Warning |

Until further notice, the SDAB office is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SDAB will work to keep the website information current, but this is an evolving situation. For the most up to date information, contact us by email at info@calgarysdab.ca or leave a message at 403-268-5312 and we will return your call promptly. If you would prefer to submit something in paper, we have a dropbox on the 1st floor, in the back hallway (past the elevators), near the postal mailboxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Filing an appeal

How to file an appeal online?

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 $200 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. All appellants must be identified by name when filing subdivision and development appeals. The filing fee is refundable if an appeal is withdrawn prior to the commencement of the hearing, or at the discretion of the Board if the hearing has commenced.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.

What is the deadline for filing an appeal?

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 the time frames listed below.

Development Appeals

If the development permit was approved, the applicant has 21 calendar days after the date the notice of decision was given.If you are considered an affected person*, you have 21 calendar days after the date that notice is given under the Land Use Bylaw.

*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 has 21 calendar days after the date the notice of decision was given.

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 21 calendar days from the date the person was notified of the Order.

What happens if someone files outside of the appeal period?

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.

Can an appeal be filed on a permitted use?

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

What happens after an appeal is filed?

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

I am not an appellant, but I am an affected person. What happens if the appellant withdraws?

If all of the appellants have withdrawn, then the appeal is withdrawn. You are only considered an appellant if the Board determines that you filed an appeal in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Government Act. Those who did not file an appeal but are simply participating in an appeal as an affected person do not have the right to continue an appeal after all other appellants have withdrawn.

Hearing preparation

I received a notice in the mail from SDAB advising me of an upcoming hearing, what does this mean for me?

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.

I have filed my appeal, now what do I do?

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. 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.

How long do I have to make my presentation?

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

What type of audio and visual equipment does the hearing room have?

The hearing room is equipped with a document viewer and a projector with a VGA cable. If you will be presenting your arguments by means of an electronic presentation, a laptop will be provided for you. Please provide your material on a USB stick.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the contents of your presentation have been sent to the Board staff within the deadline set out by the Board. If you have not met this deadline, you must bring 12 printed copies of your presentation materials to the hearing, and you may face adjournment/postponement requests at the hearing to allow all parties to review your presentation and fully prepare for the hearing. For additional details please call the office at 403-268-5312.

I have handouts for the Board, who do I give them to and when?

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.

If you have not previously circulated your handouts to the Development Authority, the appellants (if any), and any affected parties that you know will be participating in the hearing, you may face adjournment/postponement requests at the hearing to allow such people to review your new materials and fully prepare to respond.

What role does precedent play in terms of the information and evidence that can be considered by the Board?

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.

As the applicant why should I spend the time to prepare a presentation when the Development Authority will present evidence on the approval?

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

What do I do if I cannot attend on the day my appeal is scheduled?

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.

How do I withdraw my appeal?

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 reasons for appeal are not planning related issues. As the applicant, this is wasting my time and delaying my project. Why can't the Board refuse to accept the appeal since there are insufficient grounds for appeal?

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.

I would like to try to resolve the issues under appeal with the appellant. How should I proceed?

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.

I have amended plans to submit to the Board. Will the Board accept these plans? Who should I forward the amended plans to?

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.

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.

What information/ evidence can the Board consider on an appeal on a Notice of Order?

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.

If I lose my appeal what is my next step? What recourse do I have?

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.