Demolition Order FAQ

Why are we issuing demolition orders?

It is important for the economic and emotional well-being of the community to move as promptly as possible to ensure that the affected properties are less unsightly, pose less of a health and safety risk, and are ready for rebuilding to occur. The municipality is issuing demolition orders to establish a clear timeframe for clean-up to be completed, and to give itself the authority to perform clean-up work on behalf of residents, if needed.

Why is Sept. 30, 2016, the deadline for clean-up, as per the demolition orders?

The construction season in Fort McMurray typically wraps up between mid- and late-October. The Sept. 30, 2016 deadline gives the municipality the option to have a contractor in place to finish the remainder of the cleanup.

What happens if I fail to meet the Sept. 30, 2016, deadline for clean-up?

The municipality has the option to hire a contractor to clean up any property that has not been cleaned up before the Sept. 30, 2016 deadline. The cost incurred for this may, at the municipality's option, be added the property owners’ tax roll.

If I do not have insurance coverage, can I add my property to the list of those which the municipality will demolish and add to the tax roll?

If you do not have insurance coverage, or if you cannot meet the Sept. 30, 2016 deadline, residents are encouraged to contact the Pulse line at 780-743-7000, and leave their name and phone number. A Pulse line representative will then contact residents to advise of next steps. You may not be contacted until later in September when the municipality's plans for dealing with uncompleted cleanups are finalized.

The municipality encourages residents who know they will be unable to make the September 30, 2016 deadline to contact the Pulse line as soon as possible to prevent a backlog.

Can I re-use my existing foundation?

There are several aspects to this. If a house is to be rebuilt on an existing foundation, it must comply with current requirements of the Land Use Bylaw – this will be determined when you apply for a Development Permit. Residents (or their building contractors) will also be required to provide engineering reports to show that the structural integrity of the foundation was not compromised in the fire – this will be required as part of your application for a Building Permit. Finally, residents who are covered by insurance should work with their insurer to determine if there are provisions in their insurance policies that may impact the decision to rebuild on an existing foundation.

How do I know if it is safe to rebuild on my property?

Environmental testing was done by the Municipality and the Government of Alberta. Results from the sampling indicate that the soil does not contain any contaminants that exceed human health standards. You can view the results online. Your property will need to be cleared of ash, debris and a layer of topsoil prior to being issued a development and building permit.

When can I rebuild my home?

Following demolition, residents are able to apply for Development and Building permits for all damaged areas of Fort McMurray and the rural areas. Permits may contain conditions that are directly related to safety in the event of a future wildfire. In the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways permits will also be conditional upon the lifting of the restriction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH).