The site license for development is a single approval provided by the Town of Okotoks to a building permit applicant at the start of a residential or non-residential project. The site license provides business licensing on a project basis, for the duration of the project, saving on the costs and time associated with licensing of each individual sub-contractor and trade working on the project separately. The site license has been applied to single- and semi-detached dwellings since 2013, with multi-unit residential developments and non-residential developments and renovations being added in 2021.
Introduction to Site Licensing
Units Fee Per Site License - Residential: Single Detached and Semi-Detached Dwellings - New Construction $250 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential - New Construction 3-8 units $800 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential - New Construction 9-24 units $1600 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential - New Construction 25+ units $2400 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential – Renovation 3-8 units $400 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential – Renovation 9-24 units $800 Building Permit Multi-Unit Residential – Renovation 25+ units $1200 Building Permit Site License - Non-Residential: Non-Residential - New or Renovation Value $100,000 - < $1M VALUE $800 Building Permit Non-Residential - New or Renovation Value $1M - < $5M VALUE $1600 Building Permit Non-Residential - New or Renovation Value $5M+ VALUE $2400 Building Permit
Previously, all trades working on a non-residential development were required to purchase their own business license. This process was more costly to projects and risked project delays associated with coordinating and ensuring each trade/sub trade and contractor had a business license. Moving forward, building permit applicants will obtain a single site license to cover all trades/sub trades involved in a non-residential or multi-residential development. This new process aligns with the direction of Community Growth and Investment to make the development process in Okotoks easier. The project, and all of the trades working on it, are covered under the site license even if the work extends across more than one calendar year. Moreover, the change creates a more level playing field with single and semi-detached residential projects, which are already subject to site licensing.
There are cost savings to both the Town and the project. For example, if you had 20 businesses working on one project, and each were located in Foothills County, the individual licenses would amount to 20 x $278 = $5,560 but the site license might be only $800. If the trades/sub trades are required to pay their own business license fees, these fees may be billed back to the Developer when invoicing for work completed.
The difference between individual licenses and site licensing saves the project money and potential delays relating to licensing compliance action. Without a more efficient system, administration costs and enforcement costs to follow up on individual licenses for all trades/sub trades could be reflected in higher business licensing fees in the future.
Why this? Why now?
The introduction of a site license for non-residential development in 2021 represents the Town of Okotoks’ ongoing commitment to reducing barriers to development, and lowering costs to do business in the Town.
This process makes managing your project easier. As the building permit applicant, you are able to pay a single one-time fee to cover all of the trades working on your development projects for the duration of the project. In addition to making project management easier, the site license is designed to lower your project costs and help you more easily forecast the cost of your project. Site license fees are set based on project value or number of residential units, and are designed to provide greater cost savings on the project.
Examples of savings opportunities under the site license system
Typically you would expect between 30 – 40 tradespeople coordinated and working on this development. Your expected costs under individual business licensing would range from $175 - $375 per tradesperson. Total cost would be between $5,250 - $15,000.
Under the site license system, the total cost for the project remains flat and consistent at $2,400.
Typically you would expect between 7 – 10 tradespeople coordinated and working on this development. Your expected costs under individual business licensing would range from $175 - $375 per tradesperson. Total cost would between $1,225 - $3,750.
Under the site licensing system, the total cost for the project remains flat and consistent at $800.00
Typically you would expect between 30-40 tradespeople coordinated and working on this development. Your expected costs under the business licensing would range from $175 - $375.00 per tradesperson. Total cost would be between $5,250 - $15,000.
Under the site license system, the total cost for the project remains flat and consistent at $1,600.