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What is the Impact on Acreages?

Below we have compiled a list of some of the ways that this proposed Land Use Bylaw will impact "Country Residential" lots up to 10 acres, like acreages in Thorhild County. If you haven't yet, check out the Impact on Everybody page - you will notice some overlap between sections.

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!

Retroactive non-compliance

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.

Subjective Language

Entire Bylaw

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 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 2.2.3, page14


Definitions, page 186

  • Intensive agriculture is not permitted: exotic animal husbandry, apiaries, nurseries, commercial greenhouses, market gardens, small-scale poultry, and pork operations. 

  • Extensive agriculture is not permitted: crop and livestock production are included in this definition.

  • Agricultural processing is also not permitted: small scale meat processing, seed cleaning (drying and milling), cannabis production and processing, and "other similar" processing uses (we don't know exactly what "other" means - there is no attached definition)

  • No equestrian facilities


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.

Open Water

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)!

Dwellings, Lots, and Yards

Section 2.2.3, page 14-16

Section 9.5, page 108

Section 10.2.1, page 138

Section 9.2, page105

  • Maximum 1 dwelling per lot and one garage or garden suite permitted

  • All buildings, house included, are only allowed to cover a maximum of 20% of the lot. 

  • Height restriction of 10m (32.8ft) for all buildings. Accessory buildings are limited to 6m (19.7ft) in height

  • There must be a minimum of TWO accesses to the property - one roadway and one public utility lot

  • No unsightly objects or uses in yards (again, in the opinion of the Development Authority)

  • No propane tanks that exceed 150L in any combination of tank size without a permit. Permits for 150L+ tanks are valid for ONE year.

Outbuildings and Storage

Section 2.2.3, page 14-16

Section 9.5, page 108

Section 10.2.1, page 138

Section 10.7, pages 174-176

  • Accessory buildings can only account for 3.5% lot coverage, to a maximum of 4000 square feet. Largest accessory building allowed is 2500 square feet.

  • Accessory buildings are limited to 6m (19.7ft) in height

  • There must be 7.9 feet minimum between a principle building and any accessory buildings

  • All accessory buildings must be behind the front line of the principle building

  • 1 to 4.9 Acres: Maximum ONE 40-foot shipping containers, or TWO 20-foot containers

  • 5 to 9.9 Acres: Maximum TWO 40-foot shipping containers, or FOUR 20-foot containers


Section 9.8, pages 110-112

  • All landscaping requires permitting

  • Landscaping must be completed within one year of occupancy or the start of operation of the development

  • Acceptable front yard landscaping includes vegetable gardens, rock gardens, manicured lawns, ornamental plants, xeriscapes (little to no water required), BUT fruit trees are not permitted

  • Residential uses must have 2 coniferous trees, 2 deciduous trees, 5 coniferous shrubs and 5 deciduous shrubs

Alternative Energy

Section 10.6.2 and 10.6.3, pages 171-173

  • No ground-mounted solar permitted in front yards

  • Ground-mounted solar require a permit

  • Roof-mounted solar requires a permit if the total height of the building and solar panels exceeds the allowed building height (6m or 10m)

  • Wind-powered systems must be finished in matte, non-reflective finish and at the discretion of the Development Authority

  • No lettering, symbols, or advertising is permitted on wind-powered towers or blades (except manufacturer and owner identification, which are also at the discretion of the Development Authority)

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