Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB)

Subdivision & Development Appeals

The Subdivision & Development Appeal Board hears appeals from people who have been affected by a decision of the Development Authority and/or the Subdivision Authority under the Zoning Bylaw. 

The Subdivision & Development Appeal Board (SDAB) is an independent quasi-judicial Board as set out in the Municipal Government Act and is administered by Legislative Services. It is a committee made up of five members as follows

a. five Citizen Representatives; and
b. two alternate Citizen Representatives.

Citizen members cannot be employees of The City of Red Deer, members of Council or the Municipal Planning Commission. Citizen members consist of local residents; however it is also recognized that non-residents who own property or have a business in the City also have a stake in the community.

Considering an appeal?

Considering an appeal, what do I need to know?

If you are considering filing an appeal it is important to know if there is a right of appeal, the deadlines involved and who can make the appeal.

The SDAB has jurisdiction to hear appeals related to the following:

  • A decision of the Subdivision Authority concerning a subdivision application.
  • A decision of the Development Authority concerning a development permit application.
  • An Enforcement Order (AKA Stop Order) issued by the Development Authority.

The terms of appeal for each of the above may differ including the right of appeal as it is determined by the Municipal Government Act depending on the type of appeal filed.  See below for more details, 

Please contact the Board Clerk if you have any questions.

Development Permit
  • Your application has been denied;
  • Your application was approved with conditions unacceptable to you;
  • You are a neighbor affected by an application that was approved;
  • Your application for a development permit is deemed refused (meaning a decision was not made within 40 days after the receipt of an application); and/or
  • Other reasons as may be permitted by law.
  • Direct Control Districts may be appealed only if the decision is made by the Development Authority.  In these situations, the appeal is limited to whether the Development Authority followed the directions of Council.

Please note:  You may NOT appeal the issuance of a development permit for a permitted use unless the provisions of the land use bylaw were relaxed, varied or misinterpreted.

Who can appeal?

The Applicant (person who made an application for a Development Permit) can file an appeal on a refused Development Permit or appeal the conditions of an approved Development Permit. 

An Affected Person (i.e. Neighbour) can file and appeal on an approved Development Permit only if it is a "Discretionary Use" or if it is a "Permitted Use" AND there have been variances to the Land Use Bylaw.

Appeal Deadline

Within twenty one (21) days of the decision that you are appealing

Subdivision Application
  • Your application was approved with conditions unacceptable to you;
  • Your application for subdivision is refused, or;
  • Your application for subdivision is deemed refused (meaning a decision was not made within 60 days of the receipt of the completed application)

Who can appeal?

In specific circumstances:

  • the Applicant,
  • a Government Department,
  • Municipal Council or School Board may appeal the decision of a subdivision authority.

Please note: Neighbours cannot appeal a subdivision application.

Appeal Deadline

Approved, Conditions of Approval or Refusal Decisions

  • Fourteen (14) days of the decision that you are appealing 

Deemed Refused

  • Within Sixty (60)days from when the Subdivision Authority received the application the owner/applicant has Fourteen (14) days after that to file an appeal 
Enforcement Order (Stop Order)
  • an enforcement order has been issued by the Development and or the Subdivision Authority for a breach of the land use bylaw; a development permit or subdivision approval

Please note: The SDAB only has the authority to vary or set aside an Enforcement Order. This limits the Board to focusing on the issue of whether or not the Order was issued properly by the Development Authority.

Who can appeal?

An Enforcement Order may be appealed by: 

  • the property owner
  • the person in possession of the land or building
  • the person responsible for the contravention
  • any person considered to be affected by the Order 

Appeal Deadline

Twenty one (21) days from the date the property owner was served the notice of order

What if I miss the appeal deadline, can I still file an appeal?

If you miss your deadline, the Board Clerk will advise you of the deadline and review the jurisdiction of the Board with you.   The Board will be notified of the deadline for filing and the date the appeal was filed.  The Board will determine the validity of the appeal in accordance with the Municipal Government Act.

If you missed the appeal deadline, it is important to ensure you are prepared to present the reasons for the late filing or to justify why you believe the filing was not late. The Board must make this determination prior to proceeding with a hearing on the main concerns of the appeal. 

