Signs, Fences, and Landscaping

Call 403-328-5525
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The installation of most signs within Lethbridge County will require a Development Permit.  Please call the Development Officer at (403) 328-5525 for more information.

Please note:

  • Billboards (signs over 32 ft2 / 2.98 m2) or similar signs are prohibited within the County.
  • Signs attached to, or painted on licensed or unlicensed vehicles or trailers are also prohibited.

For more information, please refer to Part 5 of Land Use Bylaw 1404.


Before you begin

Before installing a fence on a property, it is highly recommended that you have your property lines located. Most property lines in Lethbridge County can be determined by locating the metal pins located at the corners of the property. However, over time these pins may become damaged, shift if there is ground disturbance, or be accidentally dug up and removed. If there is any doubt as to the location of a property line it is recommended that a surveying company be retained. There are a number of surveying companies located in Lethbridge that landowners may contact. Lethbridge County does not locate property lines for residents. Also remember to call or click before you dig: or 1 (800) 242-3447

Fences in residential areas

  • Hamlets
    • No fence, wall, vegetation (i.e. shrubs, hedges, bushes, coniferous trees or any other plant that, in the opinion of the Development Authority, creates a visual obstruction and/or barrier) or any combination thereof, lying within 7.62 metres (25 feet) of the right-of-way of a public roadway (excluding lanes) shall extend no more than 0.91 metres (3 feet) above the ground (except in the case of corner lots where one yard is considered as the side yard as indicated in Section 6 and in accordance with Section 7 of this part) without a permit issued by the Development Authority
    • Fences in rear and side yards shall not exceed 1.83 metres (6 ft.) in height.
  • Grouped Country Residential areas
    • No fence, wall, vegetation (i.e. shrubs, hedges, bushes, coniferous trees or any other plant that, in the opinion of the Development Authority, creates a visual obstruction and/or barrier) or combination thereof, lying within 10 metres (33 feet) of the right-of-way of a public roadway shall extend more than 1.22 metres (4 feet) above the ground without a permit issued by the Development Authority.
    • Fences in the rear and side yards shall not exceed 1.83 metres (6 feet) in height and can be installed to the property line.
    • Wind screen fences shall meet all applicable setbacks to municipal roads and property lines.

Fences, trees, & shelterbelts in rural areas

In rural areas along local roads, the construction or erection of a fence, hedge or shelterbelt shall comply with the following:

  • no fence, hedge or shelterbelt shall be erected which would unduly restrict the vision of approaching traffic;
  • fencing surrounding public utility lots shall be as per Lethbridge County Engineering Guidelines and Minimum Servicing Standards or as stipulated in a Development Agreement;
  • all fences must be sited to be able to meet the required corner site triangle setbacks to roadways as depicted in Diagram 3.5;
  • a chain link, split rail or barb wire type fence may be located adjacent to the property line or within the required setbacks to a public road, but solid material fences and snow fences must meet the stipulated setbacks to the public road;
  • no hedge or shelterbelt shall be erected within the distances to a right-of-way of a public road, as depicted in Diagram 3.5;
  • wind screen fences shall meet all setbacks to municipal roads and provincial highways as required for the applicable land use district.

Landscaping residential properties in Lethbridge County is not required but is highly encouraged as it has all sorts of benefits: economic, health, environmental, and social. It can increase the value of a property and make it more attractive to prospective buyers which could mean less time on the market. It can help to reduce the costs associated with heating and cooling a residence. It can provide a healthier environment by filtering pollutants and providing cleaner air. It provides privacy, can decrease stress, and helps promote a healthy lifestyle. It can lessen the effects of soil erosion and soil degradation. It can have a micro-climate effect that helps reduce temperature extremes and can help reduce local flooding by reducing storm water runoff. It also promotes habitat for wildlife and increases the livability of communities.

Before You Plant

It is important to remember that there may be utilities buried on your property. Before doing any digging for trees and shrubs be sure to have the utilities located on your property by making an Alberta One-Call. There may be a delay for this service depending on the time of year so plan ahead.

Trees that are fully grown can cause damage to buildings (foundations, roofs, siding), overhead utilities, and neighbouring properties. Before planting trees take into account how large the tree will get once fully matured and adjust its location to accommodate for existing infrastructure. Be sure to also make note of the location of property lines. Landowners are responsible for ensuring they are not planting trees and shrubs on a neighbour’s property or on County-owned land such as alleys, right-of-ways, environmental reserves, and so forth.

Creating Sustainable Landscapes

Xeriscaping is a landscaping practice that promotes water conservation and it is highly encouraged by Lethbridge County. When properly planned and designed, a xeriscaped yard will thrive on minimal water during periods of drought and will retain as much water as possible during periods of natural rainfall. Xeriscaping incorporates native and drought-resistant plants to create beautifully created landscapes that will thrive even in the hardest conditions Southern Alberta has to offer.
Xeriscaping is often confused with zero-scaping, which is a form of landscaping that typically incorporates gravel and rocks with cactus and succulent type plants.

Selecting Plants

Due to the extreme drought conditions often experienced in Southern Alberta, Lethbridge County encourages the planting of native and drought-resistant species. Below are lists of native and drought-resistant species complied by the County to assist landowners in creating beautiful landscapes in this harsh climate.  Local nurseries and garden centres may offer new and alternative varieties of drought-resistant plants in addition to those in the document section at the bottom of the page.

*Please note that all plants require some amount of water until they are established. Plants may take 1-2 growing seasons or longer to establish depending on the species and the severity of the climate. When installing any new plants on a property, owners should be prepared to help nurture their plants until they are strong enough to survive on their own. It is best to follow the planting instructions and maintenance advice provided by the nursery or garden centre that sold the plants.

Planting Shelterbelts/Windbreaks

Shelterbelts offer many of the benefits outlined above as well as helping to reduce dust, reducing damage caused by wind, trap snow, and protect homes, yards and even livestock.
While shelterbelts offer many benefits, when they are planted too close to a roadway they trap large amounts of snow in the winter which has a negative impact road conditions for County residents. Lethbridge County’s Land Use Bylaw specifies that no hedge or shelterbelt shall be erected within 10m (30-ft.) of a road right-of-way as illustrated in Diagram 3.5 (Part 3, Section 11.e). Diagram 3.5 and the relevant section of the Land Use Bylaw can be downloaded here:
LUB Part 3, Section 11
For useful information on the various types of shelterbelts, recommended trees, method of planting, and maintenance, please consult the Government of Alberta’s website: Government of Alberta- Shelterbelts

Lethbridge County Agricultural Services has additional information on Shelterbelts, harmful insects, tree pruning and mulching techniques, and more.  Click the link: Lethbridge County Agricultural Services

Landscaping in Commercial/Industrial Areas

New commercial/industrial properties in Lethbridge County generally require a landscaping plan to be submitted with their Development Permit Application. The County encourages these projects to incorporate xeriscaping techniques in their landscape design and utilize native and drought-resistant plants. To view an example of an approved landscaping plan for a commercial/industrial development please contact Planning and Development at 403-328-5525.