Information | Rezoning for Housing

Public hearing on April 22, 2024. Proposed rezoning will support more housing options in all communities.

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Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans

Discussion Series: City Planning & Development Team

Discussion Series: City Planning & Development Team

Councillor Pootmans discussion with Stuart Dalgleish – General Manager, Planning & Development, Debra Hamilton – Director, Community Planning and Josh White – Director, Calgary Growth Strategies. An insightful conversation on Local Area Plan, Land Use Applications, Development Permits and much more.

Useful links:


1.    Given the organization realignment what is now different in Planning and Development from what it used to be? What will be better for a CA?

Past :Applicant applies, can go to several departments reviewing that application: Transportation, Parks, Utilities. Now goes to one department.

Now: One City Hall = one city one voice: Land Use, Regulation… (mutli-disciplinary – from Assessment to Water. Approvals and Growth continuum…

Desire: MDP and CTP – integrate systems together

Communities don’t experience City departments in sylos, so reorganized to think with different lense…fits into vision the City Manager has!

How inter-governmental tie into realignment? Different municipalities = region. Provincial and Federal and government vs in-house planning around those relationships. Examples: Rockyview Annexation Sheppard SE, Foothills Annexation Sirrocco SW. Ideal to do Annexation ahead… pro-active

There is a challenge in Ward 6 with land fragmentation = Annexed land, quarter section of land might have 15 different owners.


2.    How does the realignment affect the planning principals of Local Area Plans and Area Structure Plans? (Westbrook LAP & Springbank ASP)

In person LAP - Westgate – June 21, 2022

MDP – growth and change 60 years out.

Local Area Plans within in (New Areas)

Area Re-development plans with in (Established Areas)

Ex. MDP and CTP, two separate plans today, view that these two should be brought together into one plan.

Benefits of Area Plans with Infrastructure Services Plan

Both under same department

Same relationships with community associations

Knowledge carried through


3.    What is the difference between Local Area Plans?

Bad habit acronyms, jargon

Apply City–Wide vision in a local area/community

How come up with Density Levels?

Translate growth targets and how manifest in local community, over time.

 LRT stations leverage investment = good type of location want to concentrate in.

Housing choices available now and in the future. Townhouses, less expensive that duplex or single detached home.

Close to bus route, busier street, amenities.

How move around community and amenities…

Land use applications and Development permits?

Developer has a piece of land, want to develop something. What zoning will allow? Might require a land use application to match what trying to achieve.

Property owners have a right, obey merits land use application with merits of policy

MGA legislated governance ‘statutory policy’ legal standing

Application weighed against those policies

Planning department makes recommendations to CPC, authority to make decisions (typical concerns: Dimension, height, landscaping)

Land Use Development Permit use vs Development Permit details?

NEW Land Use Bylaw by end of 2024

May or may not introduce City redesignation

Community based not City blanket

Land Use Development = Where and how to grow

Development Permit = Individual landowners to submit redesignation


Chair Calgary Planning Commission - Debra

Community Planning – Josh

Relationship between two – Regional 60 years vs Local Area Plans

Director Planning and Development - Stuart


4.    How do you communicate with residents on developments in their area?

Notification depends on Application:

  • Land Use, letters, signage first comes in – collecting feedback, second time before going to Council for Public Hearing.
  • Development Map, monitor activity, zoom into Ward
  • DP depending on proposed use, can be posted on site, but not all CA and Councillor Office Residents who have signed up for more information, and to supply comments
  • Accepting comments in-person or virtualBoth. Information on Clerks website.
  • Not always the City communicating – encourage applicants to communicate and engage early and often.

City responsibility vs Applicant responsibility? City has transferred responsibility for accountability to the applicant who holds the application, to help determine level of engagement… post card, radius, CA, Councillor.


5.    How can residents and communities get involved in

a.    Local Area Plans – Engagement, Importance of community, citizen and developer involvement = future of community.

Community to own a Local Area Plan with everyone who has a stake = community outlook on vision.

  • Councillor and CA how best to engage with Community
  • Working group / sounding board in Community
  • Sessions for the general public (go where people live, in person, present, resident know own community best, some prefer online, open up channels to gain insight)
  • My idea stations
  • Mail Outs with tear out sheet

b.    Land Use Applications and Development Permits – Pro-active, long-term envisioning.

  • Review plans and maps, participation, share opinion.
  • Great way for Community to engage from applications in the beginning.
  • Level of engagement diminishes by Development Permit stage. Yet more intense block by block basis… Immediacy of Issue. Impact of neighbour.

Democracy Theme: How community, citizen, business, get involved in every stage of the process?

Make sure have access in that process. Always want feedback to continue improvement.

So much has changed over the past 5-6 years…Rendering, Image, not just zoning jargon, use plain language vs technical language. Developers came to City Hall with mounds of paper, five copies to send around… So big, difficult to mail it.

So much easier with plans online. Planning system more inclusive.


6.    What things can residents comment on that they can change the outcome of, or have a tangible result?

a.    Local Area Plans

b.    Land Use Applications

c.    Development permits


7.    How is the most effective way for residents to submit comments?

  • Planning - Development Map website, Details of Application, big button ‘Submit’
  • Signs with File Manager telephone number

Importance to submit comments…seek different ways to make them – super important


8.    Several communities have many active developments and Area Structure Plan appearances for amendments. How is it possible, after seven years of planning, for a developer to have it changed? Respecting the rights of landowners, what role does the City play, if any?

Plans change, more density – Technical answer: anyone can/has the right to submit an amendment and the City is obligated to process it (this is the policy in place).

Height is always a hot topic.

Local Area Plans cannot anticipate every possible change.

Particulars of site i.e. slope might alter plan… appropriate scale.

Minor change can be a consideration, some factor has changed, something fundamentally different.

Planning/Administration makes a recommendation to CPC, (can overturn or continue with recommendation – final authority after Public Hearing at Council)

Statutory = can change

New LRT line will change context and policy

Recommendations for amendment

Won’t see too many refusals from CPC = try to work with applicant to get something that is supported, considering community feedback.

Detailed team review = back and forth, with applicant.

Applicant given the reason why Administration won’t support, applicant can change to comply.

Administration Refusal, applicant can refuse to make changes. Admin can’t support it, spplicant often withdraws application.

Basis of Local Area Plans, vision of how our community can evolve, gain amenities, want pub, more services without driving, a lot of people seek = align with bigger vision of city. Example Patterson, policy to create vision might be zoning that can enable this in the future. Renewed land use bylaw would enable area zone districts. There has been an evolution for zoning – originally to keep zoning separate from each other health, industrial, waste. Residentials have become homogenous separated divisionally – trend to come back and integrate uses. Kids move out, not necessarily want to leave community. Integrate new library to mixed us, coordinate shops with residential. Walkable communities and Accessibility are at the heart.

Strip mall single story down the street, maybe developer wants to offer more services, above.


9. Plan for Sarcee and Patina DR SW? Yes, it is set aside for future interchange, functional planning study happening this year.

There will be an extensive engagement to discuss design, usage – and pedestrian crossing.


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Categories: Community Engagement, Development Permits, Land Use Application, Local Area Plan, Planning & Development