Architectural Guidelines

Mackenzie Ranch offers a selection of affordable styles and designs. The focus in this community was to create a beautiful living environment and long term owner value. The Architectural guidelines listed below establish and preserve the design, finish, construction and landscaping quality we have come to expect in Lacombe.


Architectural Control Specifications:


The objective of the MacKenzie Ranch Architectural Control Specifications is to set a standard for house design and landscaping that will encourage a high quality of design appropriate for the development.   These design guidelines will assist homeowners, builders and designers in the selection and design of homes in MacKenzie Ranch.   The guidelines will help create a compatible mix of housing types with some variety and character that will establish and maintain the investment value of the homes in this new heighbourhood.

Approval of home design is required by a Restrictive Covenant registered on the title of the lots.   Failure to comply with the Architectural Control Specifications will be default of the terms of the Purchase Agreement.


1.1           Design Compliance

All home designs must conform to current Lacombe Land Use Bylaws and all applicable Building Code regulations, along with the Architectural Control Specifications set out in this document.   In the event the Architectural Control Specifications conflict with the Town or Building Code Regulations, then Town and Building Code Regulations have priority.   However, where Town or Building Code Regulations allow a lesser standard than the Architectural Control Specifications, then the requirements of the Architectural control Specifications wil predominate.

The home design must be approved by the Approval Committee prior to application for a Building Permit.

1.2           Condition of lot and local improvements

Conditions of local improvements are to be reviewed and inspected according to the terms of the Purchase Agreement.   Local improvements include, but are not limited to the curbs, gutters, sidewalks, street lamps, fencing, etc. in, on, or around the lot.

1.3           Appearance During Construction

The Purchase Builder and/or Owner are required to keep the lot clean and orderly during construction.   No burning of garbage is permitted.   The Purchaser shall ensure that boulevard trees and other trees in the neighbourhood are protected from damage due to material storage, excavation, construction or other causes.   Any replacement of damaged trees or clean up carried out by the Vendor will be charged to the Purchaser, Builder and Owner.

1.4           Location Variations

There are four types of building lots in this neighbourhood.   For each type there will be some unique variations to the guidelines.   Refer to attached Development Concept Land Use.

Estate Lots   zoned – R1A
Standard Lots   zoned – R1B, R1C
  Narrow Lots   zoned – R1D
  Duplex Lots   zoned – R2
  Multi-family   zoned – R4, R5 (to be submitted and reviewed independently by the Architectural Control commit prior to MPC approval




2.0           DESIGN

In order to fulfill the objectives of these guidelines, several key features should be given serious attention.   These include Massing, Roof Design, Siding, Color and Exterior Features.

2.1           Massing

It is requested that the Purchaser <a href=””></a> contact the Approval Committ prior to the preparation of house plans to ensure that the proposed plan is compatible with adjacent homes.   Similar plans and elevations will require adequate separation from each other.   Reserve pans, different finishes and colors are not sufficient changes to avoid the separation criteria.   The separation criteria is as follows:

  • Estate Lots –   no repetition of plans and elevations on any of these lots.
  • Standard lots – no repetition of plans and elevations directly across the street and on same side of the street within a 5 house radius.
  • Narrow lots – no repetition of plans and elevations directly across the street and on same side of the street within a 3-house radius.
  • Duplex lots – no repetition of elevations on any of these lots.   Massing of deplex to be such that duplex appears to be two separate homes.

When a plan and/or elevation is repeated, the exterior finishes must be different from other similar plans or elevations visible from the lot.

2.1a         Unit Types and Sizes

House type definition:

  • Bungalow:                       Floor area contained on one level; no stair risers up from main level.
  • Raised Bungalow:            Floor area contained on one level; may have up to 5 exterior stair risers, but contains no interior stairs up from the main level.
  • Bi-Level:                         Has approximately the same number of stairs up and down from the main entry level.
  • Split-Level:                     Contains at least two levels above grade that are separated by stair risers.
  • Two-Storey:                   Has a minimum of 14 stair risers between levels above grade.
  • Walkout:                        Any type above with the rear of the basement at ground level. This type is only allowed on designated lots.

Minimum dwelling unit sizes are as follows (the area excludes garages):

  • Estate lots

A minimum of 1400 sq. ft. floor area above the lot grade for all house types except two storey houses.   Two-storey houses shall have a minimum of 1800 sq. ft. floor area above the lot grade with a minimum of  1000 sq. ft. on the main floor.

  • Standard lots

A minimum of 1000 sq. ft. floor area above the lot grade for all house types except two-storey houses.

Two storey houses shall have a minimum of 1500 sq. ft. floor   area above the lot grade with a minimum 750 sq. ft. on the main floor.

