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Industry City Work Plan

​The Industry/City Work Plan was approved on 2016 January 11 as part of the Off-site Levy Bylaw. The Work Plan outlines six key initiatives that the Development Industry and Administration have collaborated on in order to enhance accountability, make improvements, provide opportunities for feedback and help to set direction for future work. These initiatives address issues in all areas of the city including established areas, greenfield areas, and industrial lands.

The initiatives of the work plan also span The City of Calgary business units and the Planning Continuum, from policy through growth management, outline plan and land use, through the approvals process.

In building the Work Plan, Administration worked with development industry professionals to identify opportunities for capital investment that could have the most impact in bringing economic stimulus for Calgary through job creation and private investment. While this is not a formal part of the Industry/City Work Plan, this work directly supports some of the initiatives of the Work Plan. July council report​

The six initiatives of the Work Plan aim to address City and Industry needs while delivering outcomes that better serve our city and facilitate development that meets the needs of Calgarians and the principles of more sustainable and citizen-oriented communities.

Initiative 1: Developer Advisory Committee

The Developer Advisory Committee was created to provide insight and perspective from across Industry and City Administration on the overall Work Plan. It has been focused on outcomes of the initiatives by facilitating strategic alignment, data and analysis, and Industry knowledge sharing.

The Developer Advisory Committee’s role is to:

  • Guide the creation of the working groups.
  • Provide insight and connection between the initiatives and offer advice to the working groups.
  • Provide insight and perspective on outcomes and deliverables of each initiative ensuring connectivity and alignment with the Municipal Development Plan (MDP)/Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP).
  • Communicate the industry perspective in support of advancing the Industry/City Work Plan.

Initiative 2: Phasing Growth / Land Supply Strategy

The Phasing Growth/Land Supply initiative focuses on The City’s implementation of the Growth Management Overlay (GMO), a policy tool introduced to strategically align planning and infrastructure resources.

A working group was established to tackle the following objectives of the Phasing Growth/Land Supply Strategy initiative:

  • Review the Growth Management Overlay Process.
  • Establish principles and criteria for prioritizing areas that could have their Overlays removed.
  • Implement the new approach in relation to the Outline Plan process.
  • Align with growth-related infrastructure prioritization work..

Growth Management Overlay (GMO) serves to direct development to lands where growth management issues need to be resolved. The presence of an Overlay suggests that sufficient transportation, utilities, and/or fire response capacity is not yet available in the "Overlay" area.

Based on this, the path to remove a Growth Management Overlay is neither completely standard nor does it guarantee a particular outcome. It is, however, a platform for dialogue and further analysis around options and alternatives to meet the purpose and outcomes of strategic growth.

Initiative 2 responds to a shared understanding with Industry that the GMO removal process and criteria should be reviewed. This work also responds to a desire to prioritize new infrastructure investment to leverage public funds and drive private investment

Initiative #3: Established Area Strategy

This initiative is focused on concerns raised by industry during the Off-site Levy Bylaw process that resulted in increased developer responsibility for redevelopment projects.

A working group was established to tackle the following objectives of the Established Area Strategy initiative:

  • Understand infrastructure capacity in Established Areas by prioritizing areas for further analysis and identifying funding approaches (includes water, storm and sanitary services as well as community amenities funding).
  • Complete inventory of all costs imposed on development permits and review cumulative effects and relevancy (includes Centre City Levy program).
  • Review engineering specifications impacts.
  • Develop a Public Realm/Community Benefits Strategy.
  • Progress on established area permit approval processes and related issues, such as Permitted Uses, change of use applications, Land Use Bylaws, community engagement, policy impacts, timelines.
  • Monitor the impacts of the new levy rate on established areas.

Addressing the issues that are included in the Work Plan will reduce barriers to redevelopment, and thereby balance the additional burden of the Off-site Levy Bylaw charges.

Initiative #4: Funding Growth Strategy

During the development of the Off-site Levy Bylaw​, issues related to funding and financing growth infrastructure were identified. These include mitigation of economic risk, alternative funding options, capital budget certainty, debt and debt servicing impact, cumulative operating cost impact, and accountability in reporting.

The focus of the initiative is on alternative funding options as they relate to Growth Management Overlay removal. As part of this focus, other issues are being addressed, including debt and debt servicing impacts and cumulative operating cost impacts. This initiative also includes discussion around the Off-site Levy Bylaw system and how it supports greenfield development. The 2015 Off-site Levy Bylaw report was released in July.

