A Guide to Backyard Sheds and City of Calgary By-Laws
Building a backyard shed can be a great addition to your property, providing extra storage space, a workshop, or even a relaxation area.
However, before you start planning your shed project or renovation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the bylaws and regulations of the city of Calgary. Adhering to the shed bylaws not only ensures the safety of your property and neighbors, but it also helps you avoid fines and legal consequences. In this blog, we will explore the bylaws governing backyard sheds in Calgary, the importance of adhering to them, the consequences of ignoring them, and the steps for compliance. So let’s dive in and understand the rules and regulations that apply to building backyard sheds in Calgary. If your accessory building does not meet the current City of Calgary bylaws, then it could spell trouble for you when it comes time to submit your RPR for a compliance stamp.
Understanding Calgary’s Backyard Shed Bylaws
When it comes to building backyard sheds in Calgary, it’s essential to know the rules and regulations set by the city. Understanding the bylaws will help you avoid legal issues and ensure the smooth construction of your shed. The city of Calgary has specific bylaws that govern the construction, size, height, and placement of sheds on residential properties. These bylaws are designed to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the city, protect property values, and promote the safety of the community.
Importance of Adhering to Shed Bylaws in Calgary
Adhering to the shed bylaws in Calgary is of utmost importance for various reasons. First and foremost, following the bylaws ensures the safety of your property and neighbors. By building your shed within the legal boundaries, you can minimize the risk of accidents, property damage, or structural issues. Additionally, complying with the rules prevents fines and legal consequences, which can be costly and time-consuming. By adhering to the bylaws, you contribute to the harmony of the community, as building sheds outside the legal limits can strain neighborly relationships. Moreover, building sheds within the bylaws maintains the legal status of your property, which can be crucial if you plan to sell or renovate in the future. It is important to note that these regulations extend beyond sheds to include other structures such as balconies, decks, fences, porches, and stairs. Ensuring that all these elements are kept in “good repair” is essential for maintaining a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for everyone in the community.
Consequences of Ignoring Bylaws
Ignoring the bylaws governing backyard sheds in Calgary can have serious consequences. Non-compliance can result in fines and legal penalties, which can significantly impact your budget and project timeline. In some cases, the city may even require the removal of the shed if it violates the bylaws. This can be a major setback, causing the loss of time, money, and effort invested in the construction of the shed. Furthermore, disregarding the bylaws can strain relationships with neighbors, creating unnecessary tension and conflict within the community. It’s important to remember that ignorance of the bylaws does not exempt you from the consequences, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the rules before building your shed.
Steps for Compliance with Shed Bylaws in Calgary
To ensure compliance with the shed bylaws in Calgary, it’s essential to follow the proper steps and procedures. By doing so, you can avoid legal issues, fines, and potential setbacks in your shed construction project.
Do You Need a Permit for Your Backyard Shed?
Determining whether you need a permit for your backyard shed, pergola, or greenhouse in Canada is the first step towards compliance with the bylaws. The permit requirement depends on the land use district of your property. Checking the land use district will help you understand the maximum height, lot coverage, and setback rules, which determine permit eligibility. It’s important to verify these rules and regulations before proceeding with the construction of your shed. If a permit is required, you will need to submit the necessary documents, such as the real property report, for the permit application. For clarification, you can consult the planning services centre by email or by visiting their office. You may require additional permits depending on if it meets the rules of the Land Use Bylaw or if you are doing any electrical or plumbing work, including garden boxes.
Planning Approval Process for Sheds over 10sqm
If your shed exceeds 10 square meters, you will need planning approval (development permit) before construction. Understanding the city’s regulations regarding maximum height, lot coverage, and setbacks is crucial in the planning approval process. You will need to submit the required documents, including the real property report, for the planning approval (development permit). It’s advisable to contact the planning services centre for guidance on the planning approval process, as they can provide the necessary information and support. By ensuring compliance with the city’s bylaws, you can obtain the necessary approvals and proceed with the construction of your shed.
Key Considerations for Building Backyard Sheds in Calgary
While building a backyard shed, there are various key considerations to keep in mind to ensure compliance with the bylaws and the smooth construction of your shed.
Size and Height Restrictions
The city of Calgary has specific rules regarding the maximum lot coverage and height of the shed. It’s crucial to adhere to these rules, as exceeding the maximum limits can lead to legal issues and non-compliance with the bylaws. Familiarize yourself with the maximum height allowed for the shed structure, as different land use districts may have different height restrictions. Determine the legal size of the shed based on the land use district of your property, ensuring that it falls within the prescribed limits.
Placement Rules and Property Line Proximity
In addition to size and height restrictions, the city of Calgary also has rules regarding the placement of sheds on residential properties. It’s important to follow these rules to avoid legal complications. Maintain the required distance from the rear property line, as violating the property line proximity rules can lead to legal consequences. Consider side property line restrictions when planning the location of your shed, as different land use bylaws may have different rules for side yard setbacks. Also, be aware of the rules regarding the proximity of the shed to utility lines, swales, and arc surveys, to ensure compliance with the bylaws.
