New, Interactive Land Use Bylaw
The Municipal Government Act requires that The City of Calgary to pass a land use
bylaw (LUB). The current Land Use Bylaw is Bylaw 1P2007. Bylaw 1P2007 is subject to amendments. Citizens should consult the official documents in the Office of the City Clerk.
Two electronic versions of Bylaw 1P2007 are provided here. The first is the new interactive bylaw.
Interactive Land Use Bylaw 1P2007
We are currently working on improving browser compatibility for the Interactive version of Bylaw 1P2007. If you experience problems with this version of Bylaw 1P2007, please refer to the PDF document.
The Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 is also provided here in two PDF files. The first PDF file contains Parts 1 through 9, 11 and 12, as well as the Schedules of Bylaw 1P2007. The second PDF file contains Part 10 of Land Use Bylaw 1P2007.
The priority of updating electronic versions of the bylaw as amendments to Bylaw 1P2007 are made by Council, is to first update the PDF versions, then the interactive versions. In case of any discrepancy between the two versions, please consult the original document maintained by The Office of the City Clerk.
For general inquiries about the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007, please contact 403-268-5311.
The Land Use Bylaw outlines all land use districts
and is an important tool for implementing the policies of the Municipal Development Plan, the Area Structure Plans, the Area Redevelopment Plans, and other policy documents. The Land Use Bylaw regulates the neighbourhood you live in by the type and mix of housing; the location and type of shops and services; and the development potential of each property.
The uses identified in the Land Use Bylaw as permitted or discretionary are fixed and cannot be changed without a redesignation of the site. The rules governing development standards are more flexible and may be varied, through a "relaxation" by the Development Authority.
The Land Use Bylaw also includes:
procedures to process and decide on a change of land use (redesignation);
procedures to process, decide, and appeal development permits;
permitted and discretionary uses and development rules (minimum standards) for each land use district;
divides the city into a series of land use districts as shown on the land use maps; and
general rules for landscaping, setbacks from the road, floodplains, etc.
Please note that the Land Use Bylaw has been amended. The amended pages can be downloaded online, or can be purchased from CITYonline, or phone 3-1-1.
When using the PDF of the Land Use Bylaw, please be aware that the search tool in Adobe Acrobat may not bring up all instances of the search word in the document.
What is a land use bylaw?
Calgary's Land Use Bylaw regulates and controls the use and development of all land and buildings within the municipal boundaries.
The Land Use Bylaw is used to:
Establish the structure for development permit decision making process
Implement Council policies such as the Municipal Development Plan, area redevelopment plans and area structure plans
Affect the types of communities Calgarians live in by designating the uses and development that may be allowed on each parcel of land
Provide rules to guide uses and development on a parcel
How does a land use bylaw differ from zoning?
There are two basic approaches typically used in regulating the use of land – zoning and development control. Zoning establishes land use zones along with rules governing what can be developed. If a proposed development meets the rules, it is approved.
Development Control creates land use districts with rules governing what can be developed and how it must be built. Every proposal is evaluated on its own merits and the specific characteristics of each site are taken into account. The public or affected stakeholders have an opportunity to comment on the proposal and decisions may be appealed.
Calgary uses a hybrid of these two systems of regulating land use. The Land Use Bylaw includes two types of uses in every land use district: permitted uses and discretionary uses. Permitted uses are similar to aspects of the zoning approach. Developments that meet the rules cannot be refused, are not circulated for public comment and are not subject to appeal. Discretionary uses allow for each proposed development to be evaluated on its merits. Proposals for discretionary uses are circulated for comment, and the decision can be appealed.
Direct control designation
The designation that leads to the most confusion is the Direct Control or DC designation. Unlike other designations, there is a different set of uses and rules for each of the numerous DC districts in the city. Each DC has a specific bylaw number reference which identifies the uses and rules.
A DC is a "custom made" or designation designed for one specific area or project only. It is still a legally bylawed land use district and any changes to the uses or rules require the full public hearing redesignation process.
Content of a land use bylaw
Council adopts a variety of policies related to land use planning. These are often referred to as policy plans and include The Calgary Municipal Development Plan, Area Redevelopment Plans and Area Structure Plans.
The Municipal Government Act requires that each municipality adopt a land use bylaw which must provide for:
A system for rendering decisions on development applications
A series of land use districts, each with a set of appropriate uses
Rules respecting the development of new buildings
Regulate land uses and development
A land use bylaw provides a systematic approach for making development decisions, which in turn enables more consistent decision making. This helps landowners better determine how to develop their land and assists residents with understanding the range of use that may occur in their communities.
Uses and developments
A land use bylaw designates both development and uses that can occur on a parcel. Development consists of the construction of a new building for an intended purpose. Use is the activity that occurs in that new building.
A land use bylaw provides rules to guide use and development. These include:
Rules relating to the process for approving new development
Rules relating to the design, size and placement of a new building
Rules relating to the use of a site
The Land Use Bylaw controls two elements of development. The first is minimum standards for things such as size, scale and massing (location on the parcel) of a building and the second is the use of a parcel, which reflects the activities that go on at the site.
Development permits and building permits
A development permit is a document that is issued under a land use bylaw and authorizes a development. Development permits are applied for by an applicant who wishes to develop or redevelop a parcel of land. This includes changing the use. If refused, the Development Authority is obligated to provide reasons for the refusal. If approved, the Development Authority may place conditions on the approval.
The Land Use Bylaw is generally only one of several laws that can affect the development of the site. Most projects will require a series of approvals prior to beginning construction. Most projects will also require a building permit. The primary purpose of a building permit is to ensure that the building is constructed in a safe manner.+