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Ward 7 - Terry Wong

Home is Here - The Calgary Housing Strategy: Summary of questions

Councillor Wong's questions to administration


Summary of Councillor Wong's questions

Councillor Wong: We have discussed Short-Term Rentals (STRs) extensively. How do we ensure primary residency in apartments types that have commonly been used as STRs?

Administration: The University of Calgary is conducting a study on STRs that will inform future decisions. Additionally, changes to business licenses for STRs have been made, requiring condo boards to be informed about potential STRs and granting them approval authority in their buildings.

Councillor Wong: Condo boards are often comprised of investors with similar motivations.

Councillor Wong: There are incentives for homeowners to develop secondary suites. Will backyard suites be similarly incentivized?

Administration: We are open to the idea of incentivizing backyard suites if it contributes to increasing housing supply.

Councillor Wong: Is it possible for the City to hold a landlord-tenant forum?

Administration: Landlord-tenant matters fall under provincial jurisdiction, but discussing these issues is certainly possible.

Councillor Wong: The federal government's housing accelerator funding depends on the removal of exclusionary zoning. Does the City have exclusionary zoning?

Administration: The city is primarily zoned for single-family homes, which has been described as exclusionary zoning.

Councillor Wong: The province has a $9 billion housing fund. Are we using that for any of our developments, and do we align with them?

Administration: Yes, we are happy to follow up and work with the province to support funding applications.

Councillor Wong: Regarding the recommendation to rescind Special Policy Areas, such as Rosedale, could we provide them with a Direct Control (DC) mechanism for more local control?

Administration: In the Local Area Plan (LAP) there's a study area rather than a single-detached policy, but the answer is yes. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides a broad tool for DC that can be adapted for various purposes.

Councillor Wong: Lower mainland BC has legislation that requires registration if you don't live in the area where you're buying property for the sake of land prospecting. Can we suggest that the province consider a similar model for people living outside of Calgary?

Administration: Property ownership regulations are beyond our jurisdiction as a municipality, it is also not in the jurisdiction of council in terms of who is allowed to buy property. However, if Council approves such a policy, we can advocate for it to be considered by the province.

Regarding City-Owned Land

Councillor Wong: What is the approximate number of city-owned lands that are shovel ready?

Administration: There are currently 5 properties coming forward in the next non-market land sale in early 2024, each with 50 units per site.

Councillor Wong: How about TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) sites? Can you share those details and a timeframe?

Administration: There are 11 sites of city-owned land that have been identified for housing, potentially resulting in 3,400 units of both non-market and market housing. This project could take 5-15 years to develop all of the lands, with an estimated cost of over $65 million for pre-development and public realm improvements.

Councillor Wong: How many buildings in the city inventory could be converted into residential use?

Administration: This has been examined, and currently, there are none that are financially feasible for conversion.

Councillor Wong: If the city is incentivizing developers to convert office towers to residential use, why does the city not explore converting its own buildings?

Administration: This is something that administration can investigate further.

Regarding Zoning and Land Use

Councillor Wong: The federal government's housing accelerator funding depends on the removal of exclusionary zoning. Does the City have exclusionary zoning?

Administration: The city is primarily zoned for single-family homes, which has been described as exclusionary zoning.

Councillor Wong: The province has a $9 billion housing fund. Are we using that for any of our developments, and do we align with them?

Administration: Yes, we are happy to follow up and work with the province to support funding applications.

Councillor Wong: Regarding the recommendation to rescind Special Policy Areas, such as Rosedale, could we provide them with a Direct Control (DC) mechanism for more local control?

Administration: In the Local Area Plan (LAP) there's a study area rather than a single-detached policy, but the answer is yes. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides a broad tool for DC that can be adapted for various purposes.

Regarding Short-Term Rentals, Renters, and Tenants

Councillor Wong: We have discussed Short-Term Rentals (STRs) extensively. How do we ensure primary residency in apartments types that have commonly been used as STRs?

Administration: The University of Calgary is conducting a study on STRs that will inform future decisions. Additionally, changes to business licenses for STRs have been made, requiring condo boards to be informed about potential STRs and granting them approval authority in their buildings.

Councillor Wong: There are incentives for homeowners to develop secondary suites. Will backyard suites be similarly incentivized?

Administration: We are open to the idea of incentivizing backyard suites if it contributes to increasing housing supply.

Councillor Wong: Is it possible for the City to hold a landlord-tenant forum?

Administration: Landlord-tenant matters fall under provincial jurisdiction, but discussing these issues is certainly possible.

Categories: Affordability, Housing, Updates, Ward 7

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