Bylaws & Policies
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.
The following is not a complete list of all the Town of Whitecourt bylaws currently in force. We have attempted to collect and post on this page the Town bylaws most commonly consulted and/or requested by the general public. If the particular bylaw that interests you does not appear on this list, please contact the Town of Whitecourt at 780-778-2273.
Per the Municipal Government Act, municipalities can develop notification tools that will best meet the needs of their community. Advertising Bylaw 1555 allows the Town of Whitecourt to streamline content published in local newspapers and provide enhanced information on important community issues and decisions on this website. Copies of all public notices can be provided in hard copy at the Town Office upon request.
Town of Whitecourt Animal Control Bylaw 1414 (and amendment 1414-1 and 1414-2) requires that all dogs within the Town of Whitecourt be licensed. Dog licenses must be purchased annually, and are valid from January 1 to December 31. New licenses 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.
- The Town of Whitecourt limits the number of dogs and cats allowed to live in a dwelling within our community. Each dwelling is allowed a maximum of 4 animals that consist of up to 2 dogs or up to 2 cats. A specific dwelling could legally have more than 4 animals if exemptions or grandfathering provisions of Control and Licensing of Dogs Bylaw 1414 or Domestic Animal Control Bylaw 746 are applied in that situation. Individuals are encouraged to contact Municipal Enforcement with any questions regarding the number or dogs and cats living in a dwelling.
- All pets must be kept on your property or under your control when off your property. Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds or sportsfields (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.
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.
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.
For those that lodge a complaint with the Town of Whitecourt regarding an animal disturbance (i.e. barking), Bylaw Officers may request that the following form be completed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The possession, sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational use is now legalized and regulated throughout Canada.
The Land Use Bylaw has been amended to allow for the sale of cannabis in specific land use districts.
The Town of Whitecourt has amended Community Standards Bylaw 1475 to include rules and restrictions on consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes in our community. Recreational use of cannabis, per Bylaw 1475, is limited to residences and private property (with owner's consent) within the Town of Whitecourt.
WHAT IS CANNABIS?
Cannabis refers to products made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. It is also referred to as marijuana or pot. It can be consumed by smoking, vaporizing, eating in food, drinking, dabbing, putting drops under the tongue, or applying it directly to the skin in a lotion.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT?
The following is a breakdown of the jurisdictional responsibilities among the three levels of government.
Responsible for: possession limits, new criminal offences, advertising, impaired driving, medical cannabis, production, public health, education, taxation, home cultivation, regulatory compliance.
Responsible for: impaired driving, public health, education, taxation, workplace safety, distribution/wholesaling, retail model, retail locations and rules, regulatory compliance, public consumption.
Town of Whitecourt:
Responsible for: retail locations and rules, public consumption, land use zoning, education.
RETAIL CANNABIS STORE LICENCING
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is responsible for regulating private retail cannabis licensing, the distribution of cannabis and operation of the online cannabis store on behalf of the Alberta government. For more information visit: https://aglc.ca/cannabis/retail-cannabis-store-licences
WHITECOURT LAND USE REGULATIONS
All cannabis stores located within the Town of Whitecourt must have a municipal Development Permit. A Building Permit may also be required per the Alberta Building Code and/or if there are any renovations that affect the structure of the building.
The Land Use Bylaw includes the word “cannabis” in the definitions for “Retail – General” and “Retail – Hilltop Commercial”. This allows retail cannabis stores to be allowed in the following land use districts:
Retail - General
Retail - Hilltop Commercial
C-1 Core Commercial - Downtown
C-2 Service Commercial
C-3 Highway Commercial
Discretionary, max. 190m2
C-5 Main Street - Downtown
C-6 Mixed Use Residential - Downtown
C-7 Hilltop Commercial
A map showing the permitted and discretionary use areas within Whitecourt for retail cannabis stores can be found here:
It should also be noted that the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) requires all private cannabis retail stores to be set-back a minimum of 100m from schools and provincial health care facilities. These setbacks must be considered in any proposed store location.
