Appealing a Decision

The Subdivision & Development Appeal Board?

Just like in the courts, decisions on subdivisions and certain development permits can be appealed to a higher body, in this case, the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board (SDAB). SDAB is a quasi-judicial board, consisting of one Council member and four residents of St. Albert, appointed by Council.

What can be appealed? Who can file an appeal?

Development permit - approval, refusal or conditions of approval

  • Property owner/applicant
  • Citizen or group that feels they are impacted by the decision

Enforcement order or "stop order"

  • Property owner/applicant

Subdivision or conditions of subdivision

  • Property owner/applicant
  • Government department to which subdivision was referred
  • School board if an application is related to school reserve land

How do I file an appeal?

The Municipal Government Act regulates the Appeals of Development Permits and Subdivisions.

For Development Permits

If your application is approved as a discretionary use, the City must notify landowners within a 30-metre radius of your property. If any neighbours have a concern regarding the approved development, they have a right to appeal the approval to the City of St. Albert Subdivision and Appeal Board (SDAB). You also have the right to appeal any development condition attached to the approval. If no appeals are received within 21 days from receipt of notification, construction may begin.

A Development Permit Appeal can be filed with the Legislative Services Department, located on the 3rd Floor, St. Albert Place, within the 21 day appeal period. Appeal fees are set by Council. In order to appeal a Development Permit, you need to include the following:

Development Appeal Form

There is a $195.00 fee for a development appeal.

For Subdivisions

A Subdivision Appeal can be filed with the Legislative Services Department, located on the 3rd Floor, St. Albert Place, within 14 days after receipt of the written decision of the Subdivision Authority. The date of receipt of the decision is deemed to be 7 days from the date the decision is mailed. In order to appeal a Subdivision, you need to include the following:

Subdivision Appeal Form

There is a fee of $3,200 for a subdivision appeal.

At the first meeting, after your appeal is filed, SDAB will determine the radius from the subject property within which landowners will be notified of the appeal. Legislative Services will then send out notices and schedule the appeal for the following SDAB meeting.

What happens in the hearing?

The Board Secretary introduces the appeal and asks if any person objects to any of the members hearing the appeal. If there is no objection, the hearing proceeds. A member of the Planning and Development staff provides information regarding the appeal (interpretation of the Land Use Bylaw and/or Provincial legislation) and responds to technical questions from Board members.

Next, an appellant, the person appealing, is expected to make a verbal presentation regarding the appeal. If there is a large number of appellants for one specific appeal, the Chairman may ask that a spokesperson be selected so that the evidence presented will not be repetitive.

The Chair will then call upon other interested parties to speak to the appeal, after which the appellant will be given a final opportunity for summation. Members of the Board may question speakers.

In accordance with legislation governing the SDAB, the Board will consider only relevant planning evidence when rendering a decision.  Relevant planning evidence may include design, parking, traffic, compliance with legislation and impact on neighbouring properties. Each appeal is judged on its own merits.

After the Board has heard the evidence, it meets in-camera (behind closed doors) to consider the appeal. A decision does not have to be provided at that time but must be given in writing within 15 days. In most instances, the Board will arrive at a decision immediately following the appeal hearing and provide it to the parties verbally. The written decision must be signed by the chair before it is final. Permits will be released when the decision is signed.

Presentation Tips


  • Focus on the planning use. Characteristics of the users of the proposed development are not taken into account, nor are issues of economic benefit, loss or property values.
  • Precedence is not a planning principle.
  • Be informed, practice your presentation, and stick to planning matters.
  • Visual aids are available. Advise the Board Clerk at least 24 hours in advance of the appeal if you wish to use a visual aid.

Related Pages

Last edited: May 14, 2020