Development Services

Please be advised that the Planning Department is currently receiving a large volume of development-related applications and requests for planning information.  We are currently experiencing staffing shortages and as such, applicants may experience longer application processing and review times. Applications are being received and processed in sequence, and staff is reviewing information as efficiently as possible. However, please anticipate a delay in responses from the M.D.’s Planning and Development Department during this time. We thank you for your patience

The following is an update regarding the business operations of the Planning & Development Services Department considering the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.  

UPDATED - January 12, 2021: Currently the entire Planning & Development Services Department is working remotely, due to COVID-19 related health protocols.  Through these unpredictable circumstances, our goal is to maintain a satisfactory level of government service, however we ask for your patience and understanding. As there is limited staff physically in the office, obtaining an answer to certain inquiries may take longer than usual. If the answer to your Planning or Development question can not be found on our website, please email your questions to one of our Planning Staff. 

Application Submission
As the M.D. of Bighorn offices are currently closed to the public, please submit Development Permit and Compliance applications via e-mail to:

Alternatively, please submit Subdivision and Land Use Bylaw amendment applications to:

E-mail inquiries are preferred to phone calls as we currently do not have immediate access to all municipal records and may need some time to prepare a response to your inquiry.  Please note that all application forms and drawings should be submitted electronically. Under the circumstances, we have relaxed our practices to accept pictures of documents to be sent via email when a person does not have scanning capability.  We will not accept any deliveries of applications to our office in Exshaw. If an application includes large files, we ask that applicants please e-mail us in advance of submitting their application and we will advise them where they can send large files. Upon receipt of an application, a member of our team will follow up to arrange for payment.  A review of your application will then take place.  You will be advised by email the status of your application review.

Safety Codes Permit Information
The M.D. is no longer an accredited municipality for building services. Please visit the Safety Codes Permit page on our website to search for Accredited Agencies, or direct links to Alberta Safety Codes Authority information. 

Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) and Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) Meetings
These meetings are now being conducted virtually due to COVID-19. All regular MPC and SDAB Meetings will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams. Members of the Public are invited to watch the Live Stream of these meetings on the MD of Bighorn YouTube Channel.

Participation at the virtual MPC meeting is open to the public via telephone and video conferencing. The MPC will hear from staff, the applicant and those person(s) claiming to be affected by a proposal(s). For more information, please contact the Planning & Development Services department.

For participation for MPC meetings, please contact Joy Tavares, Planning Administrative Assistant (

For participation for appeal hearings, please contact Carol Pegg, Executive Assistant

Note: regular MPC Meetings are held every 3rd Wednesday of each month, and SDAB Meetings are held as advertised. Please use the Notify Me option for when Agenda's are posted for meetings on the M.D. website.

Below is a list of small process changes we’ve had to implement based on current working conditions as of January 12, 2021:

  • Document pick-up: Any documents that would normally be picked up in office will either be e-mailed or mailed to the applicant.
  • Notice of Application/Decision: These will be sent electronically (via email) to the applicant.
  • Documents for Land Titles: Please contact Planning Staff to coordinate any documents that are required to be sent to Land Titles. Note that there may be some delays with regard to the Land Titles process, and we request your patience. 
  • Compliance Assessments: These will be sent electronically to the applicant.
  • Payment methods: By credit card via OptionPay on the MD's website or by mailing a cheque to the M.D. office.

Please refer back to this page for future updates on information regarding the M.D.’s Planning & Development Services Department. We are committed to providing the best possible service as we also ensure the health and safety of the public and our team members.