Public Inspection

Appeals to the Board may be made available for public inspection pursuant to section 686(4) of the Municipal Government Act R.S.A. 2000 c. M-26. upon request to the Board Clerk.  

If you have questions contact the Board Clerk:

Phone: 403-342-8132

Filing an Appeal

Where can I get an appeal form?

The Notice to Appeal is available below, or alternatively by contacting the Board Clerk using any of the below methods:

Please Note:

The Notice to Appeal is not deemed to be received by the Board unless both the specified fee (see below for details) AND the completed Notice to Appeal Form are received by the Board Clerk.

How do I file an appeal?

In Person

  • In person service is suspended at this time, we are offering a number of alternative filing methods.


To the Attention of the Board Clerk:

Legislative Services, Box 5008, Red Deer, AB T4N 3T4

  • Include Notice to Appeal Form and cheque if applicable (Make cheques payable to The City of Red Deer).
  • Notify the Board Clerk of the submission 

Drop Box

To the Attention of the Board Clerk:

  • Located at the entrance of City Hall

Electronic Filing

To the Attention of the Board Clerk:

What should my appeal form include?

At the initial filing you must submit the following:

  • The Notice to Appeal Form;
  • The Filing Fee;
  • The reason(s) you are filing an appeal.

Recommended Documents

  • A copy of the decision letter from the Development Authority from the Development Authority or Municipal Planning Commission.

Once the Notice to Appeal is processed you will be contacted by the Board Clerk regarding scheduling a hearing. A Notice of Hearing will then be issued to the Parties to provide details of the hearing, the hearing process and the exchange of documents between Parties.

When submitting the appeal and any subsequent documents, keep in mind that information that is considered by the Board is routinely available to the public. If you have concerns regarding privacy, please contact the Board Clerk.

Please note: If you find later that you forgot to include a reason or a comment, you may provide this information at the hearing.

Appeal Filing Fee

Filing Fee

Your Notice to Appeal must be accompanied by a $75.00 filing fee AND may be subject to a further $75.00 advertising fee for industrial and commercial applications.

There is no charge for an Affected Person to file an appeal.

Method of Payment

In person payments are suspended at this time, as an alternative we are accepting cheques made payable to The City of Red Deer using regular mail or drop box, see below for details:


To the Attention of the Board Clerk

  • Box 5008, Red Deer, AB  T4N 3T4
  • Make cheques payable to The City of Red Deer
  • Include Notice to Appeal form, contact information and date submitted


To the Attention of the Board Clerk

  • Located at the entrance of City Hall
  • Make cheques payable to The City of Red Deer
  • Include Notice to Appeal form, contact information and date submitted
  • Notify the Board Clerk of the submission via email: or phone: 403-342-8132

Please note: Credit Card payments must be arranged by contacting the Board clerk via email or by phone. 

Preparing for the hearing

I filed an appeal, what happens next?

Hearings will be scheduled with the Board and the Parties within 30 days days from the date that you file your appeal.

  • The Board Clerk will notify you in writing of the date, time, and place of the Board hearing. Your Notice of Hearing contains the deadlines for your disclosure.
  • For development appeals, the Board Clerk will notify adjacent property owners within 100 meters of the subject property (as specified in the Land Use Bylaw).
  • For subdivision appeals, the Board Clerk will notify
  • The Board Clerk will schedule a hearing date within 30 days from the date that you file your appeal.
  • Hearings typically begin at 5:00 pm; however, daytime hearings can be requested.
Evidence (Disclosure)

Both Parties to the hearing will be asked to exchange the information they intend to present at the hearing (disclosure) within a reasonable timeframe. The purpose of disclosure is to assist the Parties in being aware of materials that will be presented in order to prepare for the hearing.

The Appellant (the person that filed the complaint) and the Development Authority must submit to each other, and to the Board, the evidence and information they wish to use to support their position. Some examples of evidence include verbal testimony, written testimony, photographs, maps, plans and drawings.

If you require further information regarding disclosure deadlines or Board procedures, please contact the Board Clerk within Legislative Services at: or by phone 403-342-8132.

What type of information should I submit?