The Town of Whitecourt is currently accepting applications for permits for the sale of cannabis. Standard fees and permit processes apply. For more informaiton please see our Construction and Permitting page on our website, or contact our Planning and Development Department at 780-778-2273 or email@example.com.
CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS
Community Standards Bylaw 1475 includes prohibitions and provisions for the consumption of cannabis. The Bylaw expands upon provincial regulations regarding consumption in public places, and prohibits recreational use in all public places, limiting consumption to residences and private property.
- Bylaw 1475 Community Standards Bylaw - Consolidated Version
ALBERTA RULES REGARDING RECREATIONAL USE OF CANNABIS
The following rules apply across Alberta.
You must be 18 years old to use cannabis.
You must purchase it from licenced stores or www.albertacannabis.org (Alberta’s only legal, recreational online cannabis store)
30 grams is the most you can buy or carry at a time.
Driving high is illegal.
Cannabis may not be within reach of anyone in a vehicle.
Only 4 plants can be grown per household.
Edibles are not yet legal to sell.
Kids cannot enter cannabis stores.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT
If you have questions regarding new land use regulations regarding the sale of cannabis please contact the Planning & Development Department at 780-778-2273.
Bylaw 1475 regulates community nuisance, safety and livability issues for the benefit of all citizens of the Town. Ultimately, this bylaw governs how we live together; and as such we like to think of it as a "good neighbour" bylaw.
- Bylaw 1475 - Consolidated Version
Bylaw 1475 was amended in September 2018 to include regulations for the recreational use of cannabis throughout the community.
- Recreational consumption of cannabis is prohibited in all public areas. Public areas include: parks, recreation facilities, municipal roads, sidewalks, and pedestrian walkways.
- Recreational use of cannabis is limited to residences and private property (with owner's consent) within the Town of Whitecourt.
- Town of Whitecourt Peace Officers and the RCMP may issue a violation ticket for a fine of $300.00 (for first offences) to those who fail to follow the regulations outlined in Community Standards Bylaw.
- The bylaw does not apply to those with a medical cannabis licence. These individuals must provide proof of licence upon request by an officer. Those with medical cannabis licences will still have to follow the provincial consumption regulations.
Bylaw 1551 establishes fees, rates and charges for all municipal services.
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.
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.
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.
In May 2017, the Province of Alberta passed Bill 36 An Act to Enhance Safety for Off Highway Vehicles, amending the Traffic Safety Act. The amendments create helmet requirements for Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) riders. Helmets are required for anyone driving, operating, riding in or on an OHV on public land. For details visit the Alberta Transportation website.
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.
Road Ban Bylaw 1564
Preventing road damage by weight restrictions
We need weight restrictions to prevent damage to the Town of Whitecourt roads.
In the spring, frozen roads start to thaw. During spring, roads are weakened by excess water in the road base and can be damaged by heavy vehicles. The thawing water may not drain out of the gravel that is under the pavement. This is because the surrounding soil may be frozen or too solid. The water will soak into the gravel. When the water is absorbed, the road will temporarily lose strength. When this happens, the road cannot support heavier vehicles. Gravel roads are more vulnerable or susceptible to damage.
When road bans are in effect, vehicle loads are restricted to 75% per axle weights in accordance with the provisions of the Town of Whitecourt Bylaw 1564. Please watch for and obey signage.
Road ban start and end dates
Road bans are put into effect on our designated streets each year from the end of March to the beginning of June depends on weather. The actual end date will be determined following reviews of road and weather conditions toward the end of the road ban season.
Do you have questions about the road ban and/or road use permits? Contact Kamruz Zaman, Director of Infrastructure Services at 780-778-2273 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Whitecourt reminds residents that Land Use Bylaw 1506 and Community Standards Bylaw 1475 outline guidelines and regulations for the parking of recreational vehicles (RVs) on residential properties and streets. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding RV parking. For more information, contact the Planning & Development Department at 780-778-2273.
