Bylaws

Bylaws created by the Town of Whitecourt are regularly reviewed and updated by Council.  All bylaws require three readings by the Town Council before they take effect.   

Many bylaws, especially land use bylaws, require advertising and a public hearing before the Council may approve them.  These are referred to as statutory public hearings, and are usually scheduled for 7:00 p.m. prior to a regular Council Meetings (normally the second and fourth Monday of the month).  Notice of a public hearing is posted on this website and advertised in local papers in advance of the hearing.

Below are some of the Town of Whitecourt's most frequently requested bylaws.

 

Animal Control and Licencing

Town of Whitecourt Animal Control Bylaw 1414 (and amendment 1414-1 and 1414-2) requires that all dogs within the Town of Whitecourt be licenced.  Dog licences must be purchased annually, and are valid from January 1 to December 31.  New licences are available for early purchase starting December 1 to 31, for 25% off the regular fee.  

Lifetime Dog Tags and Annual Licence Renewals

The Town of Whitecourt has made it easier for residents to tag and licence their pets by introducing lifetime dog tags.  One tag is good for the lifetime of your dog, and the tag number will remain the same each year.  The licence will still require renewal each year in order to keep information current.

Lifetime Dog Tags

Tags may be purchased at the Town Office

If the tag is lost, a replacement tag may be purchased at the Town Office for $2.00

Dog Licence Fees

  • Dog $30
  • Dog Spayed or Neutered $15
  • Replacement Tags $2.00 

**If you are licencing a dog for the first time, you will have to bring proof of spaying/neutering if applicable.

Residents are not required to licence cats.

Animal Offences

  • The Town of Whitecourt limits the number of dogs and cats per household.  Households are restricted to two of any type of animal (i.e. you can have only two dogs and/or two cats).  This restriction took effect in November 2006, and there is a grandfather clause for those households that have more than two of any one type of animal prior to the Bylaw coming in to effect.
  • All pets must be kept on your property or under your control when off your property.  Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds or sporsfields (per Section 6,c 1-4 of Bylaw 1414).  Pets are not allowed in the pond at Rotary Park.
  • You are responsible for your pet if it is found running at large. The dog-catcher will not enter your yard to take the animal to the Pound, but will retrieve the dog/cat if it is outside of your property. Animals will be kept at the Pound for three full working days only.

The Whitecourt Pound is run out of the Whitecourt Veterinary Clinic located at #2, 4439A - 52 Avenue.  Contact the Pound directly at 780-778-5767.

Impound Fee for pets found Running at Large (within a 24 month period)

For Dogs and Cats:

  • First Offence: $75
  • Second Offence: $125
  • Third Offence: $200
  • Offences Thereafter: $250

 * Plus feeding costs of $14/working day for dogs and cats in the pound.

If your dog is picked up for running at large and put into the Pound, you will be charged the impound fee for pets found running at large and related feeding costs, as well as a fine for harboring an unlicenced dog plus the cost of a dog licence (discounts do not apply, as this is an involuntary purchase).  Fees for harbouring an unlicenced dog are as follows (within a 24 month period):

  • First Offence: $75
  • Second Offence: $100
  • Third Offence: $200 

If you allow your dog to howl or otherwise disturb your neighbors, you may be liable for a fine of $50.

Animal Adoption

Adoptions can be made through the Whitecourt Veterinary Clinic at #2, 4439A 52 Avenue.  Contact the Clinic at 780-778-5767 or www.whitecourtvet.com.

You can adopt a pet though the Edmonton SPCA.  

Animal Cruelty

If you witness cruelty or neglect to animals you can contact the SPCA at 1-800-455-9003 or the local RCMP Detachment at 780-778-5454.

Block Parties

Invite your neighbours to a Block Party!  The Town allows the closure of streets for neighbourhood block parties provided the proper procedures and guidelines are followed.  The Town of Whitecourt may provide a subsidy of up to $500 per party to assist with the purchase of party supplies, which may include prizes, food, and/or miscellaneous supplies.

Burn & Fire Permits

The Town of Whitecourt requires residents and commercial businesses to obtain permits prior to burning any clean brush and other vegetation that may have accumulated on the property and for all outdoor fire pits.

Burning Permit

The Town of Whitecourt requires residential and industrial customers to obtain a Burning Permit prior to burning any clean brush or other vegetation that may have accumulated on the property. For more information contact the Town Office. Temporary Burn Permits cost $20.00. Time restrictions and other permit guidelines will be imposed by the Fire Department on a case-by-case basis.

Temporary Burn Permit Application Form

 

Fire Pit Permit

The Town of Whitecourt requires residents to apply for a permit for all outdoor fire pits.

Fire Pit Permits cost $20.00

Fire Pit Permits are issued to the property; so if ownership changes, the new residents are not required to re-apply.

Permits are only issued to property owners, or to renter who have the owner's written consent.

Once you have constructed/installed a fire pit on your property, visit the Town Office to apply for a permit. You will be required to pay a one-time $20.00 administration fee and complete an application form. The Fire Department will do a physical inspection of the fire pit installation and issue a permit if the device or pit meets the guidelines.

