A complete Notice of Appeal must include:
- A completed Notice of Appeal Form
- Payment of fee:
- $100.00 for development appeals (includes development permits and stop orders), or
- $200.00 for subdivision appeals.
Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Process
The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) hears appeals from people claiming to have been affected by development authority or subdivision authority decisions. Appealing a decision to the board involves filing an appeal, scheduling of an appeal hearing, and preparing for and attending the hearing. Note that no appeal is available for development permits issued for permitted uses unless the provisions of the Morinville Land Use Bylaw were relaxed, varied or misinterpreted. No appeal to the SDAB is available for an amendment to a statutory plan or the Land Use Bylaw by Council.
The Secretary of the SDAB and Planning & Economic Development staff will not act as an agent, counsel or advocate to any party, nor will they offer an opinion on the merit or lack of merit of any appeal. Information provided by staff and on this website is for your assistance only, and it cannot be construed as legal advice nor will it assure you of a favourable decision.
Who May Appeal to the SDAB?
In the case of a decision on a development permit application:
- the applicant for a development permit, or
- an “affected” person (e.g. neighbours) by the decision may appeal.
In the case of a decision on a subdivision application:
- the applicant for subdivision,
- a Government referral agency, or
- a school authority may appeal.
- Note that neighbours cannot appeal a subdivision application.
In the case of a Stop Order:
- anyone subject to or affected by the Stop Order may appeal.
Who is an affected person?
Examples of an affected person are someone who owns property, carries on a business or resides in the vicinity of a proposed development. A person who merely visits the area probably may not qualify as an affected person.
Where and when to appeal?
A Notice of Appeal Form must be completed with reasons for the appeal. A hard copy of this form may be obtained from:
Town of Morinville
10125 - 100 Avenue
Morinville AB T8R 1L6
An appeal including the fee must be filed with the SDAB Secretary within the specified timeframe below.
Timelines for Appeal
With a development permit application or stop order, an appeal must be filed within 14 days:
- in the case of the applicant or recipient of the order: from receipt of the notice of decision or order, or from the date following the 40-day period after the receipt of a complete development permit application, or from the date following any extension to that period expires.
- in the case of affected persons: after notice of the issuance of a permit was given in accordance with the Morinville Land Use Bylaw. Notices are dated based on the print publication in The Morinville News for consistent timelines and are posted on the website here.
With a subdivision application, an appeal must be filed within 14 days from receipt of the notice of decision or after the expiration of the time to make a decision prescribed in the Subdivision and Development Regulation. If a decision is sent by regular mail, the Municipal Government Act Section 678(3) allows five days for the notice to be delivered. The time period does not include the day the notice was sent. Note in some cases, an appeal lies with the Municipal Government Board. The appropriate appeal body is indicated in the written notice of decision.
What Happens When you File an Appeal?
Within 30 days of filing an appeal, the SDAB must hold an appeal hearing. Prior to the hearing, the appellant and other affected persons will be notified in writing of the location, date and time of the hearing. If you are unable to attend the scheduled meeting, please contact the Secretary of the SDAB to attempt to arrange for the hearing to be rescheduled or recessed.
As an appellant making a presentation to the SDAB, it is your responsibility to substantiate your planning arguments with evidence. The onus of proof is on each party to prove or substantiate their arguments or respond to the issues raised by other parties, and they should not rely on the Development or Subdivision Authority to make the case for them. Listed below are some suggestions that may assist you in preparing your presentation to the SDAB:
- Contact the Planning and Economic Development staff listed on the notice of decision to review the application and to clarify and discuss the proposed development.
- Determine relevant planning issues and understand what non-relevant planning considerations are:
- Examples of relevant planning considerations include, but are not limited to:
- Conformance with statutory plans
- Density and neighbourhood design
- Site layout/building design – location, setbacks, height, elevations, massing, architectural controls, themes, materials, etc.
- Orientation and relationship to surrounding land uses – compatibility
- Parking requirements – provision and availability
- Transportation – modes – existing volumes – capacity – traffic generation
- Utilities – existing infrastructure – capacity
- Views – privacy – appearance to and from site
- Public safety – barriers – sight line protection
- Environmental impact – stormwater – pollution – efficiency
- Landscaping – treatments – buffers between different land uses
- Examples of non-relevant planning considerations include, but are not limited to:
- Precedence (applications must be considered on their own merits, regardless of the outcome of a similar proposal)
- Character (consider only the use of the land, do not discriminate against the people who use it, including whether it is occupied by renters or owners)
- Personal gain / loss (decisions should be based on the greater public good without unduly infringing on the rights of individuals, not how it may affect or benefit a particular developer or property owner)
- Ethical relations (be impartial, fair and unbiased, not lenient or judgemental based on the relationship with or political power of an applicant or landowner)
- Business competition (consider only appropriateness and compatibility, not on how it may affect private business)
- Examples of relevant planning considerations include, but are not limited to:
- Review relevant planning documents such as the Morinville Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan (MDP), Area Structure Plans (ASPs), Municipal Sustainability Plan, Recreation, Parks and Open Space Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Utility Servicing Plan, Morinville Heritage Survey, etc. (All of these documents are available for download from the "Planning Documents" box to the right.) Note that the MDP and ASPs are statutory plans which are binding, while other planning documents are non-statutory and, while they can be taken into consideration, are not binding.
