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Back  |  February 20, 2018  | 


Secondary Suite Process Reform

The City has proposed changes to improve the process for Secondary Suites and Backyard Suites for Calgarians, which will be debated on March 12, 2018. These changes mean that applications will no longer be considered by council in a public hearing, they will instead be reviewed by planning staff. Under the existing bylaw, if you wanted to develop a suite in your basement or in your backyard or above your garage you would have to ask City Council for permission through a land use redesignation. The proposed changes would mean property owners would have the ability to develop a suite without City Council approval, but would still work with Planning and Development staff at The City of Calgary to obtain Development and Building Permits. 

Land owners who are directly affected by these changes will be receiving a letter in the coming days but Calgarians can search their address immediately on to see if they are impacted. Citizens who feel like they would like to attend the Public Hearing to voice their opinion on the changes on March 12. Written feedback can also be included in the Council Agenda package, citizens may provide submissions by noon, Tuesday March 5, 2018.

The proposed changes are expected to directly affect 170,000 land owners in Calgary. Letters notifying land owners of the changes and the upcoming hearing have been mailed in February, inviting them to provide written submissions before March 5th or attend the public meeting and present to Council on March 12th. The City has also built an online search tool for Calgarians to check their address on to see if they are impacted.

On March 12, Council will also discuss proposed changes that would require all existing and new suites to be part of The City’s Suites Registry Program which would allow renters to confirm whether a suite they are looking to rent is meeting safety standards.

For information about the proposed changes and how you would be affected or if you are unsure what your land use designation is please go to the following website:

To find out more about the current rules regarding Secondary Suites and Backyard Suites, and what the steps are to build a new suite, or bring an existing suite into compliance visit the following website:

If you do not have access to the internet please contact the City at 403-268-5311 for more information or visit in person the Planning Services Centre, 3rd floor of the Municipal Building 800 Macleod Trail S.E., Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.  

For frequently asked questions, view Secondary Suite Process Reform Notice of Motion Q. ​​

Categories: Councillor

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.​