Secondary Suite Development

The City of St. Albert regulates Secondary Suites in residential areas, as per Land Use Bylaw 9/2005, Section 8.14, "Dwelling, Secondary Suite". Property owners who wish to build a Secondary Suite are required to obtain a development permit. Only one Secondary Suite is permitted on a lot with a single-detached house.

A Secondary Suite is not permitted in any housing type other than a single-detached home.

A Secondary Suite is a secondary dwelling unit, located within an accessory to a single-detached house, and contains cooking, washroom, living, and sleeping facilities which are separate from those of the principal dwelling on the site. A Secondary Suite includes the development or conversion of basement space, or where all or a portion of the suite is located at, or above grade. This use does not include a Garage Suite or Garden Suite.


A separate entry for the Secondary Suite, either from a common landing or from the exterior, is required. If the entry is from the exterior, it shall be located on the side or rear of the principal dwelling unit.

Bylaw Requirements

A Secondary Suite shall not be:

  • More than three bedrooms
  • Less than 30sq. m. in area;
  • Architecturally incompatible with the principal dwelling unit;
  • Subject to separation from the principal dwelling by registration of a condominium or subdivision plan so as to create a separate legal title for the secondary suite; and
  • Considered in the calculation of densities as outlined in statutory plans.

Parking Requirements

  • Parking required: 1 on-site parking stall is required for a basement suite unless it is a 3-bedroom suite, in which case 2 parking stalls are required (note: 2 parking stalls are required for a single detached house; required parking for secondary suites is in addition to these 2 stalls). 

Application Checklist

An application for a development permit will only be accepted once the application is deemed complete.

Your Application Must Include:

  1. Download and Complete the:
    Building / Development Permit Application Form
  2. Fees = $548.28, including:
    • Development permit - $229.00
    • Building permit - $307.00
    • Safety Codes fee - $12.28
  3. Certified Copy of Title and copies of any registered instruments that may affect development
  4. Two Copies of a Site Plan in metric (minimum 1:100 scale) showing:
    • The entire lot;
    • Property lines with dimensions;
    • Location of the house on the lot with dimensions from the property lines; and
    • Location and dimensions of all parking spaces on the lot. Identify secondary suite parking space(s). 
  5. Two copies of Floor Plan Drawings that show:
    • The floor areas of the secondary suite and main dwelling;
    • Types and sizes of the bedroom windows;
    • Locations of electrically connected smoke alarms;
    • Exit door(s) and required bedroom exit window(s);
    • Wall and ceiling construction materials and details;
    • Locations of all rooms within the secondary suite;
    • Additional information may be requested upon review.
  6. Building Elevation:
    • A building elevation (or existing photograph) of the house, accurately drawn to scale and clearly indicating where the entrance to the secondary suite will be located. 


Filing an Appeal

If your development permit application has been approved with a variance, the City must notify affected parties within a specified radius of the approval. Property owners affected by the decision have the right to appeal within 21 days of the receipt of the decision. A decision may also be appealed by the applicant if the Development Officer fails to issue a permit within 40 days, or the applicant does not agree with the decision of the Development Officer. 

Note: The information contained herein only applies to provisions as set out in the City of St. Albert Land Use Bylaw. Compliance with the Alberta Building Code is subject to a separate review process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to comply with any other regulation, code, or legislation not covered under the Land Use Bylaw.

Additional fees apply to file an appeal, encroachment agreements and building permit applications. The applicant does not have a right of appeal if the Development Officer fails to issue a Development Permit within 40 days if the applicant or owner has signed an extension agreement in accordance with section 684 of the Municipal Government Act.


Applying for a Secondary Suite Guide

Development Applications & Forms


Related Pages

Last edited: December 12, 2022