Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp

September 2023 newsletter

Hi, Ward 1!

I hope everyone has had a fantastic start to this school year. It is so great to see everyone back into their routines and in the community again. Thanks for taking the time to read this month's newsletter.

Although it’s a shorter update than usual, this month includes a reminder about back to school road safety, the Housing Strategy approved by Council, and the introduction of a new Ward 1 team member!

Please reach out to me or my office if you have questions or concerns. We are always happy to hear from you. Have a great rest of your September, and you will hear from us again, soon!

—Sonya Sharp

Councillor Sharp at St. Sylvester School's playground opening

Community Updates


Please welcome Jessica Donnelly to the Ward 1 team as our Social Media and Digital Communications Strategist!

Jessica is a fourth-year public relations student attending Mount Royal University, where she will obtain her Bachelor of Communications degree this spring. With a passion for community service, she dedicates her time to volunteering with local non-profits in Calgary, lending her communications skills and aiding in more hands-on volunteer work. In her free time, Jessica enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping with her friends and family.

As a soon-to-be graduate, Jessica is thrilled to join the Ward 1 team to enhance her communications skills and connect with the Ward 1 community on a deeper level. Thank you for joining our team, Jessica!

Road safety

As our Ward 1 students return to schools and playgrounds, please take extra care and be mindful when driving through our neighbourhoods. We request that you respect all playground zone speed limits, construction zones, and avoid distracted driving. As a pedestrian, please only use designated crosswalks and to ensure that vehicles have stopped before crossing. The safety of our streets depends on each of you to commute safely!

Road safety is a top priority for Councillor Sharp. If you have any traffic concerns, please contact our office.

Wheeling lanes

The City of Calgary would like to ensure that all wheeling lane users to ensure they are aware of how to properly (and safely) use the facilities.

  • Wheeling lane users should always ride in the same direction as traffic. 
  • Like other vehicles, wheeling lane users are required to yield to pedestrians. 
  • When turning left at an intersection, wheeling lane users must merge in with vehicle traffic and yield to oncoming vehicles.

For more information on wheeling lanes, please visit calgary.ca/WheelingLanes.

For more information specific to the one-way cycle tracks installed in Silver Springs as part of the Neighbourhood Streets project, visit calgary.ca/SilverSpringsStreets

News from City Council

Housing Strategy

After three days and more than 160 speakers, Council approved Home is Here: The City of Calgary's Housing Strategy 2024-2030 to address the ongoing housing affordability crisis that Calgary faces.

Councillor Sharp was pleased to vote in favour of the strategy. It contains many important actions that will help increase access to housing and housing affordability in Calgary, including:

  • Using City-owned land to support more non-market affordable housing 
  • Using City-owned land to establish two emergency shelters for famililes with children
  • Exploring the creation of incentives for affordable secondary suite housing
  • Support to help equity-deserving groups access housing
  • Efforts to speed up the planing process

Advocacy to the federal and provincial governments for additional support

Councillor Sharp remains concerned about the proposal for blanket rezoning. While this remains a part of the strategy, no final decision has been made: an extensive public engagement process is still required before Council makes a final decision. 

Blanket rezoning

Councillor Sharp knows many Calgarians are concerned about blanket rezoning: the proposed plan to re-designate all residential areas in Calgary to allow townhomes and rowhouses anywhere without an individual public hearing in front of Council. 

Councillor Sharp presented the Community Development Committee with an amendment to remove blanket rezoning from the Housing Strategy. That amendment was defeated by the committee, and blanket rezoning remains part of the Strategy's proposed actions.

Earlier this month, Councillor Sharp proposed a Notice of Motion to speed up approval times for land use changes in the planning department, ensuring we can get more housing built while still giving Calgarians a chance to say on changes to their neighbourhood at an individual public hearing in front of City Council. Unfortunately, this Notice of Motion was also defeated at committee. 

Councillor Sharp supports increasing density, but believes that every proposed land use change should have an individual public hearing with a chance for the public to have their say in front of their elected officials. She believes we can get more housing built by speeding up the process but maintaining the  public hearing. 

Before blanket rezoning can go ahead, a specific process must take place: 

  • Preparation and mapping by City Administration
  • Notifying all affected property owners
  • Public engagement 
  • Administration prepares a recommendation for Council, incorporating public feedback 
  • A public hearing of Council where Calgarians can share their views
  • A final decision by Council

It's important to note that all members of Council are legally required to remain open to persuasion at the public hearing on this proposed change. As a result, we encourage all Calgarians to fully participate in this process, whatever their views on the matter. 

City Administration anticipates the public hearing will take place sometime in the second quarter of 2024. 

We will continue to share updates on this process at calgary.ca/ward1 as more information becomes available. The website also includes supporting videos and an opportunity to share your thoughts.

Categories: General, Housing, Newsletter