Residential and commercial demolition

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demolition

Planning to demolish or move a building?

If you plan to demolish or re-locate a building or other structure within the City of Medicine Hat, you must have approved permits before you proceed to avoid potential consequences such as safety hazards and/or fines. This page will provide you with the information you need to do the job right.

NOTE: If you are demolishing a detached residential garage and not replacing it with another garage, contact Property Assessment.

 

Planning an interior demolition?

If you plan to demolish a residential interior wall, ceiling, plumbing system, etc., please refer to the Home improvement hub for more information. Or phone Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374 if you have questions.

 


Do I need a development permit to demolish or move a building?

It depends on the building or structure, and the situation.

Development permit not required if:

The building will be replaced with a new building (however, you must apply for a development permit for the new building), or
The building is 10 square meters or less in area, and
The building is less than 45 years old.

Development permit required if:

The building will not be replaced with a new building, or
You are planning to move a building to a different location, even on the same site, or
The building is 45 years old or more (it may be flagged for historic review - see Historic buildings below).

 

Do I need a demolition permit to demolish or move a building?

Generally, a demolition permit is required whenever you are demolishing or relocating a building. This can include partial demolition as well as reducing a house to foundation and rebuilding. However, there are some exceptions.

Demolition permit not required if:

  The building is a detached residential accessory building, and
  The building is 10 square meters or less in area, and
  The building has no utility services, nor primary utility meters/connections for the residence, and
  There are no hazardous materials (ie: asbestos) in the construction of the building, and
  The demolition can be completed within one day and does not create a hazard to the public.

 

Ensuring no hazardous materials are present

As a part of the demolition application, you must submit an asbestos abatement report prior to starting demolition. This report must verify that:

  the building has been inspected by a professional company and there are no signs of asbestos, or
  the asbestos has been abated by a professional company.

To obtain this report, contact a company which provides a service for asbestos inspection/testing. (An internet search for "asbestos testing" will assist you). The City of Medicine Hat does not offer this service, nor can the City recommend or endorse any private companies.

 

Risks when a permit is not obtained

If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

  Enforcement action issued by a City inspector.
  A fine for doing a demolition or move without permits.
  Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
  Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
  Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

NOTE: As a property owner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.

Remember, we are here to help! Call Planning and Development Services at 403.529.8374

 


1 - Determine which application(s) you need.
(See What permits do I need). You can then download checklists and forms (below) and complete them.

icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Application 

NOTE: A development permit (if required) must be applied for and approved prior to building permit and trade permit applications.

icon_PDFDemolition Permit Checklist
icon_PDFDemolition Permit Application

2 - Have drawings ready: Site plan required (2 copies).

3 - Have other required documents outlined in demolition permit checklist (hazardous materials report, fire safety plan, etc.)

4 - Have a definite start date of demolition determined (must be within 90 days of your application).

5 - Bring all these required documents and apply in person, to:

Planning & Development Services
2nd Floor, Medicine Hat City Hall
580 1st Street SE

6 - Application fees will be required. The City accepts payments in cash, cheques and debit (not credit cards). View fee schedule.


What if I am not the property owner?

If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes. The forms you need are below:

icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Land Owner Consent (included on Development Permit Application)

icon_PDFLand owner consent - Building permits


How long will it take to obtain my permits?

Development Permit: A DP application for a demolition will generally be reviewed within a few days.

Demolition Permit: If conditions are met, the demolition permit will be issued right away over the counter. A plan check letter will be mailed to you within 15 days of the permit issuance.

You cannot demolish or move a building until the demolition permit has been reviewed and a plan check letter issued by a Building Safety Codes Officer.



These instructions are provided as a guide for your demolition/relocation project. For specific questions regarding the various utilities' procedures and applicable fees, please contact that particular utility provider.

1 - Apply for permits with Planning & Development Services. You must have required permit(s) and plan check letter before you proceed. See Applying for permits above.

2 - Utility disconnection:  You must determine which utilities will be disconnected. Contact each provider separately and obtain disconnect verification, including date of disconnection.

  Electric Distribution 403.529.8262
  Gas Distribution 403.529.8190
  Sewer and Water utilities 403.529.8176
  Shaw (residential customers): 1.888.472.2222
  Shaw (business customers): 1.877.742.9249
  Telus (residential customers): 1.888.811.2323
  Telus (business customers): 310.3100

3 - Inspection:  On the date you provided, once the demolition is complete, a Safety Codes Officer will inspect the site. If the demolition date is changed, please contact Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374 with the new date.

•  Had a recent Safety Codes inspection? Please do our quick survey!

NOTE:  Don't remove survey markers. Boundary markers are one-meter long metal pins inserted in the ground at the intersection of property lines. It is illegal to remove or tamper with these markers.

icon_PDFSee Guide to Survey Markers for more information

   


To help preserve the Medicine Hat's history, the Heritage Resources Committee (HRC) identifies and evaluates heritage resources around the city, both public and private.

Some buildings and sites are included in the Inventory of Historic Resources, a list of properties that are deemed to have architectural, heritage or cultural value and thereby merit preservation.

 

How are permit applications managed?

If there is a development or building permit application made relating to building or site which has heritage value (as defined above), the application is referred to the HRC. This provides an opportunity for the owner, the HRC and other City departments to work together to ensure that the property's heritage elements are not adversely affected by the development activities.

If the site is designated as an Historic Resource (Municipal, Provincial or Federal), it is protected by law. An applicant for development must complete an additional form to ensure alignment with the corresponding regulatory restrictions. Search Historic Resources.

The Heritage Resources Committee also has a compilation of properties referred to as Places of Interest, a larger list which is continually being evaluated for potential heritage value.

If there is a development or building permit application made relating to a building or site on this Places of Interest list, it will be reviewed for potential heritage value. This is an automatic process, as such properties are flagged in the City's electronic permitting system. When appropriate, the committee works with the applicant and other City departments to ensure that the perceived heritage value of the building/site is not adversely affected by the development activities.

 

Demolition permits

The HRC reviews all demolition permit applications which will impact a potential heritage resource. This review allows for a dialogue between the property owner and the committee to explore alternative options when appropriate, and provides an opportunity to document the site.

The City does not have the legal authority to withhold demolition permits for heritage-specific reasons unless a site has been designated as a Municipal, Provincial or Federal Historic Resource.

 

Historic resource impact assessments

The Alberta Historic Resources Act (PDF) empowers the Provincial Minister of Culture to order a Historic Resource Impact Assessment when they are of the opinion that proposed interventions may alter, damage or destroy that historic resource. Anyone, including the Medicine Hat Heritage Resources Committee and City Council can request that the Minister require this assessment.

Such an assessment, if requested of the owner by the Minister of Culture, freezes development rights on the affected property until the assessment is completed to the Province's satisfaction.


For further questions about heritage buildings/sites, contact:

Karen-Anne Cherwonogrodzky
Heritage Assistant
City of Medicine Hat
Ph. 403.525.8607
karche@medicinehat.ca

 


For questions about demolition, contact:

Planning & Development Services
Second floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1A 8E6
Ph. 403.529.8374
pbe@medicinehat.ca