The Board relies on written evidence presented as well as verbal submissions made during the hearing as the basis for its decisions. It is therefore critical that Parties appearing before the Board ensure sufficient evidence is presented to support their respective positions.

The Appellant should not rely on the Development / Subdivision Authority to make the case for them. It is the responsibility of each Party to present evidence to support their position or respond to the issues raised by the opposing Parties. The Parties should be prepared to provide a verbal presentation to the Board in a clear, concise and logical manor.

The Board does not consider prior appeals when making its decisions. Each application is judged on its own merits. In accordance with the legislation that governs the Board, it can only consider relevant information when rendering its decision.

Listed below are some suggestions that will assist with preparing your evidence submission:

  • Include as much information as possible so that the Board can fully understand what you are appealing;
  • An explanation of your proposed development or the use you intend on the property;
  • Site plans and elevations or a drawing of the site and buildings,
  • Photographs; and/or
  • A list of specific reasons why you feel your appeal should be granted.
How do I submit my evidence?

It is helpful if you provide your initial written arguments in advance and in sufficient detail to allow all Parties to respond to the argument at the hearing.

It is preferred that arguments be provided electronically but if necessary, may be provided via mail. If providing arguments via mail ensure adequate mailing time. All documents should be clearly marked with page numbers.  If filing electronically, ensure that the number of files you submit is logical and easy to reference.  You may wish to consider combining several documents.   

Within the timelines outlined on the Notice of Hearing, you are requested to:

  • provide a copy of your pre-hearing disclosure to the opposing Party(s), AND
  • the Board.

Any additional information that is to be presented should be provided by electronic means to the Board Clerk and opposing Parties no later than 4:00 PM the day before the scheduled hearing to allow time for distribution to the Panel members. Please note that large submissions received after this time may cause the hearing to be postponed. All submissions at the hearing will be marked as exhibits and will become part of the public record.

If you require further information regarding appeal board procedures, please contact the Board Clerk at:

Relevant and Non-Relevant Planning Considerations

Relevant and Non-Relevant Planning Considerations

The Board will base its decision based on the evidence provided by you.  Some examples of evidence include verbal testimony, written testimony, photographs, maps, plans and drawings. 

Be proactive, ensure you have a clear understanding of the decision or conditions that you are in disagreement with. Doing so will help you determine if there is a right of appeal and what the potential outcome could mean. Dialogue between Appellant and the Development Authority or the Appeals Office are encouraged, to seek clarification prior to moving forward.  

Below are some examples of relevant planning and development concerns the Board may consider:

  • Proposed Use
  • The suitability of the land for the proposed use
  • Non-compliance with Land Use Bylaw (height, setback, parking, density, etc.)
  • The adequacy of access to the site
  • The provision of services and utilities
  • Traffic
  • Landscaping
  • Intensity of Use
  • Noise
  • Existing and future surrounding land users
  • Environmental considerations

Below are some examples of non-relevant planning and development concerns the Board does not consider:

  • Financial impact to the Applicant
  • Comments regarding the character of an individual
  • Business competition
  • Precedence (the Board may consider prior decisions but it is not bound by them.  Each appeal is considered based on its own merits)


What are the hearing format options?

In-Person Hearings – Typically these hearings will take place in Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, Red Deer City Hall (subject to room availability). 

Written Hearings – If the Parties have elected a written hearing, they will not appear before the Board. Although the hearing date is set the Parties will not be in attendance to the hearing. The decision will strictly be based on the Board’s review of the written submissions received by the Board.

Virtual Hearings – Teleconference or Video Conference – At time of scheduling the Parties must identify their preference if wishing to attend electronically. The Notice of Hearing will identify the agreed upon platform. The Parties will be in attendance to the hearing electronically to provide oral arguments.

What happens at the hearing?

Hearing Procedures

The Board is a quasi-judicial Board and hearings are semi-formal. Parties are given an opportunity to present their evidence and arguments and the Board may ask questions of clarification.

The hearings are business casual, you may want to wear something similar to what you would wear to a job interview.

Three or five Board members will hear your appeal. One member will act as the Chair. You may call the Chair Mr. Chair or Madam Chair and the side members by their last names.