If a home does not have an attached garage, it is recommended that the width of the house be at least 75% of the lot width.

  • Narrow Lots

A minimum of 850 sq. ft. floor area above the lot grade for all house types.

  • Duplex Lots

A minimum of 850 sq. ft. floor area above the lot grade for all house types.

The Approval Committee, at its sole discretion, may consider a reduction to the minimum area or may request an increase over the minimum size.   The approval Committee may also deny plans considered too small or too large for the lot.

2.1b                 Corner Lots

Bungalows are preferred for corner lots.   Bi-levels and split -levels may be considered.   Two storey houses may be considered for corner lots only if they include a significant single storey component or are designed to present a high standard of design on both street elevations.   Approval of two storey houses is soley at the discretion of the Architectural Control Committee.

All street-facing sides of homes situated on corner lots must be given the same consideration as house fronts.   This can be accomplished by:

  • Carrying the same exterior materials and colours around building corners on all street exposures.
  • Repeating the window size and groupings from front to side street elevations.
  • Continuing elements such as porches, verandas and balconies around the corner.
  • Designing roof forms that are interesting to view from all streets, such as repeating dormers.

2.2                   Roof Design

  • Flat roofs will not be permitted.
  • Roof slopes of 5 1/2 or greater will be required in this subdivision.
  • All roof designs for detached garages or shops must be similar to that of the house.
  • Flues will need to be boxed in if located at the front of the house.

2.2.a               Roof Materials

Architectural asphalt shingles are required for estate lots, and recommended for all other lot types.   Tile roofs (except Spanish design), wood shingle or shake roofs are also acceptable.   Standard asphalt shingles are acceptable.   The Approval Committee may approve other materials upon presentation of the product information and/or samples.

The Approval Committee may require change to roofing colours that it deems not appropriate for the house design.

2.3                   Exterior Finishes

In consultation with Builders, the Approval Committee may establish themes for all or parts of the neighbourhood that will limit, restrict or require specific wall finish and roofing materials.

  • Preferred exterior finishes include smooth trowel finish stucco, wood siding, vinyl siding, brick and stone.   The recommended minimum brick or stone area on the front face of the house is 15% of wall area for the duplex lots (15% of each home, not duplex as whole), 25% for standard lots, 15% for narrow lots and 30% on estate lots.   It is suggested that brick and stone be used to highlight entrances or as larger accent panels on the elevations.   Small bands of brick or small brick panels at the sides of garage doors may not be sufficient.   Alternative accent materials may be considered.
  • Where stucco is being used, brick, stone or stucco buildouts will be required – columns. quoins, or accent bands.
  • Where vinyl is being used, brick or stone is required.
  • Attention should be given to window sizes and shapes.
  • Attention should be given to the details and trims around windows, doors, corners and the transitions from one material to another.
  • When accent bands are utilized they must return around corners at a minimum of 16″
  • All entry columns must be a minimum of 12″ on each side.

2.4                   Colours

In order to maintain a pleasant and attractive streetscape, colour selections should be made to insure that transitions from one house to the next are harmonious and not abrupt.   Colour schemes are to be coordinated both within the house elevation and with neighbouring houses.   All materials must be considered including the exterior finish, trim, roof, doors, windows and fencing.

White stucco will not be permitted and primary colours will be discouraged.

Colours are approved on a first-come, first-served basis; the Approval Committee has the authority to make final decisions in respect to colours.

2.5                   Exterior Elements & Features

The following elements are encouraged to create a unique look and feel for each home.

2.5.a               Entrance Treatment

In order to accent and feature the entry, use of the following elements are encouraged – columns, generous overhangs, dormer designs, and buildouts.

The preferred materials for verandah railings, deck railings, guard rails and handrails are vinyl, painted wood, aluminum or prefinished material.   Unpainted treated wood railings and pickets will not be accepted.

The style of the front door, sidelights and trim should complement the style of both the house and other windows.

House numbers on estate lots are required to be on a wooden sign located at the front of the yard.   All other lots require 7″ high house numbers located on the house.

2.5.b             Foundations

Exposed concrete foundation walls and parging are to be minimized.   A 12 inch or smaller exposure is preferred.   The exposed foundation shall not be more thaan 24 inches above the finished grade and must be concealed with concrete parging.   Siding material shall cover foundation walls higher than 24 inches above finished grade.

2.5.c             Windows

Builders are encouraged to consider window shapes and trim that are in keeping with the architectural theme of the house.   The Architectural Approval Committee may recommend use of muntin bars in windows.

2.5.d               Parking, Garages & Auxiliary Buildings

At least two off-street parking spaces shall be provided on each lot behind the front setback line.   These spaces can be accessible from either the street or a lane.   The parking space shall be garages or pads as required or permitted in the following sentences.

