Dear Community Association Presidents and Planning Chairs,
I would like to update you on a motion that I plan to bring forward at the June 9th City Council meeting regarding secondary suites. If passed, the motion will allow secondary suites throughout wards 7, 8, 9 and 11, as well as within 600 metres of primary transit nodes (LRT and Bus Rapid Transit) in all wards in the city.
The City of Calgary is experiencing a growing housing affordability crisis worsened by the 2013 flood. Secondary suites will bring relief to this crisis by providing revenue opportunities for homeowners and increasing the options for safe rental housing. They are a simple and market-driven solution to the increasingly serious problem of housing affordability at no cost to the City. For home owners, suites can provide extra revenue and a helping hand to seniors wanting to age in place, or young families entering the housing market.
Other cities that have adopted similar rules have experienced an uptake of only 10% of suites in any given neighbourhood as well as a decrease in illegal suites.
With the implementation of secondary suites, I want to ensure that we encourage good neighbours. My motion will request that the new bylaw addresses these common concerns:
a) spill-over parking;
b) overshadowing and overlooking for garden/laneway suites;
c) landlord responsibility.
I have been a vocal advocate for secondary suites since I was first elected in 2001. Council has debated secondary suites and laneway housing many times over the years, resulting in incremental changes that are often overly complicated and confusing. Several years ago, Council made the decision to allow secondary suites in all new communities and we have seen an increased interest in those neighbourhoods and throughout the city.
I look forward to working with your community association to ensure that implementation of the new secondary suite bylaw is a success.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.