Before the appeal is heard, the Chair will typically announce the procedure to be followed.

  • The Board will address any preliminary matters. This includes questions about procedures, disclosure issues and requests to adjourn.
  • The Development Authority will present their case first.  After each witness has testified, the Appellant can question them. The Board may ask questions of each witness.
  • The Appellant will then present their case. You will usually be the first witness and may call other witnesses. After each witness has testified, the Development Authority can question them. The Board may ask questions of each witness.
  • Be as specific as possible. Describe the evidence that supports your case. Make your comments to the Chair, not to other Parties or the other Board members.
  • Matters not related to planning include comments regarding a person's character and commercial competition. If you stray from planning matters, the Chair will advise accordingly.
  • If the Appellant has raised a new issue that was not covered initially, the Development Authority may present rebuttal evidence in response to the new issue.
  • If the Development Authority has raised a new issue that was not covered initially, you may present rebuttal evidence in response to the new issue. 
  • When all the evidence has been presented, the Development Authority may present closing arguments followed by the Appellant’s closing arguments. This includes a summary of your case and the arguments supporting them.
  • The Board members may ask questions at any time.
  • After closing statements the Chair will adjourn the hearing.

Tips for presenting

  • The Board suggests that all speakers limit their presentations to five to ten minutes.
  • The Board will only hear the relevant planning matters of the appeal. If you stray from them, the Chair will let you know.
  • At the beginning of your presentation introduce yourself for the record and state your position (in favour or opposition of the appeal).
  • Introduce your speakers.
  • Speak to the Chair or through the Chair.
  • Reference any pages, paragraphs, sections and/or article of any documents you are quoting.
  • Present your opinion regarding any errors in fact or interpretation.
  • Show photographs, illustrative materials and well prepared drawings throughout your presentation.

After the hearing 

The Board will deliberate in private following the hearing. The Board will consider both verbal testimony and written submissions from all Parties.

Can someone act on my behalf?

You have the option of self-representing or having someone act on your behalf, please ensure to notify the Board Clerk.

Please note: Anyone attending the hearing on your behalf should be prepared to discuss and answer questions with respect to your position.


We recommend that you attend your hearing as your case is stronger if you are present. You will be able to question witnesses, answer questions and respond to arguments or objections made.

If you do not attend the hearing, it still take place unless you have submitted a request for a postponement or adjournment. The Board will review the information you have disclosed (written submissions/evidence) and make a decision based on it.

Postponement and Adjournment

In exceptional circumstances, the Board may consider rescheduling your hearing. To request a postponement or adjournment, a Party to the appeal must submit a request in writing.

Requests for postponement are made prior to commencing the hearing, the Board will issue a decision in writing (electronically followed by regular mail).

Requests for adjournment are made at the hearing, they should be brought forward as a preliminary matter. If granted, the Board will schedule a new hearing date. If denied, the hearing will proceed as scheduled.

The request must include the following:

  • Contact information including daytime phone, mobile phone & email
  • Detailed reasons for the postponement or adjournment
  • Hearing dates requested
  • Dates when you are unavailable to attend a hearing

The Board must not adjourn or reschedule a hearing unless there are compelling reasons to do so. The Board must balance the rights of the Parties to a fair hearing with the efficiency in processing appeals.


When will a decision be issued?

A written decision will be issued to the participating parties via email and regular mail within 15 days of the conclusion of the hearing.

For any other person wishing to receive a copy of a decision please contact the Board Clerk at

What happens if I do not agree with the decision?

The decision of the Board is the final approving authority on development within the City of Red Deer.

However, the decision can be appealed to the Court of Appeal on a question of law or jurisdiction. If you wish to appeal you must follow the procedure found in sections 688 of the Municipal Government Act which requires an application for leave to appeal to be filed and served within 30 days of the decision.


How do I withdraw my appeal?

Withdrawing an appeal

You may withdraw your appeal by completing the SDAB Withdrawal Form (pdf) in advance of the scheduled hearing and filing it with the Board Clerk and the opposing Party. Without a withdrawal in place the hearing will continue. Your cooperation will prevent any unnecessary delays for the Board and help the efficient and effective use of resources.