The Phasing Growth and Funding Growth external working groups have been merged to address the following objectives:

  • Establish principles that align with growth management overlay process.
  • Explore funding arrangements and options for alternate financing with the Industry. Research best practices in other municipalities.
  • Gather information and analyze annual operating costs to better understand impacts on budget resulting from advancement of additional growth areas.
  • Provide more detailed and timely capital plan information to Industry, with the intent to provide longer term certainty.
  • Continue to improve the annual levy reporting report and process.

Initiative #5: Process Improvements Strategy

The Process Improvements Strategy aims to address concerns across the land development approvals continuum from land use/outline plans to occupancy and development closeout. Both The City and Industry have concerns about ensuring that Calgary is an attractive place for real estate investment, that the approval process is simplified and efficient, and that partnerships can be built between The City, Development Industry and Communities.

In addition to the process improvement efforts with Industry, noteworthy structural changes to the approval process have been put into place to address concerns with governance, customer relations, and to aid in corporate decision making on land development issues.

To date we have had overwhelming support from Industry, City staff and the senior leadership of both entities to ensure all of the aspects of the process improvement strategy are successful. It is a testament of a shifting culture where The City and Industry see each other as partners in building Calgary.

Process improvement projects

Permit Coordination


  • Development of teams
    • Developing teams to review alignment of Development completion permit (DCP)and occupancy
    • Creating a team to look at the revised plan process
  • Investigation as to the major pitfalls during permitting from development permit to occupancy
    • Currently collecting data

Row Housing


  • Common review issues have been identified
    • Working on mitigating issues such as: Overland drainage
    • Misunderstanding of status of the legal parcel, minimum bylaw requirements and impact of additional bylaws
  • Determine if row housing can be exempt
    • Working with Land Use Bylaw (LUB) sustainment team and Law
    • How we can get the issues identified in the development permit within a different form

Site Grading


  • Identify site grading specifications
    • Working to verify internally
  • Meetings with assessment
    • Identify when assessed value changes
    • Future plans to communicate this to Industry via Complete Application Requirement List (CARL),, Urban Development Institute (UDI) site, etc.
  • Clarify the different avenues for site grading
    • Development permits and development agreements
    • Communicate to Industry which to apply for and when

Construction Drawings


  • Mapping of the construction drawing process
    • Process nearly complete and will need to be verified with relevant groups
  • Identify areas of enhancement
    • POSSE upgrades and how we can implement them
    • Separation of approvals within construction drawings between surface and underground



  • Map out the Construction Completion Certificates/Final Acceptance Certificates (CCC/FAC) process
    • Identify stakeholders and their risk to recognize process efficiencies
  • Identify project efficiencies
    • UDO Urban Development Online project is currently underway

Development Site Servicing Plans (DSSP)


  • Map current state processes with interaction points
  • Generate DSSP Measure Reports
  • Review existing technical documents (standards and guidelines)
  • Analyze process maps, performance measures and engagement comments
  • Complete deep dive study of a sample of DSSP applications



  • Revising Explore and pre-applications
    • Working with various City staff, a business analyst and Industry representatives to determine processes and workflow
  • Identification of Industry needs for pre-application and Explore services
    • Needs have been determined jointly with Industry and City staff

Communication and Rules


  • Online CPAG directory
    • Location on the website has been determined
    • Directory is currently with the design team
  • Survey and analytics tool
    • Technology team is working on the survey
    • Working with reps to determine questions
  • Customized timelines
    • Can change POSSE timelines based on the timelines agreed to with applicants
    • Currently being worked on by the technology team
    • Learning and knowledge management is working with the project manager to incorporate this training in with the current training being offered to staff

Initial Team Review (ITR) and submission of applications


  • New CARL advisory group
    • This group has recently been created
  • New Land Use, Outline Plan, Road Closure (LOC) workflow
    • Developed with support from Corporate Planning Application Group (CPAG) staff
    • Early testing has been completed
    • Moving towards production forQ1 of 2017

Initiative #6: Industrial Strategy

Calgary is the inland port for western Canada. It is a hub for the Pacific Northwest with network connections by road, rail and air that move products and people, and support a thriving industrial and warehousing sector. The Industrial Strategy was initiated to consider the impacts of increased Off-site Levy rates on industrial development as well as to identify opportunities to support industrial development by off-setting the impacts of the levy through policy considerations and comprehensive longer term strategies. The initiative will oversee gathering of information to inform the Offsite Levy Bylaw ​at the time of the next review. City staff and external industry partners identified a need to better understand strategies that support industrial development and the impacts of policy on this sector.

A working group was established to tackle the following objectives of the Industrial Strategy:

  • Identify strategies for continued support of industrial development.
  • Provide continued analysis of industrial land supply.
  • Monitor the impacts of the levy rate on industrial development and gather information to inform the next bylaw review.
  • Review potential policy impacts.