Town waives planning fees during COVID-19 crisis

The Town of Okotoks has waived a number of planning fees to provide financial relief to residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council approved administration’s recommendation to adjust the Fees and Rates Bylaw during the April 27 meeting. This applies to all new development applications after April 27.

“Eliminating these fees will assist residents and businesses during the economic challenges they are currently facing,” said Jamie Dugdale, manager of Planning Services. “The Town is focused on helping business owners set themselves up for success when restrictions are lifted.”

The waivers are specifically for development permits for such things as creating a home based business, signs, business start-ups or relocations, construction or renovation to create secondary suites and garages.

Fees vary depending on the specific application but businesses and residents could potentially save hundreds of dollars in fees. For example, a development permit for an accessory building, such as a garage or secondary suite is normally $500.

“Right now, there are opportunities for businesses to adjust and make changes while they are closed. Temporarily eliminating fees will make it that much easier for our businesses to prepare for future recovery,” said Angela Groeneveld, manager of Economic Development. 

While some planning fees are waived, individuals still need to apply for permits when it is required under the regulations of the Land Use Bylaw and applicants will still need to pay fees for building, electrical and plumbing permits. The Town’s Planning Services department is available to help with any questions and provide guidance on applications.