The Land Use Bylaw provides rules for development.

The City's Land Use Bylaw (#4168) outlines the rules and regulations for development of land in Medicine Hat for each land use district (zone). It also establishes the process of making decisions for Development Permit applications.

View Land Use Bylaw

Apply for a Development Permit

A Development Permit is a necessary first step to ensure that your planned project meets land use requirements. 

Development Permits

Apply for a Subdivision

Subdivision is the legal process of dividing a parcel of land, or consolidating separate parcels together.  

Subdivision Development

Land use maps

The maps shown below overlap.

Land use districts


Low Density Residential District (R-LD)

See Land Use Bylaw section 6.2.

Purpose: To allow for the Development of new residential areas with low density built forms while allowing densification in Established Neighbourhoods in the form of Duplexes, Secondary Suites, and Backyard Suites.

Medium Density Residential District (R-MD)

See Land Use Bylaw section 6.3.

Purpose: To allow for the Development of new residential neighbourhoods with low rise built forms at medium densities while allowing contextual densification to occur in Established Neighbourhoods. 

Mixed Use

Mixed Use District (MU)

See Land Use Bylaw section 7.1.


  • To maintain and promote key corridors and nodes as focal points for compact mixed use development.
  • To encourage densification that supports pedestrian and transit oriented design while remaining compatible with the character of adjacent residential neighbourhoods.

Downtown Mixed Use District (MU-D)

See Land Use Bylaw section 7.2.

Purpose: To maintain and promote the Downtown as a focal point for compact mixed use development, while preserving the historical character and pedestrian oriented nature of the neighbourhood. 

High Density Mixed Use District (MU-HD)

See Land Use Bylaw section 7.3


  • To support new high-density urban living opportunities through a mix of largescale residential and mixed-use developments.
  • To accommodate compatible commercial components within a primarily residential development that increase the services and amenities for the development and neighbourhood.
  • To recognize the unique context of each Site and encourage the highest and best use by establishing minimum Density, Building Height, and Floor Area Ratio requirements. 
  • To encourage high quality Site design, Building architecture and Landscaping.


Neighbourhood Commercial District (C-N)

See Land Use Bylaw section 8.1.

Purpose: To maintain and promote small scale commercial development that serves the needs of the immediate neighbourhood, while encouraging incorporation of residential uses above commercial uses in multi-Storey Buildings. 

Regional Commercial District (C-R)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 8.2.

Purpose: To maintain and promote regional nodes located along principal transportation corridors as a focal point for commercial development.

Highway Commercial District (C-H)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 8.3.

Purpose: To maintain and promote commercial development with high visibility along major transportation corridors that is compatible with both commercial and industrial adjacent uses.


Business Industrial District (I-B)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 9.1.

Purpose: To create a transition area between commercial and industrial Districts in which commercial activities occur primarily indoors and do not create adverse impacts to other lands, while allowing for limited activity in outdoor areas.

General Industrial District (I-G)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 9.2.


  • To provide for industrial businesses whose activities may occur in whole or in part outdoors but generally do not have a significant adverse impact on other Sites.
  • To provide an area for compatible non-industrial businesses.

Heavy Industrial District (I-H)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 9.3.

Purpose: To provide for large scale industrial uses that may be incompatible with uses in other Districts, and to allow for industrial uses that include significant outdoor activities.


Historic Clay District (HC)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.1.


  • To reinforce and support the vision of this area of the City as a tourism destination.
  • To encourage the development of the area as a heritage, arts, and cultural hub.
  • To establish the opportunity for complementary commercial uses that support tourism and local neighbourhood needs.

Community Services District (CS)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.2.

Purpose: To provide for the development of social, non-profit, educational, governmental, religious and other public and private institutional services, as well as limited infill residential uses.

Open Space District (OS)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.3.

Purpose: To provide for the development of open spaces within the community that may contain landscaped parks, natural areas, recreational and cultural facilities, and related Accessory Uses.

Utilities District (U)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.4.

Purpose: The purpose of this District is primarily to provide for the development of large scale public utility infrastructure.

Airport District (A) 

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.5.

Purpose: The purpose and intent of this District is to ensure the development of a high quality gateway to the airport lands. This gateway is to be attractive and developments must be complimentary to and support the success of the airport, while ensuring the integrity and safety of the airport operations.

Future Urban Development District (FUD)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.6.

Purpose: To protect lands identified as future greenfield development areas from premature subdivision and development until urban development of the land can proceed in an orderly fashion consistent with the City’s Municipal Development Plan and other statutory plans, and the Municipal Servicing Standards.

Direct Control District (DC)

See Land Use Bylaw Section 10.7.

Purpose: To allow City Council to exercise particular control over the use and development of specific Sites or Buildings in circumstances where in the opinion of the Council a proposed Development does not fit into any other District, or where a Site or Building requires a unique approach to establishing parameters for future development.

Rezoning land

A land use amendment (rezoning) is required if you wish to develop your site in a manner that is not allowed by the current zoning. If you are a property owner, or an agent acting on behalf of a property owner, and wish to rezone a property, the process is described below.

What is it?
The rezoning of a property involves changing a portion of the Land Use Bylaw.

An application is required. See How to apply, below.

A planned development of a greenfield area also requires amending the Land Use Bylaw, as future land uses must be designated to specific land parcels.

It's advisable to contact Planning & Development Services as a first step. A staff member can let you know of the likelihood of department support for the application, based on feasibility and potential impacts to the neighbouring properties. This is not an indication of the final decision of City Council, but it may provide you with a measure of guidance in whether you wish to move forward with your application.

How much does it cost?

The application fee for a Land Use Bylaw amendment (rezoning) varies depending on the type of amendment.

2024 rezoning fees:

  • Typical rezoning: $4,200.00
  • Intensification rezoning: $2,100.00
  • Rezoning to Direct Control district: $7,875.00

We will contact you with the amount of your application fee and payment options once we have reviewed your application.

If the application for rezoning is refused by City Council, the application fee is non-refundable.

For a complete list of fees for Planning & Development Services, visit:

Building, Development and Business Fees

How to apply

A rezoning of a parcel of land is requested by applying for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment.

Apply online

For questions, contact Planning & Development Services
Ph. (403) 529-8374

How long will it take?
Approximately 3 months.

While there is no official time limit to rezone a property, it will take approximately 3 months from application submittal to Council decision, depending upon the complexity of the application.

If the rezoning application is approved, you must still apply for a Development Permit to approve any new land use, and apply for a Building Permit to approve any new construction.