Burn Permit Application Form

Fire Pit Guidelines:

  • Only clean fuel (wood) is to be burned. The burning of grass, yard waste, treated or painted wood, garbage, etc. is not allowed. Fires must be attended at all times. Fires must be completely extinguished at the end of each use.
  • The burn pit/barbecue is to be located at least 3.05 m (10ft) from any combustibles, i.e. buildings, fences, trees, tree overhangs, etc.
  • The burn pit/barbecue shall be located on a non-combustible base.
  • The burn pit/barbecue shall have non-combustible sides with a minimum height of 30 cm (12 in.) above ground level.
  • A screen with openings of no more than 1/2" square shall be placed over the pit and must be used at all times.
  • The cooking surface may not exceed 3,871cm2 (600 sq. in.).
  • Freestanding fireplaces will be evaluated on an individual basis with regards to these regulations.
  • Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in the permit being revoked. Operation without a valid permit may result in a fine of $100.

Community Standards Bylaw 1475

Bylaw 1475 outlines responsibilities and expectations for the ongoing maintenance of local properties.  Ultimately, this bylaw governs how we live together; and as such we like to think of it as a "good neighbour" bylaw.

Hawkers and Pedlars Bylaw 1462

A person or business that does not have a permanent place of business or solicits door to door to carry on any business, trade, or occupation is subject to the fees and licence requirements under the Hawkers and Pedlars Bylaw.

Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Bylaw 1138

Whitecourt is one of a limited number of communities that allows for seasonal operation of off-highway vehicles in public areas throughout town. The OHV Bylaw governs the use of recreational vehicles (such as snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, etc.) within Town limits.

Police and Fire False Alarms Bylaw 1406

Bylaw 1406 outlines user fees charged for police and fire responses to false alarms. The Bylaw stipulates that a fee of $200.00 will be charged for the second and subsequent false alarm responses from either emergency service department.

Traffic Bylaw 1440

Bylaw 1440 regulates and controls vehicle and pedestrian traffic within the Town of Whitecourt.

School Zone Speed Limit Times

Between 8:00am and 4:30 p.m., on days that school is in session, the school zone speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour.   School zone speed limits are not in effect on weekends, summer holidays, and other days that students are not in session.

The speed limit times accurately reflects the fact that children are coming and going from schools throughout the day which will enhance safety for our youth, and the times are also consistent and easy to remember for motorists.

Truck Route

Below is a map of the designated truck route within the Town of Whitecourt.

Please be aware that there are certain areas along the designated route that pass through school zones and areas which are busier during specific times. As such, it advised that trucking through the community between the following hours to avoid are:

  • 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
  • 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
  • 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. 

If you are planning on bringing large loads, making multiple trips, requiring any lane closures or temporary traffic controls; you will need to contact the Planning & Development Department at 780-778-2273 or planning@whitecourt.ca.

Snow & Ice Control

The Town of Whitecourt utilizes a variety of snow clearing and ice control methods to keep Whitecourt roads and walkways safe.

For current road plowing schedules and information go to our Facebook page.

The Town's initial action is to spread sand at intersections and slippery locations.  This is following by clearing (plowing), and removal of snow in limited areas.  These activities take place seven days a week, at all hours that staff and equipment are available.

Road and sidewalks are done in a priority order to maximize safe travel for the greatest number of users.

  • Major arterial roads and collector roadways, to give good access to within a few blocks of most areas and allow school bus operations.
  • Downtown business district, to allow owners time in advance to clean adjacent sidewalks.
  • Residential or local roadways.
  • Industrial roads.

For information on the current snow removal schedule and other road information, follow Whitecourt on Facebook.

Resources

Sidewalk Clearing Responsibilities

All property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property before the first residential plowing by Town forces.

Once plowing begins, Town crews will plow snow onto sidewalks.  If Town forces place snow on sidewalks adjacent to your property, you are not required to clear it.  If you live in a cul-de-sac or an area where there are only sidewalks on one side of the street, you may be required to clear snow every year.  Check with the Infrastructure Services Department to find out if you have to clear your sidewalk this winter season.

In residential areas, sidewalks must be cleared with 48 hours of the end of a snowfall.  In the downtown commercial area, sidewalks must be cleared with 24 hours of the end of a snowfall.  Sidewalks should normally be cleared of snow and ice for the entire finished width, to the finished surface.  Please note that Bylaw 1475 prohibits the use of snow-clearing devices powered by an engine in residential areas before 6:00 a.m. on weekdays or Saturdays, and before 9:00 a.m. on Sundays or statutory holidays.

Become A Snow Star

'Tis the season for snow and snow removal.  Many of our neighbours have difficulty removing the snow from their driveways and sidewalks.

If you would like to help a senior or an individual with physical difficulties, become a Snow Star!  Call Community Services at 780-778-6300.

If you NEED this service please call Community Services, 780-778-6300, to have your name placed on our registry.

Land Use Bylaw

The Town's Land Use Bylaw regulates how land and buildings are used, the location of the buildings, site coverage, building heights, and other provisions to ensure proper development.  The Land Use Bylaw impacts everyone in Whitecourt at some point and to varying degrees - whether you are building a fence or deck, or starting a new business.

If you have a bylaw complaint, contact the Town Administration Office during office hours.In order for Administration to record a complaint, you must be willing to give your name, address, and phone number. This information is kept confidential.Once a complaint has been made with Administration, it is passed on to the Peace Officer.

Bylaw tickets can be paid at the Town Administration Office during regular business hours. If you have a complaint against an issued ticket, please complete a complaint form at the Town Administration Office or at the RCMP Detachment.

Questions and requests for copies of other Town Bylaws can be directed to the Peace Officer who can be reached by phone at 780-778-2273 or 780-778-2238, or by email at peaceofficer@whitecourt.ca