Do I need approval for a residential driveway?
You will require approval from Planning and Development Services for driveway construction if the answer to any of the following is “yes”:
- You wish to increase the width of an existing driveway;
- You wish to construct a driveway that is wider than 10 meters, or wider than 2/3 of your lot’s front width (whichever is less). For instance, if your lot's front width is 12 meters, the maximum driveway width is 8 meters. If your lot's front width is 16 meters, the maximum driveway width is 10 meters;
- You wish to construct a driveway in an established neighbourhood (not new / still under development);
- Your planned driveway will have an impact on City infrastructure. Such "obstructions" may include trees, power poles, street lights, fire hydrants, signs or utility boxes.
If you have questions, drop by Planning & Development Services and we will be happy to help you. We are open Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm. It is advisable to phone ahead if you would like to meet with someone to talk about obtaining approval.
Planning & Development Services
2nd Floor, City Hall 580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB
What is the cost?
- If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, then it is likely there will be no permits or other approvals needed, therefore there would be no cost to you.
- Driveway development permit, infill (i.e. new driveway in established neighbourhood) - $179.45
- The cost for approvals for all other variances, if such approvals are granted, depend the individual situation. There is no fee to meet with Planning & Development Services to discuss your planned driveway project.
List of all fees
Before you start pouring concrete, make sure you have approval!
Choosing to proceed with driveway construction without obtaining the necessary approvals may have serious consequences; including removal of the driveway at the owner’s expense. The Medicine Hat Land Use Bylaw #4168 is the governing document for all developments within Medicine Hat, including driveway construction. Contractors and homeowners who are planning projects should familiarize themselves with the regulations in this document.
For your convenience, the sections of the Bylaw pertaining to driveways have been compiled into 3 short pages, available here.
Driveway Crossings Construction Details figures are available here.
Bigger is not necessarily better.
Having an extra-large driveway may sound like a good idea if you want more parking or you just don’t like maintaining lawn. However, aside from requiring a Development Permit, a very large driveway impacts safety, street parking, property values and storm water drainage which affects the whole neighbourhood. Consider alternatives like low-maintenance xeriscaping, mulch or permeable paving stone. There are many options that offer more decorative and eco-friendly solutions than concrete.
For ideas, see:
Water Efficient Landscaping