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Detached Garage & Shed Permit

Detached garages, sheds and accessory buildings are free standing structures with independent foundations from the main dwelling.

Development Considerations

  • The first step of any project is obtaining Development approval.  Approval is obtained when a Development Officer reviews the submitted site plan and building drawings and determines that they meet the minimum requirements outlined in Land Use Bylaw 5700.
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  • Detached garages and sheds are considered Accessory Buildings and have specific requirements which are outlined in Land Use Bylaw 5700All accessory buildings must:

o Be located in side and rear yards only,
o Be located no closer than 0.60m (2’-0”) to any side and rear property line,
o Be no closer than 1.2m (4’-0”) to the principal building located on the parcel,
o Be no taller than 4.5m (14’-9”) in height,
o Cover no more than 14% of the parcel.

  • For further information please contact Development Services by telephone at 403-320-3920 or by email at developmentservices@lethbridge.ca
  • Required Permits & Inspections

    • Accessory buildings under 10m² (100ft²) are considered moveable structures and do not require a permit.
    • Building Permit: requires one Final inspection when siding, soffit and & fascia are complete, prior to insulation & vapor barrier.
    • Electrical Permit: may be issued to the homeowner or licensed contractor. A Rough-in and Final Inspection are required.
    • Gas Permit: will only be issued to a licensed contractor. A Rough-in and Final inspection are required (if garage is heated). 

    Design Considerations

    Foundation
    • Accessory buildings up to 55m² (592ft²) may be supported by a mud sill or floating slab on grade.
    • Structures over 55 m2 (592 ft2) are required to have a strip footing and 4 ft foundation wall below frost line or an acceptable independently engineered foundation.
    • Accessory buildings with dimensions greater than 9.14m x 9.14m (30' x 30') are required to have full strip footings or an independently engineered foundation.
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    Permit Application

    • Completed application form
    • Homeowner Electrical and Declaration forms (applicable if Homeowner is not having the work completed by others)
    • Site plan
    • Elevation drawings
    • Construction drawings with Truss Manufacturer letter & roof layout, or Vendor supplied material list & installation manual if using a pre-fabricated package.
    • Four sided Elevations

    Detached Garage with a Secondary Suite

    The City’s Land Use Bylaw 5700 outlines the requirements for secondary suites in detached garages.  By definition, a ‘Secondary Suite, New’ may be located within or above a detached garage.

    The Alberta Building Code classifies a Detached Garage which has a suite – either above, or on the main level - as a second dwelling unit on the parcel. Although the garage is an Accessory Building, an application which includes a suite has the same requirements under the ABC as a new Single Family Dwelling and must be applied for as such.

    Development Requirements

    A Development Application must be made and a Development Permit approved prior to applying for a Building Permit. Requirements include, but are not limited to:
    • The Zoning / Land-Use must be:
      • R-L (Low Density Residential)
      • R-M (Mixed Density Residential)
      • R-LF (Low Density Flexible Residential)
      • U-I (Urban Innovation): 'Secondary Suite, New' must be listed as an allowable use
      • D-C (Direct Control): 'Secondary Suite, New' must be listed as an allowable use
    • If constructing in an R-L (Low Density Residential) district, neighbors are notified of an application prior to a decision being made on the Development Application.
    • If constructing in an R-M (Mixed Density Residential) district, the secondary suite is a Permitted Use and neighbors are not notified.
    • Three off-street parking stalls must be provided (pertains only to R-L and R-M Districts) following the specifications in the Land Use Bylaw
    • If approval has been granted for a Secondary Suite in the primary dwelling, an application for a Detached Secondary Suite will not be approved.
    • The primary purpose of the structure must be a detached garage. The area of the ‘Secondary Suite’ must not exceed 50% of the total area of the detached garage.

    Building Permit Application

    Once development is approved, you may apply for your building permit. Although the garage is an Accessory Building, an application which includes a suite has the same requirements under the ABC as a new Single Family Dwelling and must be applied for as such.

    • When applying online with eApply, be sure to select the option of 'New Home' for the type of work.

    Type of Work.jpg

    • A Home Warranty number will likely not be applicable for the application. Enter ‘n/a’ in the field.
    Home Warranty.jpg
    • Select 'Detached Single Family - One Storey' or 'Detached Single Family - Two Storey' as the Type of New Home Construction based on the build type.
    • Enter the Secondary Suite's liveable space in the "Main Floor" and "Second Floor". If the Secondary Suite is located above the garage, a minimum value of 1 must be entered for the "Main Floor". The square footage for the garage portion will be reported under "Attached Garage".