What vehicles are considered RVs?
Motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, and holiday trailers are all considered recreational vehicles under Land Use Bylaw 1506.
Where can residents park their RVs during the summer?
Between April 1 and October 31, one RV may be parked on a driveway in the front yard, or for corner lots in a side yard. The RV must be located so that no portion of the recreational vehicle projects onto or over the interior edge of the sidewalk, or curb if there is no sidewalk.
Where can residents park their RVs during the winter?
From November 1 to March 31, on a residential site, one recreational vehicle may be stored on site provided that no portion of the recreational vehicle is located any further forward than the front of your home (minimum of 6.1m from the front property line).
Can an RV or utility trailer be parked on a residential street or roadway?
RVs can be parked on a residential street or roadway for no more than 72 consecutive hours.
Can residents park unattached trailers on a local street?
Unattached trailers cannot be parked on town streets at any time including (but not limited to) tent trailers, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, boat trailers, utility trailers, campers not mounted on truck, etc.
Can an RV parked on a local street be utilized for sleeping?
An RV parked on a highway or local street cannot be occupied as a temporary dwelling.
Can an RV parked on private property be utilized for sleeping?
An RV on private property cannot be occupied as a temporary dwelling.
What are the fines for the improper parking of a RV and utility vehicle?
Fines can be issued according to Town Bylaws and Provincial Legislation.
Parking RVs in prohibited areas - $250 fine for first offence under Land Use Bylaw 1506. Subsequent fines will apply for non-compliance.
Unattached Trailers - $50 fine under Traffic Bylaw 1440
Parked over 72 hours – up to a $310 penalty plus towing cost under the Traffic Safety Act
For more information contact the Town of Whitecourt at 780-778-2273
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 priorities visit the Road & Street Maintenance page.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
New rules are now in place for Whitecourt utility services and systems, which include water, wastewater and stormwater.
Utility Bylaw 1511 was developed through extensive research and review of industry best practices; and the new bylaw will address evolving needs of our community. Utility Bylaw 1511 came into effect on January 1, 2020 and includes additional regulations to protect not only the environment, but also municipal infrastructure and interests.
All utility accounts will be transitioned into the property owner's name
- To improve management practices, utility accounts currently in the tenant’s name will be transitioned to the property owner’s name. To ensure service is not interrupted, the property owner must transfer the account at the Town Office by December 31, 2020. There is no cost to transfer the account, and a Utility Account Application Agreement Form must be completed. Accounts not transferred by December 31, 2020 will default to the registered property owner(s) on January 1, 2021.
- Tenants with a utility account in their name will be responsible for the utility bill until the account is transitioned.
- Once the account is transitioned to the property owner’s name, the property owner will be responsible for all utility bills, and can determine how best to transfer that cost to their tenants through rental agreements. If requested (by completing the Duplicate Bill Request Form), the Town of Whitecourt will mail an additional copy of the utility bill to the tenant at the service address.
- Accounts that remain in the tenant’s name on December 31, 2020 will either:
- be closed and transitioned to the property owner’s name; or
- be disconnected by the Town, with a fee of $40 for disconnection and an additional fee of $40 for reconnection charged to the property owner.
Timeline to add outstanding utility balance to property account
The timeline for adding outstanding utility balances to the property tax account has changed to 90 days.
New industrial wastewater sampling and monitoring practices
New testing and monitoring practices will be implemented to help protect waterways and municipal infrastructure. Continued collaboration between the Town of Whitecourt, developers and industrial customers will help ensure prohibited substances are not introduced into the wastewater system, which has the potential to increase maintenance costs and cause other environmental concerns.
For more information on Bylaw 1511 visit the Water & Sewer page on this site.
For information on Bylaw 1511-1, please visit this page here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org