Secondary Suites

Secondary Suites are allowed on a discretionary basis in Red Deer. You'll need several permits whether you are constructing a suite in a new build, creating a suite in an undeveloped basement, or renovating an existing basement to accommodate a suite.

What are the regulations?

What is a Secondary Suite?

A secondary suite is generally defined as any self-contained dwelling unit that is located within a primary dwelling unit, where both dwelling units are registered under the same land title. A dwelling unit means a self-contained building or a portion of a building usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities and used as a permanent residence by a household.

Secondary suites are allowed on a discretionary basis in single family homes located in residential districts. Each neighborhood is only allowed 15 per cent of the total number of detached dwelling units to have secondary suites. You can use Web Map to ensure the neighborhood your suite is in has not reached this maximum. Refer to Using Web Map to determine secondary suites Instruction Manual (pdf) to learn how.

  • Only one suite per detached dwelling.
  • If the suite has two or less bedrooms, a total of three parking stalls are required on the site.
  • If the suite has more than two bedrooms, a total of four parking stalls are required on the site.
  • A hard surfaced walkway is required from the secondary suite parking area to the entrance.
  • Acceptable parking stalls include a driveway, attached garage, detached garage, or gravel parking area.
  • The minimum size of a parking stall is 2.7m wide by 5.5m deep.
Do I need permits?

Yes, a Development and Building Permit are both required for a secondary suite. Depending on the extent of the work, you may also require electrical, gas, heating, and plumbing permits.

Explanation of Permits

Learn about the different criteria that we review before issuing a Development Permit and a Building Permit. 

Development Permit

A Development Permit is required to ensure that the secondary suite complies with the Land Use Bylaw in regards to zoning, location, and parking requirements. 

How long does it take to process?

Note: During building season (April 1 - October 31), processing times may take longer, due to the number of applications that are submitted during this time.

In most cases, it will take 5-7 business days for review of the application. Consultation with neighbouring landowners is required for secondary suite applications. This process is two weeks.

Once the consultation period is over, if the Development Officer chooses to approve and move ahead with the application, there is a 21-day appeal period before the permit can be issued.

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Development Permit Fee Bylaw to find the fees associated with the Development Permit.

Building Permit

A Building Permit is required to review the safety components of constructing a secondary suite, ensuring it is constructed correctly and is safe for you to use.

How long does it take to process?

Note: During building season (April 1 - October 31), processing times may take longer, due to the number of applications that are submitted during this time.

In most cases, it will take 7-10 business days to review and issue. The Building Permit cannot be issued until the Development Permit has been issued. 

What are the fees?

Please refer to 'Schedule A' of the Safety Codes Permit Bylaw to find the fees associated with a Building Permit for garages and carports.

Permit Application Process

Check out what is included with each step of the process, from preparing your documents to beginning construction.

Who can apply?

A homeowner or licensed contractor can submit permit applications. If you are not the owner of the property, you will need to include a Letter of Authorization (pdf) with the application package.

If you are a contractor requiring a City of Red Deer Business Licence, please visit our Licensing page before submitting your permit application.

Step 1: Prepare your documents

Before submitting your permit applications, you need to prepare all the plan documents and forms that are required for your submission. Review the respective requirements list and forms for each permit.

User Guides

These guides will help you prepare and save your required plan documents to submit during your application process.

Development Permit

Building Permit

Step 2: Submit your applications

How do I apply?

Development Permits

Development Permits can be submitted via email. Submit a fully completed package, including all spaces filled out on each application form and providing all items on the requirements list from Step 1: Prepare your documents. A complete application package allows us to start your file. Email the package to development@reddeer.ca.

Building Permits

Building Permits can be submitted online using MyPermits. Please ensure you have all the documents and drawings you need for your project by following the requirement list and plan submission standards documents from Step 1: Prepare your documents. You will be required to upload these files to ProjectDox to complete your application. If the application is incomplete, the permit will be returned to you to submit the missing items.

  1. Visit MyPermits and complete a Building Permit application.
  2. You will receive an email to the address you specified as the applicant inviting you to access your project in ProjectDox for your permit application.
  3. Log in to ProjectDox with an existing account or with your temporary password provided in the email.
  4. Upload the plan documents you prepared for your application from the Upload & Submit task on your dashboard.

For assistance, refer to our ProjectDox Applicant Guide (pdf).

link to the MyPermits site
 

Building Permits can also be submitted via email. Submit a fully completed package, including all spaces filled out on the application form and providing all items on the respective requirement list from Step 1: Prepare your documents. Email the package to inspections@reddeer.ca

Step 3: Processing your applications

Once we receive your complete permit applications, the Development Officer and the Building Safety Codes Officer will conduct a review of the permits, ensuring the proposed development complies with the Land Use Bylaw and the Safety Codes Act, respectively.

You will receive email notifications throughout the application process, including:

  • If we need more information;
  • When payment is required;
  • When the permit is issued.

Good to know info...

Did you know that some email servers will block City of Red Deer emails? These emails will often end up in your junk/spam mail folder! Please add @reddeer.ca as an allowable sender to make sure you are receiving our emails.

Step 4: Sub-trades permits

You will need additional permits to put in lights and outlets, heat and plumbing.

  • Electrical - for wiring outlets and lights or sub-panel
  • Heating - for heating devices, such as a wood stove (solid fuel appliance)
  • Gas - for gas appliances, such as a unit heater, radiant heater, furnace or a boiler
  • Plumbing - for floor drains, sinks, showers, wash stations, etc.

Who can apply?

Homeowners:

The City of Red Deer allows homeowners to obtain permits; however, if you have no previous knowledge or experience with these installations, you should engage the services of a licensed contractor to apply for the required permits and complete the work.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Gas permits may only be obtained by a licensed gasfitter
  • Heating permits may only be obtained by a licensed heating contractor
  • Homeowners cannot obtain an Electrical Permit for the following work:
    • hot tubs or pools
    • main service or panel changes
    • duplex, townhouse or any unit with a shared wall
    • secondary suites
    • solar panels
    • rental properties
    • electrical car charging stations.

Contractors:

Contractors applying for permits require a valid City of Red Deer Business Licence. Please visit our Licensing page should you require a new or renewed licence prior to applying for your permit.

How do I apply?

Homeowners and contractors can apply online using MyPermits, or submit an application form via email to inspections@reddeer.ca.

link to the MyPermits site
 
Step 5: Site inspections

What inspections will I need?

The required inspections will be determined when the Safety Codes Officer reviews your application, and will be listed on the Safety Codes Building Permit when it is approved and issued.

If you've obtained any sub-trade permits, you may need two inspections during the course of the respective permit. 

  1. A rough-in inspection before concealing any work
  2. A final inspection once everything is complete

If you obtain multiple sub-trades permits, these inspections will apply to each permit type.

When can I schedule an inspection?

Once your Safety Codes Building Permit has been approved and issued, you will receive an email with instructions of how to schedule an inspection.

How do I know the outcome of my inspection(s)?

You will receive an email notification informing you of the outcome of each inspection.

Questions?

Email: inspections@reddeer.ca
Phone: 403-342-8190