Frequently Asked Questions

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Filing an appeal

An appeal can only be filed once the Development/Subdivision Authority has issued a decision. SDAB appeals can be filed online through this website with a credit card or can be submitted to the SDAB office. A $100 filing fee must accompany each Notice of Appeal form and must be submitted on or before the final date for appeal, as prescribed in the Municipal Government Act. The filing fee is refundable if an appeal is withdrawn prior to the commencement of the hearing, or at the discretion of the Board if the hearing has commenced.

If you are filing an appeal with CITYonline it is recommended that you obtain a user ID before you complete your appeal information. For step by step instruction on filing an appeal online, visit our webinar.

An appeal can only be filed after the Development Authority has issued a decision. In accordance with sections 678 and 686 of the Municipal Government Act an appeal to the SDAB must be received with the Board within 14 days.

Development Appeals
If the development permit was approved, the applicant has 14 calendar days from the date they were notified of the approval.
If you are considered an affected person*, you have 14 calendar days from the date the approval was advertised in the local newspaper.
*The term "affected person" is not defined in the Municipal Government Act. The Board determines affected persons on a case-by-case basis. For example, an affected person could be someone who feels the enjoyment, use or value of their property may be affected by the proposed development. The onus is on the person to show they are affected by the development.
If the development permit was refused, the applicant or owner of the property has 14 calendar days in which to file the appeal, based on the date they were notified of the refusal.

Subdivision Appeals
The applicant can file an appeal with respect to a refusal of a subdivision application or on the conditions of approval of the application. The appeal must be filed within 14 calendar days after receipt of the written decision. An affected person cannot file an appeal.

Enforcement Orders
The owner of the land, the person in possession of the land or building, the person responsible for the contravention or any person considered affected by the Order can file an appeal within 14 calendar days from the date the person was notified of the Order.

The person will be advised by SDAB staff that the appeal appears to have been filed outside of the mandated filing period. As the issue of appeal validity can only be determined by the Board, a hearing will be held before the SDAB to determine if the appeal was filed in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Government Act.

As a party to the appeal you are encouraged to attend the hearing and make a presentation of evidence to the Board i.e. to justify why the appeal was late, to show why you believe the appeal was not late, or why the Board should hear the appeal. If the Board determines that the appeal was filed in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Government Act, a hearing may then proceed on the merits of the appeal.

Yes, if you can show that the provisions of the land use bylaw were relaxed, varied or misinterpreted by the Development Authority.

In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, the appeal must be scheduled for a hearing within 30 days.


Hearing preparation

In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, we must provide notification of a SDAB hearing approximately five days prior to the hearing.

In accordance with SDAB procedures, notification of hearing letters are sent to those owning property within 60 metres, 300 metres for liquor stores, of the proposed development, as the Board may deem them to be affected by the development.

If you feel that you are affected either positively or negatively by the development being appealed, this gives you the opportunity to either submit something in writing or come and speak at the hearing. If you do not feel you are affected by the appeal, you can simply chose to do nothing and discard the notice.

Prepare your argument and presentation to fully present your position. The onus is on you to prove and substantiate your arguments. A report is compiled for each appeal which provides the rationale for the Development Authority's decision and other pertinent information relating to the proposed development. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the Board report by accessing the Reports link on this website or you can pick-up a copy of the report at the Appeal Board office. In preparation for your hearing you may want to consider attending a hearing to get an idea of what to expect.

You will want to present any planning or legal arguments you feel are necessary to support your position including, but not limited to, traffic, impact, appearance of development, and privacy. If you present inappropriate evidence, the Presiding Chair will advise you as necessary. For assistance in this regard, contact an independent consultant for advice, such as a lawyer, architect or planning consultant.

As long as necessary to present your case; however, be mindful that evidence must be relevant and not repetitive.

The hearing room is equipped with a document viewer and a projector with a VGA cable. You must bring your own laptop, one will not be provided for you. The laptop connector is not compatible with MacBooks, iPads or other tablets therefore you are responsible for bringing a VGA adapter.

