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Land Use Bylaw amendments: food growing, processing and distribution

In 2012, City Council endorsed Calgary’s food strategy known as the CalgaryEATS! Food System Assessment and Action Plan​. The vision of our city’s food strategy is to create a sustainable and resilient food system, so that every citizen has access to local, healthy and environmentally-friendly food.

The Land Use Bylaw amendment project proposes changes that support urban food production, processing and distribution, to increase food system resiliency and access to healthy and affordable food for all Calgarians.

Project objectives

  • Evaluate methods and opportunities for local food production in buildings in the industrial and commercial areas, and determine appropriate planning rules and definitions;
  • Evaluate opportunities for outdoor, small-scale food production in residential, commercial and industrial areas;
  • Ensure new food trends can be accommodated in the Land Use Bylaw, where appropriate;
  • Ensure food production, processing and distribution businesses are appropriately located and compatible with other uses;
  • Ensure that the rules clearly communicate the opportunities that are available to grow food in Calgary; and
  • Contribute to a sustainable and resilient food system for Calgary as expressed in the vision and principles of the CalgaryEATS! Food System Assessment and Action Plan.

Stakeholder engagement results

The first phase of engagement involved reaching out to stakeholders through an online survey, to better understand emerging trends and to determine barriers and opportunities for food production, processing and distribution.

Based on our research and the input we received from the community, we came up with 13 potential ways to increase food production, processing and distribution through our current bylaws. In November 2016, we held two open houses where we presented Promoting Calgary’s local food system: Land Use Bylaw amendments and asked for further feedback from the public. To see a summary of the feedback, view the What We Heard report.

Land use bylaw amendments approved

Informed by the public input that started in 2015 and was completed in the fall of 2016, the Land Use Bylaw team refined land use options for food and agriculture. These Land Use Bylaw Amendments have now been Approved by Council.

The approved land use amendments include new “food production” uses to accommodate indoor models of food production including hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic and aquaculture in the Industrial and Commercial districts; clarifying the definition of “Extensive Agriculture” to allow for small buildings and greenhouses; and a definition for “Intensive Agriculture”; and Brewery, Winery and Distillery is now a permitted use in the Industrial-General and Industrial-Redevelopment districts.

Next steps

We are now looking at how to accommodate outdoor urban agriculture and rooftop greenhouses in more land use districts. More information on the timeline coming soon!


Subscribe to receive email updates on this project, or reach out to our team directly:

Kristi Peters Snider
Sustainability Consultant, Office of Sustainability

Laurie Kimber
Senior Planner, Planning & Development