Lacombe City Council approved an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw, removing the requirement for Occupancy Development Permits.

The amendment ensures business name or ownership changes no longer trigger an Occupancy Development Permit requirement. It also eliminates confusion around the occupancy authorized by a building inspector under the Alberta Building Code.

This different, safety-critical approval is separate from the Land Use Bylaw’s now former Occupancy Development Permit.

"Our Land Use Bylaw is an important tool Council has to ensure development in our community is consistent and fair to residents and businesses," Mayor Grant Creasey said. "This amendment clarifies important legislation, while also removing unnecessary red tape for those looking to develop in our community.”

The most significant impact of this change will be on commercial and industrial developers and business owners. Some development applications involve a change of tenant, but no building or site changes occur in commercial and industrial settings where multi-bay or multi-tenant buildings have been constructed.

This change to the Land Use Bylaw comes following a Planning and Development staff evaluation of existing processes. Staff found that the Occupancy Development Permit could be deleted by leveraging the information collected from the business license applications and then integrating Planning and Development reviews into the business license approval process.

A standard development permit will still be required for new building construction, building modifications visible from the outside of a building, a different land use, or a change in land-use intensity (e.g., enlarging a business).

This change intends to streamline some permit applications, resulting in fewer permits required by local businesses when making straightforward and non-land-use-based changes.