If you will be presenting your arguments by means of an electronic presentation (on a laptop or a tablet) you must leave a hard and electronic copy of your presentation with the Board staff. For additional details please call the office at 403-268-5312.

When you come forward to present, advise the Board that you have handouts and the SDAB staff will get them from you and distribute them to the appropriate people. Make sure to bring 12 copies for small panel hearings and 16 copies for large panel hearings.

None, as the Board is to accept any oral or written evidence that it considers proper, whether admissible in a court of law or not, and is not bound by the laws of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings [s. 629(2) of Municipal Government Act]. That said, the Board does follow directions of the Court.

You may chose to present, but you have no obligation to but the applicant should not rely on the Development Authority to make the case for them. It is the responsibility of the applicant of the development permit to present evidence to support their application or respond to the issues raised by the appellant(s) or affected parties.

Your justifications for the proposed development may be different than those of the Development Authority and they may not emphasize what you feel are the vital aspects of the proposed development.


Adjournments and withdrawals

You should submit a written request for an adjournment/ postponement, including the reasons for the request, to the SDAB office as soon as possible. Please forward your request to Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, P.O. Box 2100, Station M, #8110, Calgary, AB, T2P 2M5 or email the SDAB at info@calgarysdab.ca or fax us at 403-268-5982.

If you are unable to submit the request in writing, a verbal request should be made at the time of the scheduled hearing.

Adjournment/ postponement requests are not granted automatically; the decision is made on the day of the hearing by the Board. Each request is considered on its own merits, including submissions from other affected parties to the appeal.

If you are unable to attend the hearing to speak to the adjournment/ postponement request, you should have someone attend on your behalf that will be prepared to discuss the request and/ or present evidence to the Board in the event the request is denied.

A withdrawal should be submitted in writing to the SDAB office as soon as possible. Your co-operation will prevent any unnecessary delays for the Board and will help The City use its resources more effectively. Please forward your request to Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, P.O. Box 2100, Station M, #8110, Calgary, AB, T2P 2M5 or email the SDAB at info@calgarysdab.ca or fax us at 403-268-5982.


Hearing protocol

The Municipal Government Act has established an appeal process under which it is up to the Board to review the merits of each appeal. The law does not provide for a screening process; therefore, each appeal must be heard and addressed on its own merits. For further assistance in this regard, you may wish to contact a lawyer.

Board staff can facilitate providing applicant/ appellant contact information to parties if they inquire about resolution of issues under appeal. It is appropriate to advise the parties that any resolution may require approval of the Board, however, the Board is not obliged to approve any resolutions.

If you reach a resolution which involves changes to the proposed development or development permit, the applicant should submit a list of the amendments and the amended plans with any changes highlighted in red in advance of the hearing.

It is within the Board's discretion to accept or reject any amended plans. If amended plans are going to be provided, circulate them to the Development Authority, the appellants (if any), and any affected parties that you know will be participating in the hearing, otherwise you may face adjournment/ postponement requests at the hearing to allow such people to review the plans and fully prepare for the hearing. Make sure to bring 12 copies for small panel hearings and 16 copies for large panel hearings.

In an effort to assist the SDAB, please highlight in red on the drawings the amendments and be prepared to present a list of the amendments to the SDAB.

The issue before the Board is whether or not the Order was correctly issued, which includes but is not limited to: was the Order sent to the registered owner, is the information contained in the Order correct and the condition of the development at the time the Order was issued.

Section 688 of Municipal Government Act outlines the Leave to Appeal process to the Court of Appeal if you wish to challenge the Board's decision, but only on aspects of law or jurisdiction. For assistance in this regard, you may wish to contact a lawyer.


For further clarification/ information feel free to contact the SDAB office at 403-268-5312 or info@calgarysdab.ca

The information contained herein is intended for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For certainty, you should consult the Municipal Government Act and other related statutes and regulations.