- Where appropriate and possible, back up any asserted claims with proof. Factual evidence bears much more weight than anecdotal evidence. For example, simply stating a proposed development will impact your property value is typically not sufficient. You need to show how and why that is the case.
- Prepare a written presentation to ensure that key issues are not overlooked and that your presentation to the SDAB will be complete, clear, concise, and logical. Consider including photographs of the site and the surrounding area to support your presentation.
- Consider contacting other persons affected by the appeal (e.g. neighbours, etc.) to attend and speak at the hearing or compile letters of support.
While it is important to obtain support for your position, the SDAB considers each application on its own merits and weighs all planning evidence presented. It does not make its decision solely based on the support or opposition of affected parties.
You may submit your written material to the Secretary of the SDAB in advance of the hearing. If you choose to do so, it must be received at least 1 week prior to the hearing in order to be included in the agenda package. Keep in mind that large submissions presented at the hearing may cause the hearing to be postponed while the Board reviews the submissions.
At least 5 days before an appeal hearing the agenda package may be downloaded here, or you may pick up a hard copy at the Town of Morinville office at St. Germain Place, 10125 – 100 Avenue. Remember, SDAB members must refrain from discussing any matters before the Board with any party involved.
The SDAB encourages all parties involved in an appeal to discuss the issues prior to the hearing and throughout the appeal process. Such discussions may result in a resolution or an agreement between the parties. If a resolution is reached which involves changes to the proposed development, the appellant should submit the amendments to the SDAB at the outset of the hearing for their consideration.
In an effort to increase the effectiveness of the hearing process, the SDAB may determine procedural matters or jurisdictional matters, or both, at the commencement of some appeal hearings. This could include determining the nature and scope of the hearing, whether an appeal has been filed on time, requests for adjournment, etc.
The following are some tips to assist you in making a presentation to the SDAB:
- If you file an appeal you are expected to make a verbal presentation to the SDAB. Persons who have been notified of the appeal also have the right to present.
- If desired, persons may have someone speak on their behalf.
- If a number of persons are presenting on the same development, it is recommended that a spokesperson be selected to organize presentations so that evidence is not repetitive.
- At the beginning of your presentation, introduce yourself, whether you are representing on behalf of others, and your position in favour or opposition of the appeal.
- To maintain a respectable environment, always speak to the presiding Chair or through the Chair.
- The SDAB is not an evidence seeking body. It relies on evidence presented in written and verbal submissions at hearings to base its decisions. Therefore it is critical that persons appearing before the SDAB ensure that sufficient evidence is presented to support their positions.
- To support your arguments, you may present documents, photographs or other materials throughout your presentation. A projector screen is available for presentations – contact the Secretary of the SDAB in advance of the hearing to make arrangements for use of the projector. Reference any pages, paragraphs, or sections of any documents you are quoting. You will be asked to leave a copy of your written presentation and any materials that you presented to the SDAB with the SDAB staff.
- The SDAB only hears the relevant planning matters of the appeal. If you stray from them, the SDAB Chairperson will let you know.
Individuals who have presented their case will be given an opportunity for rebuttal once the SDAB has heard from all interested parties. Rebuttal is an opportunity to refute information and evidence presented since the last time you spoke that you could not have reasonably anticipated. It is not an opportunity to reargue your case or create a new argument.
Once the SDAB has heard from all parties concerning the appeal, the Board will deliberate on the outcome of the appeal in private. The SDAB must give its written decision together with the reasons for the decision within 15 days of concluding the hearing.
A decision of the SDAB is final and no appeal lies on their decision, except where a person claims the SDAB erred in a matter of jurisdiction or law. In such cases, an application for leave to appeal may be filed with the Alberta Court of Appeal within 30 days of the decision of the SDAB. Appeals of the SDAB’s decisions are governed by Sections 688 and 689 of the Municipal Government Act. If you are considering an appeal to the Court, it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel.