Skip to main content Skip to footer

Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB)

The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) is a board established by Council bylaw that makes decisions relative to subdivision and development appeals. One member of Council and up to four members-at-large sit on the board are are appointed for two-year terms at the Council Organizational Meeting.

What does the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) do?

The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board is responsible for making decisions on Development Appeals. If you appeal a decision of the Development Authority ie. the Municipal Planning Commission or Development Officer, your appeal will be heard by the SDAB.

A Subdivision and Development Appeal Hearing works in a similar way to a court hearing, in that you will provide evidence to support your case and opposing parties will be given a chance to provide any additional information and answer questions. The board will make their decision based on this evidence and the applicable provincial and federal laws.

We have compiled some Frequently Asked Questions concerning Subdivision and Development Appeals and the appeal process below, for your convenience.

If you require any additional information or would like to discuss the process in more detail, please contact our Planning Department at or call (780) 864-3760.

You can file an appeal of the Development Authority's or Subdivision Authority's decision for a number of reasons:

To file an appeal, you will need to complete and submit a Notice of Appeal Form along with the $100 application fee. You must submit appeals within 21 days of when the decision you are appealing was made in writing. Notices of Permits and Approvals will be posted on our website, along with social media, and in the Central Peace Signal or other local newspaper, where available.

Fees can be paid via cheque or card at the County office. The fee for an appeal postponement is $250.

Completed forms and associated fees can be dropped of at the County office during regular business hours or mailed to us at:

Saddle Hills County

Subdivision and Development Appeal Board

RR1, Spirit River, AB. T0H 3G0

Before you file an appeal, our Planning Department or Subdivision and Appeal Board Clerk would be happy to offer any advice or assistance. Visit us or call our office at (780) 864-3760 to be directed to the relevant staff member. You may also choose to employ the services of a certified legal consultant should you require additional assistance or guidance on your appeal.

A Subdivision and Development Appeal Hearing functions similarly to a court hearing.

You will be required to submit your evidence and a summary of any testimonies you wish to present to the Subdivision and Appeal Board Clerk at least seven days prior to the hearing.

To help you prepare, we have compiled some items for you to consider:

  • Determine the relevant planning issues associated with the appeal, such as compliance or non-compliance with the Land Use Bylaw, site context and layout, traffic and parking, building mass, privacy, shadowing, landscaping, intensity of use, and noise.
  • The SDAB cannot consider non-relevant issues that are outside of their jurisdiction when deciding the appeal, including precedence, business competition, comments regarding someone's character, financial impact on the applicant, financial status of the applicant, or whether the development is occupied by renters or owners.
  • Prepare a clear and concise presentation and be prepared to summarize it.
  • Be familiar with the site related to the development and your appeal.
  • Provide photographs, illustrative material, well prepared drawings, or written submissions to the hearing as documentary evidence if it will be of assistance to the board in making their decision.
  • Speak to neighbours or others affected by the proposed development and ask that they consider speaking on your behalf or write letters outlining their position for the board.
  • Consider if you want to represent yourself, seek professional advice, or ask someone else to present the case on your behalf. Please note that while most citizens represent themselves, if there is doubt as to whether the SDAB has the legal right to hear the appeal, you may want to seek professional advice. 
  • Review the contents of the SDAB Hearing package provided by the SDAB Clerk prior to the meeting.
  • Co-operate in the hearing as fully as possible to prevent any delays. Your attendance at the hearing will allow you to answer any questions posed by the SDAB. 
  • Do not speak to members of the SDAB about an appeal, or potential appeal, prior to a hearing as this will disqualify them from participating. Board members do not discuss the case with the Development or Subdivision Authority before the hearing.

  1. Before the appeal hearing begins, persons who wish to speak or receive a written copy of the Board's decision are registered by SDAB staff.
  2. All attendees, board members, and staff are then asked to enter the hearing room.
  3. The appeal is introduced by the SDAB Clerk, who will read the appeal into the record of the hearing.
  4. If a development permit has been refused, the Development Authority is heard first, followed by the Appellant, whereas if a development permit has been approved, the Development Authority is heard first, followed by the Appellant and then the Respondent. In a Subdivision Appeal, the Subdivision Authority is heard first, followed by the Appellant.
  5. The Appellant will be asked to summarize their reasons for the appeal and have others to speak in support of their position, if applicable. Board members may then ask questions.
  6. The Respondent and any others in attendance at the hearing with an interest in the appeal will then present their position. Board members may then ask questions.
  7. The SDAB Chair will then ask if the Appellant wishes to respond to any new information raised during the course of the hearing.
  8. At this time, the public hearing is adjourned and the SDAB board will enter a Closed Meeting to discuss the appeal.

Exhibits used during the hearing, such as written notes. statements, or photographs, will be retained by the SDAB at the end of the hearing.

The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board will present its decision and reasons in writing, within 15 days of the SDAB Hearing. A decision is not considered binding, or final, until this written decision has been issued. 

Exclusions from Decision Making

In making their decision the Board can not, on its own initiative, seek information or evidence but can only rely on the written evidence or verbal submissions given at the hearing.

The Board does not consider precedent when making a decision; each application is judged on its own merits and the information presented. 


To postpone an SDAB Hearing, you must submit a written request, including the reasons for the postponement, to either to the Board at the time of the hearing or to the SDAB Clerk prior to the hearing. Hearings are postponed at the discretion of the Board.

If you are not in attendance at your Appeal Hearing, the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board may proceed without you. The SDAB board will consider the information presented on the original Notice of Appeal Form, alongside any written submissions received and the presentations of anyone in attendance, before making a ruling on the appeal.

If you know you cannot be at the hearing, it is important that you describe your position clearly and in as much detail as possible on your Notice of Appeal Form or submit a request to postpone the hearing ahead of time.

To withdraw your appeal, a Withdrawal Request should be submitted in writing to the SDAB Clerk, as soon as possible. This will help prevent any unnecessary delays and allow the County to use its resources most effectively.

The decision of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board is final, unless it can be shown that the Board erred in law or jurisdiction.

Appeals can be filed with the Alberta Court of Appeal, within 30-days of the written decision issued by the SDAB.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Stay up to date on the Saddle Hills activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our eNewsletters.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.