How Does This Impact Everybody?
Below we have compiled a list of some of the ways that this proposed Land Use Bylaw will impact everyone in Thorhild County. It's not complete, but if we itemized everything, we'd have a manual of 246 pages to share with you! Be sure to check the other pages that may impact you, such as impact on Agriculture, Families, and Businesses.
Full disclosure: this is not a comprehensive list of all of the ways this will impact everyone in this county. We are a small group of people who also have families, farms, and jobs to keep us busy throughout the days and evenings. Let us know if you see something we forgot or haven't gotten to yet!
All Land Uses in Thorhild County
There are over 100 examples of requirements are "to the satisfaction of," "in the opinion of," or "to the discretion of," the Development Authority -and other similar phrases- throughout the whole Bylaw where there are no guidelines or framework to what that opinion, satisfaction, or discretion may be. This could include "unsightly" colours or designs.
Section 1.4, page 2
If your development has a permit and was conforming or did not require a permit before this new Bylaw is enacted BUT is now not conforming with Bylaw standards or needs a permit, it is NOT grandfathered in (like the Provincial Municipal Government Act says it should be) and requires permits and/or adjustments and is subject to enforcement.
Part 7, pages 91-94
The development authority may stop use and construction of land or buildings, demolish, remove, or replace any structure that contravenes this Bylaw after providing 48 hours notice to enter the property. Appropriate forms of communication include notices that are provided personally, mailed by regular mail to the last known address, or left at the property with an agent or employee of the owner. Each day following the receipt of a ticket is considered a separate offence. Each offence will be NO LESS than $125 plus court costs.
Section 9.4, pages 106-107
Barbed wired fence requires a permit. Combined with enforcement, this is all existing barbed wire and any future barbed wire fencing
Fence height maximum measurements (including and berms or structures the fence is built on and any privacy fencing/screening) for side and rear portions is 6.5 feet (2.0m) and front yard height isd 3.3 feet (1.0m)
Section 9.10, page 118
You cannot erect, relocate, or alter a sign without an approved permit. This could include business signs and family name signs/ rocks/ placards at the end of your driveway.
Quality and appearance of the sign is to be "to the satisfaction" of the development authority - meaning, if they don't like it, you have to remove it.
Animals and Chickens
Chickens: Section 10.1.1, page11
Section 4.1.5(a)ii, page 61
Hen Enclosure Definition, page 202
Animals: Section 2.15(m), page11
Enclosures of ALL sizes (fences, buildings, even pails, etc.) used by chickens are required to have a permit. Farm or not. The Bylaw directs us to the "Urban Hen Bylaw" which does not exist and was voted AGAINST in January 2020, and the "Animal Control Bylaw," which only regulates dogs in the county.
Lots from 5 to 15 acres have a maximum number of animals as designated "per County Bylaw." This is another document that does not exist to regulate animals other than dogs.
Section 9.8.3 (f), page 112
Any water deeper than 1.9 feet is required to be fenced off and requires a development permit. While this may seem ridiculous, the language is clear that this applies to any water and this could include your rain barrel(s)!
Architecture, Projections Above Grade, and Appearance
Section 9.6, pages 108-109
Section 9.7, page 109
Chimneys: maximum 3.9 feet (1.2m)
Canopies, Porches, Stoops, Steps: Front yards - maximum height 8.2ft (2.5m). Side yards - maximum 3.9ft (1.2m)
Decks: MAXIMUM height: 9.8ft (3.0m). Any taller than 2ft (0.6m) requires a permit. All decks fall under lot coverage requirements.
Balconies: Maximum 4.9ft (1.5m) projection
Design of your buildings and structures may be at the discretion (again) of the Development Authority