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New Mixed Use Districts


Since last summer, The City has been working with multiple internal and external stakeholders on two new mixed use district options to add to Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw.

Stakeholders have been engaged through the Green Line and Main Streets community planning processes, as well as independently with specific industry and internal groups.

The related documents listed below include the final draft of the proposed ‘General Rules for Mixed Use Districts, Mixed Use – Flexible (MU-1) District, Mixed Use – Active Frontage (MU-2) District, and consequential amendments to other parts of the land use bylaw.

The two mixed use districts being proposed are:

  1. Mixed Use – Flexible (MU-1) District
    • Intended to be located along commercial streets where a mix of different uses could be located at the street level including commercial, residential or office type uses.
    • Allows flexibility in terms of which uses are located at the street level
    • Accommodates a mix of uses within a single building or within multiple buildings throughout an area.
  1. Mixed Use – Active Frontage (MU-2) District
    • Intended to be located along commercial streets where commercial uses are located at grade in order to promote activity at the street level.
    • Requires that every building have commercial type uses, such as shops and restaurants, at street level.

Project Details

Development supported in both these districts would typically consist of street-oriented mid-rise buildings between four and six storeys in height and generally not exceeding 10 storeys.

The proposed districts focus regulation on the interface of the building with the street rather than on the floor area of uses. Design standards at the street level include requirements for clear glazing at eye level, maximum frontage length per use, and individual entrances for each use. Building design, landscaping and parking rules that apply to both districts are outlined in the ‘General Rules’ section of the ‘Mixed Use Districts – January 2017’ document below. We’ve also included purpose statements that apply to both mixed use districts and inform the implementation of rules that are common to both districts.

Most of the changes from September are refinements to the rules that make them easier to implement, easier to understand, and more consistent with other sections of the Land Use Bylaw.

The ‘Street Wall Rules’ that were included in the September draft have been removed and replaced with a simpler rule that requires a building step-back on street facing facades for buildings that are taller than six storeys in height. On upper storeys, separation distances for windows, balconies and towers provide access to light and air. When new buildings back onto a lower scale residential property, an angular plane steps the building height down to minimize visual mass and shadowing.

The mixed use districts are intended to be implemented through local area planning and land use amendment processes along neighbourhood and community scale commercial streets. The districts are consistent with the Mixed Use – Neighbourhood and Mixed Use – Urban Land Use categories in the proposed Developed Areas Guidebook.

Related Documents

The final draft is scheduled to be presented to the Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) on 2017 February 23. Minor changes to the proposed districts may be accommodated if comments are received by 2017 January 23.


Stephen Pearce
Planner, Planning and Development

Jeffry Haggett
Planner, Planning and Development