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Residential Infill Improvements


Infill property development is the rebuilding of new structures in replacement of aging homes in communities that are already built out. Infill development is beneficial to communities in many ways, including supporting community revitalization and providing more housing close to already existing local services.

The City’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) has a number of policies that encourage infill development. These policies aim to increase the range of housing types, stabilize or increase population, and balance the rate of population growth between established and new built communities, resulting in a more compact urban form.

Infill development has a key role in creating stable and complete communities that provide the housing and services that people need and want. This evolution of Calgary’s neighbourhoods to include more people and a greater variety of housing results in change that can be at turns exciting and stressful.

Our previous engagement and monitoring of infill development has highlighted a number of persistent concerns and opportunities. Many of these require a “big picture” view of the neighbourhood growth and change to establish shared principles to guide regulation and policy updates.

Current work

Ongoing, there have been several annual projects monitoring how The City regulates infill development in low density residential neighbourhoods.

Contextual Single and Semi-detached Dwellings

One project has followed the outcomes of single detached and semi-detached (side-by-side) redevelopment over the past seven years. Following from this monitoring process a collection of recurring and emerging issues was identified. Council has approved a two-step process to look for solutions to these issues.

Phase 1

The first part of this project involves exploring potential changes to the land use bylaw to:

  • Encourage front porches
  • Review basement developments that extend outside the area of the main floor of the home

Phase 2

The second step of this process will involve a broader discussion on more projects. Through conversations on other projects,like the Land Use Bylaw monitoring reports, local area planning (Main Streets and Green Line) and city wide policy (Developed Areas Guidebook) it is clear that the Land Use Bylaw alone will not solve these issues. It will require addressing broader questions about evolving communities overall.

Administration is coordinating efforts to ensure aligned discussions, feedback, and information sharing between projects, including Main Streets, the Municipal Development Plan Monitoring & Review, updates to the Developed Areas Guidebook, amendments to The Residential – Contextual Grade Oriented (R-CG) district, and recent Local Area Plan work. The research and review that will be presented in Fall 2018 will provide a framework for how to move forward with our infill districts.

The twelve items regarding low density infill development identified by Council are listed below:

  • Eave and peak height differentiation;
  • Massing;
  • Front porches;
  • Subterranean structures extending beyond above-grade footprints;
  • Hardscape coverage;
  • Green landscaping;
  • Tree retention in the Demolition Permit, Development Permit, and Building Permit stages;
  • Drainage;
  • Non-conforming/non-standard lots;
  • Materials;
  • Vehicle loading and storage; and
  • Setbacks.

The Residential – Contextual Grade Oriented Infill (R-CG) District was added to the Land Use Bylaw in 2013 to support a broader mix of housing in already built out low density residential neighbourhoods.


Rowhouses are one of the key housing types enabled by the R-CG District. Certain concerns with this use were identified through reviews of new rowhouse developments in the R-CG District, conversations with communities, and feedback provided a public hearings and Council.

These include: allowances for secondary suites in rowhouses; parking requirements for secondary suites; rowhouse height allowances; the impact of the rear of rowhouse units facing neighbouring backyards; and that the required setbacks from the street result in rowhouse units that don’t adequately activate the street.


  • Spring 2018 – Work with select representatives from communities and industry to explore potential solutions for Phase 1 technical land use bylaw amendments for low density infill and the R-CG District.
  • June 2018 – Proposed solutions will be posted on this webpage
  • 2018 July 26 – proposed amendments presented to the Calgary Planning Commission
    A copy of the reports and supporting documentation are available here​.
  • September 2018 – tentative date for a public hearing at the meeting of City Council

Related documents

Residential Building and Development hub


Tammy Henry, Planner 2
Planning & Development

Stephen Pearce, Senior Planner
Planning & Development

For media inquiries, please call 403-828-2954.​​​​​​​​