How can the City’s Classification of Maintenance Free Siding Impact Your Shed Design?
The city of Calgary has rules and regulations regarding the use of different siding materials, such as stucco, siding, or other options, on the exterior of the shed. It’s important to understand the city’s classification of maintenance-free siding and how it may impact your shed design as a homeowner. Different siding options may have different building permit requirements, so it’s crucial to ensure compliance with the city’s rules when choosing the siding material for your shed. For official interpretation of the various bylaws, you can consult the bylaw and planning services centre.
How To Address Common Issues with Real Property Reports and Accessory Buildings?
To avoid potential issues, it’s important to ensure that your real property report is up to date and accurately reflects the current state of your property. Familiarize yourself with the bylaws and regulations related to accessory buildings, such as sheds and carports, in your city. Consulting with a professional surveyor can help you determine the exact property lines and setbacks before building any accessory structures. Obtain the necessary permits and approvals from the planning services centre to ensure compliance with the bylaws. Regularly maintain and inspect your accessory building, including the shed, to address any potential issues or violations.
In conclusion, it is crucial to adhere to Calgary’s backyard shed bylaws to avoid any legal consequences. Make sure you understand the size and height restrictions, as well as the placement rules and property line proximity. If your shed is over 10sqm, you will need to go through the planning approval process. Additionally, consider how the city’s classification of maintenance-free siding can impact your shed design. Lastly, address any issues with real property reports and accessory buildings to ensure compliance. By following these guidelines, you can confidently build a backyard shed that not only meets your needs but also complies with the city’s regulations.
Shed By-Laws FAQ
How Big Of a Shed Can I Build in Alberta Without a Building Permit?
In Alberta (typically) your shed will need to be smaller than 108 square feet or 10 square metres. If an accessory structure is larger than 10 square metres (108 square feet) or if it doesn’t adhere to the specified height and location criteria, permits are necessary.
How close to My Property Line can I put my Shed?
Sheds typically require a minimum setback of 5 feet from the rear property boundary and 2 feet from the side boundary. Whether you’re considering one for storage or as a personal retreat like a she-shed, be aware that regulations can differ by city.
Your property report will have your main residential building lines, and your property lines, and your accessory building information if there is any previous buildings. This will also give you a sense of where you can place certain things within your property.
Can I put a Shed Next To my Fence?
In Alberta What is Considered an Accessory Building?
In Alberta, an accessory building typically refers to a structure that is secondary to the main building on a property and is not intended for human habitation. An accessory building falls into categories like sheds, garages, workshops, and greenhouses. Accessory residential buildings are things like detached garage or similar building (shed, pergola, gazebo, greenhouse, arbour, workshop, playhouse or detached carport). These are Accessory residential buildings according to the Land Use Bylaw, and will require a building safety approval (building permit) if: It is greater than 10 m2 (107 sq. ft.)
These structures are meant to complement the primary building or residence and serve a specific purpose, such as storage or workspace.
The specific definitions and regulations regarding accessory buildings can vary by municipality within Alberta, so it’s essential to consult local bylaws or planning departments for precise details and requirements.
- Sheds: Used for storing tools, garden equipment, or other items.
- Garages: Structures designed to house vehicles.
- Workshops: Spaces dedicated to crafts, woodworking, or other hands-on activities.
- Greenhouses: Structures for growing plants in a controlled environment.
- Carports: Open-sided shelters for vehicles.
- Gazebos: Open-air structures for relaxation or entertainment.
It’s important to note that the specific definitions and regulations regarding accessory buildings can vary by municipality within Alberta. Therefore, consulting local bylaws or planning departments for precise details and requirements is recommended.
Is there Permit Fees or a Permit Fee in Calgary?
In Calgary, the permit fees for accessory buildings or structures, such as sheds, vary based on several factors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the fees related to building permits:
- Residential Alterations: For alterations like basements, garages, additions under 400 square feet, the total fee is $333.84. This includes a permit processing fee of $112, a base fee of $209, and a Safety Codes Council Fee of $12.84.
- New Backyard Suite: The total fee for a new backyard suite is $1,302.08, which consists of a permit processing fee of $112, a base fee of $1,140, and a Safety Codes Council Fee of $50.08.
- Carport, Hot Tub, Swimming Pool, Interior Renovation, Fireplace, Retaining Wall, Deck, Porch, Garage Renovations and Garage Additions: The total fee for these alterations is $205.92. This includes a permit processing fee of $112, a base fee of $86, and a Safety Codes Council Fee of $7.92.
- Addition Over 400 Square Feet: The total fee for additions over 400 square feet is $1,302.08, which includes a permit processing fee of $112, a base fee of $1,140, and a Safety Codes Council Fee of $50.08.