suspended or abandoned for more than 120 days. A one-time extension of 90 days may be granted upon receipt of a written request.

What is a stop work notice? When is it issued?

A notice to stop work may be issued by a Safety Codes officer if the work being performed is non-compliant with the Safety Codes Act. This can include starting work without permits or constructing in non-compliance with the code. Stop work notices are issued to the permit holder or owner.

What work needs permits?

Altering, demolishing, constructing, relocating or making changes to an occupancy are only some of the processes that require a building permit.

Altering or adding to an electrical, plumbing, gas or private sewage system will also require a permit within that discipline.

Occupying a building or portion of a building will require an occupancy permit.

Modifying, installing or adding to a gas appliance venting will require a gas appliance vent permit.

What is a re-inspection fee?

A re-inspection fee is an additional fee imposed for reasons such as no visible addressing at a municipal address, an officer cannot access the building (due to a locked door or unsafe access), work is not substantially complete for that period of inspection or a previously identified deficiency has not been corrected.

What is a municipal tag?

An officer may issue a municipal tag to a person that is believe to have contravened any part of the Safety Codes Permitting Bylaw. The fee payment is due within 14 days of receiving the tag. Failure to make payment may lead to a further violation ticket, which is payable in provincial court.

What is a violation ticket?

If a penalty on an issued municipal tag is not paid in time or a person is believed to have contravened any part of the Safety Codes Permitting Bylaw, a Peace officer is authorized to issue a violation ticket to that person. A violation ticket is payable in provincial court.

Why are homeowner's fees higher than contractor's fees?

Since homeowners are typically not qualified tradespeople, homeowner's fees are slightly higher than contractor's fees to reflect the additional assistance Safety Codes officers provide homeowners during the inspection process.

I was charged a no entry fee. Why?

A no entry fee is applied to a permit if the safety codes officer cannot gain access to a locked property that has requested an inspection.

I didn't finish my project in time. Can I extend my permit? For how long?

Upon receipt of a written request from the applicant, an extension of 90 days may be granted.

Why do I need a building permit?

A building permit is required to ensure all the minimum building code requirements have been met as per the Alberta Building Code. Even if you are completing some work on your own property, permits are required when constructing, adding or altering a building or changing a building’s occupancy.

How do I apply for a building permit?

There are two options:

  • Online, via E-Permitting
  • In person at the Planning & Development Department, located at 309 Powder Drive

When do I need a building permit?

Permits are to be obtained prior to starting your project. If you have any questions or concerns you can contact us at permit.inquiries@rmwb.ca or phone 780-799-8695 or visit us at 309 Powder Drive.

How is a development permit different form a building permit?

The development permit ensures the proposed project meets the requirements of the RMWB’s Land Use Bylaw, while the building permit is ensuring compliance with the Alberta Building Code. A development permit may be required on some projects and it is to be obtained prior to any work being started.

What other permits will I need to build a new house?

Most new construction will require:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Gas permits
  • Some additional permits may be required, such as private sewage or ventilation permits.

How long does it take to issue a building permit?

Once an application is accepted by a development clerk, a building safety codes officer must review the submitted documentation and complete a plans examination to issue the permit. This time will vary depending on the complexity of the project, if all required technical documents were submitted, and if there is any application backlog. However, once a correctly completed application with all necessary documentation is received, the minimum time is five business days and the maximum is 15 business days. Please be aware that permits can be cancelled if required documentation is not provided within requested time frames.

Do I need a building permit to relocate a mobile home?

Yes. We have to ensure all the life safety features have been re installed and the home has been installed as per the Alberta Building Code.

For how long is a permit good?

Permits are good for one year. A one-time extension can be granted if a written request is submitted and approved.

Is the involvement of a professional engineer or a registered architect required for a Preserved Wood Foundation (PWF?)

Yes. Professional involvement is required to ensure the foundation has been designed to meet the requirements of the Preserved Wood Foundations standard.

Can I add a second kitchen in the basement of my home?

A second kitchen is not permitted in basement developments, however secondary suites are permitted to have a kitchen. A development permit must be applied for in order to be granted approval to have a secondary suite. Additional Safety Codes permits will be required to be obtained as well.

What is the difference between a basement development and a basement suite?

A basement development is when you are going to use your basement for personal use, so there will be no cooking facility permitting in the basement. A basement suite is when you are going to install a cooking facility and rent out your basement or have in-laws stay in your basement. Additional code requirements are to be adhered to when developing a basement suite (e.g. separate heating/ventilation system, ceiling and mechanical room to be completely drywalled and smoke tight, and a separate entrance).

Do I need a permit to widen my driveway?

Yes, you will need to get a Boulevard Crossing Permit. This permit is obtained through Engineering and they can be contacted at engineering@woodbuffalo.ab.ca or 780-793-1027. The office is located on they are located on the third floor at 9816 Hardin Street.

Does a permit expire? What if the work isn’t complete?

A permit is valid for one year.

You may be eligible for a one-time 90-day extension or a permit renewal, both of which require a written request to inspections@rmwb.ca for approval.

Can I start my project before the permit is granted?

No. You must wait for the permit to be issued before starting the work.

How will I know my work is compliant?

You must book an inspection by contacting Safety Code Inspection line at 780-743-7813 or email inspections@rmwb.ca.

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