  • Street accessed carports and pads will not be permitted.
  • Homes on the estate lots shall have at least a double attached garage.
  • Standard lots shall have either an attached garage, a detached garage accessible from a lane or pad accessible from a lane.
  • Narrow lots shall have a two-car parking pad or garage accessible only from the lane.
  • Pairing up garages and driveways along a streetscape will be encouraged.
  • Whenever a three-car garage is proposed, the impact of the garage must be reduced by offsetting one garage bay back at least 2′ from the main garage body or by altering the roofline.
  • The roof design and colour of any detached garage or auxiliary building must be similar to that of the proposed house.
  • The design and color of all garage doors should compliment and blend with the architectural style of the house.   Doors should be wood or metal and should be inset from the face of the garage wall.
  • Detached garages and auxiliary buildings must have the same siding material and trim as the house.
  • Maximum site coverage used by auxiliary buildings may not exceed 160 sq. ft. unless approved by the Architectural Control Committee.
  • A maximum of one temporary building will be allowed on all lots.

Houses that have a detached garage must utilize additional design features such as bay windows, gable ends and verandahs on the front and/or side elevation.

2.5.e             Driveways

Front driveways shall be concrete throughout the development.   Asphalt may be approved as a paving material for estate lots only at the discretion of the Architectural Control Committee.   Driveway finishes of washed aggregate pavers, brick accent and edging are encouraged on all lots.

2.5d             Eaves, Fascia

On all estate, standard and duplex lots the eave overhang should not be less than 18″ minimum.   On the narrow lots the overhang should not be less than 16″.   The minimum fascia size will be 6″.

All gutters and downspouts should match the fascia and/or trim colour.

3.0                 SITE PLANNING

House type and siting selection shall avoid potential conflicts in surface drainage and driveway slopes between adjoining lots.   All site grading must be confirmed with the Developer’s Surveyor prior to development.

3.1               Setbacks, Front Yards and Side Yards

All setbacks, side yards and building heights must conform to the Town of Lacombe Land Use Bylaws.

Estate Lots

Front:   min 7.62m (25 ft), max 9.14m (30 ft)

Side:   2.25m (7.38 ft) recommend 3.05m (10 ft)

Rear abutting roadway:     3.66m (12 ft)

Rear:   12.19m (40 ft)

*Encourage all homes to be centered within side setbacks


Standard and  Narrow Lots

Front:     6.10m (20 ft)

Side:         1.5m   (5 ft)

Side abutting roadway:     2.75m (9 ft)

Rear:     9.75m (32 ft)

Duplex Lots

Front:     6.10m (20 ft)

Side:     1.5m (5 ft)

Side abutting roadway:   2.75m (9 ft)

Rear:     9.75m (32 ft)

3.2                   Driveways

Slopes greater than 8% are not recommended.   The Architectural Approval Committee reserves the right to lower garage slab elevations, or adjust the building grade to improve driveway slopes.   Town permits for curb cuts and aprons are the responsibility of the Builder and are to comply with Town standards.

3.3                   L.T.F. – Lowest Top of Footing

The purchaser is responsible for checking the footing elevations.

3.4                   T.O.J. – Top of Joist

Bungalows, two-storey and split-levels (intermediate level) should not be set higher than 44 inches above finish grade. Bi-levels should not be set higher than 64 inches above finish grade.

4.0                   LANDSCAPING

Landscaping of the front yards, and side yards for corner lots, should be designed to enhance the originality and character of the home.

4.1                   Lot Grading

Lot grading must be consistent with the subdivision grading plan for the site.   Final grading and placement of topsoil on lots must be completed prior to the release of damage and security deposits.

The landscaped grade of a lot must always slope away from the house and be integrated into the subdivision system of drainage.   On lots where an exterior basement exit is used, builder must ensure positive drainage away from home.

Higher lots must contain surface drainage and channel it to front and/or rear yards.   Draining of surface water on to adjoining lots is not permitted.   (see also, Retaining Walls).

4.2                 Trees

For estate lots the purchaser must provide and plant three (3) trees in the front yard of each lot.   For standard, narrow and duplex lots the purchaser must provide and plant one (1) tree for the front yard of each lot.   The trees must be at least 3 inches in caliper and be placed only in the front yard of the lot.   It is the Purchaser’s or Homeowner’s responsibility to obtain, water and maintain trees.

On some Developer designated lots the Developer reserves the right to plant additional trees and shrubs, to be maintained by the homeowner.   No warranty or replacement will be provided.

Homeowners are encouraged to supplement the developer provided trees with shrubs, flowering shrubs, hedges and annual planting beds.

4.3                 Lawn

Purchasers will be required to plant a lawn or place sod within 12 months of the completion of the home.   The lawn must reach maturity prior to the release of damage and security deposits.

4.4                 Retaining Walls

Unless it is deemed necessary to have a higher wall, retaining walls will be limited to an exposed height of 1.2 meters (4ft).   For walls over 1.2 metres in height, a stepped wall will be required to reduce the wall’s overall visual mass.   All retaining walls will be finished to complement exterior house finishes and blend in with the landscape.   It will be the responsibility of purchaser to pay for the design and construction of any retaining walls.   The Approval Committee may request retaining walls, if it is found that construction on a lot is causing improper drainage onto adjoining lots.

4.5                 Fencing

Fencing is the responsibility of the purchaser and/or homeowner.   Builders shall advise their purchaser of the design guidelines and give the purchaser a copy of the design guidelines.

  • Front yard fences will not be permitted.
  • Back yard needs to be fully enclosed by a fence.
  • Fence will be constructed of vinyl or wood.   Chain link is prohibited.
  • Wooden fence can be stained or painted.   If painted the fence should be all white, white boards and rails with the boards to match the colour of the house or the whole fence to match the colour of the house.
  • On internal lots, fences shall not be built closer to the front than a point 6 feet back from the front of the house.
  • On corner lots, fences on the street side of the lots shall extend from the rear lot line to the rear of the house, but not past the rear of the house.
  • On corner lots the fence design and materials shall be coordinated with other adjacent or nearby corner lots.   The same design and materials are preferred.

4.6                 Recreation Equipment and Commercial Vehicles

The following items can not be stored in the front yard or driveway of any property between the building line and the curb;   recreation equipment (trailers, motorhomes, campers etc.), vehicles and commercial vehicles in excess of 3/4 ton capacity.   If this equipment is otherwise stored on the property, it shall be screened from abutting streets and adjacent homes.

4.7             Features

Purchasers are encouraged to consider alternate features to help individualize their homes.

Features to be considered are post lamps, decks and balconies, planters, selection of plant materials, driveway finishes.

5.0             APPROVAL PROCEDURE

Purchasers and builders are required to contact the Approval Committee prior to finalizing their house type, finishes and colours in order to avoid conflicts with other approved plans.

Applications can be delivered to Group 2 Architecture @ 200-4706-48th Avenue in Red Deer, AB.

The Approval Committee reserves the right to make exceptions to these guidelines where it is deemed appropriate.

Each application shall include:

  • 5 sets of drawings – plans, elevations, sections
  • 1 application form – completed with selected materials and colours
  • 2 site/plot plans
  • For standard, narrow and duplex lots: a minimum security deposit of $1500.00 (collected by the developer at the time of purchase).
  • For estate lots: a minimum security deposit of $2000.00 (collected by the developer at the time of purchase).

Please allow for a turnaround period of 2-3 business days.

The Approval Committee will review the application and recommend approval or rejection based on the compliance with these guidelines.   One copy of the submission will be made available to the Purchaser; and one set will be kept by the Approval Committee for reference.   If any changes are desired after approval has been given, the Purchaser must contact Approval Committee in writing before proceeding.   Approval will be given only if changes comply with guidelines and complement surrounding houses.   Changes will be approved on a first come first served basis.   The Approval Committee may charge a fee for processing a second application for the lot.

Note:   Applications must be finalized with elevations that reflect the correct materials, color and level of detail to be built.   Written notes explaining changes to elevations are not acceptable.   Marked up sets and incomplete applications will be returned.

6.0                 FINAL INSPECTIONS

For Final Approval and release of the security deposit, the Purchaser shall advise the Approval Committee when the house and landscaping are complete and must provide a surveyor’s certificate or other written confirmation substantiating that all “Actual” finished grades comply with the approved drawings.

The Approval Committee will be looking at the following items, all of which must b completed before a final inspection can be done:

  • Review of house and original house plans to confirm that plans were followed and that the Approval Committee’s instructions and recommendations were followed.
  • Check that setbacks conform to these guidelines and that the lot grading is complete.
  • Review exterior finishes and colors to ensure that there are no unapproved changes.
  • Establish that foundation parging has been completed.
  • Inspect the street, sidewalks and curbs for any damage done during construction.
  • Ensure the fence conforms to the Architectural Control Specifications.
  • Ensure the porch in the front, if any, is closed in.

The Vendor will pay the cost of the first inspection by Approval Committee.   Any additional inspections required because of incomplete or unacceptable work will be charged to the Purchaser at the inspecting consultant’s hourly rate.   Payment will be deducted from the return of the architectural control security deposit.

I have read and understand the Architectural Control Specifications.


Date   __________________________________

Purchaser:   ____________________________________

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