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Outreach roles and responsibilities

Who does what?

We all have a role in building a great city and by working together we can create a city and communities filled with awesome places and spaces for us to live, work and enjoy.

Builders/developers: Builders and developers physically construct the places and spaces that are the foundation in the creation of communities and the formation of cities.

Landowners: Land/property owners have rights and decide if and when to build something new on their land.

Community members: Citizens and community members (from residents, to local business owners, community association members and other local groups and organizations) contribute local knowledge and insights connected to specific areas within our city.

The City of Calgary: The City works with developers, landowners, business owners and community members to create plans that provide direction on how and where future building and development should happen. The City also reviews and ultimately approves or refuses proposals to rezone land or develop land.

Who does what?

The people connected to a role might change depending on the project type. Different roles can apply to different people depending on the type of project (e.g. City initiated versus landowner/applicant initiated).

For example, City Administration is the outreach lead for any City initiated policy work (such as the creation of a local area plan), but the applicant is the outreach lead for their development proposal and associated development application. In both scenarios, the general responsibilities of the outreach lead (listed above) remain the same.

​​Policy plans ​(new)
Policy Plans (new): ​City Administration undefined: ​Lead
Policy Plans (new): ​Community groups or member-based organizations undefined: ​Connector and participant
Policy Plans (new): ​Community undefined: ​Participant
Policy Plans (new): ​Development industry undefined: ​Participant
Policy Plans (new): ​City Council undefined: ​Decision maker
​​Development applications ​(Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits)
Development Applications (Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits): ​Applicant​ undefined: ​Lead
Development Applications (Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits): ​City Administration undefined: ​Support
Development Applications (Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits): ​Community groups or member-based organizations undefined: ​Connector and participant
Development Applications (Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits): ​Community undefined: ​Participant
Development Applications (Land Use, Policy Amendments, Development Permits): ​City Council (policy plans and rezoning),
Calgary Planning Commission (outline plans and more complex Development Permits),
Development Authority (less complex Development Permits)
undefined: ​Decision maker

What's my role? What's your role?

Clarifying community outreach roles and responsibilities connected planning and development projects helps clarify who does what. Each role, shown below, includes a description and associated responsibilities.

​Role ​Description ​​Responsibilities
Role: ​Lead Description:
  • The lead is the initiator or proponent of the project and is the primary decision maker for the project leading up to a formal decision of approval/refusal by the designated City decision-making body.
  • The lead determines if/when community outreach will take place connected to their project and, if so, decides about what, with who, where, how, etc.
  • The lead pays for community outreach costs associated with their project.
  • Notify people of the project and any opportunities to learn more or provide input.
  • Determine the negotiables and non-negotiables for the project and what is/isn’t open for public input.
  • Communicate the constraints.
  • Clarify the scope of the conversation.
  • Provide clear, concise, transparent and accurate information.
  • Hold a respectful conversation.
  • Report back if/when collecting input.
  • Keep people in the loop and close the loop when decisions are made.
  • Provide City decision makers with a summary of the community outreach approach that was taken.
Role: ​Support Description:
  • The support assists in the outreach process by providing the lead, the connector and participants with information, tools and resources to improve understanding and aid in the overall success of the outreach process.
  • Share information about City goals and policies.
  • Explain The City’s review and decision-making processes.
  • Clarify community outreach roles and responsibilities.
  • Create tools and resources for participants, connectors and leads to help them be successful in their outreach roles.
Role: ​Connector Description:
  • The connector shares information and insights about a specific community or area to help increase understanding of the local context and to help inform community outreach plans for local planning and development projects.
  • Where possible, share local information and insights to help build understanding and inform outreach plans.
  • Where possible, help raise awareness of opportunities for people to get involved in local planning projects.
Role: ​Participant Description:
  • The participant participates in the outreach process.
  • Seek out information and be informed.
  • Listen and participate respectfully.
  • Respect the scope of conversation and project constraints.
  • Provide appropriate feedback and remain open to different ideas.
Role: ​Decision maker Description:
  • The decision maker is responsible for making the final decision to approve/refuse the local area plan or development application.
  • Review and consider proposed local area plan or development application.
  • Review and consider the outreach strategy/rational/approach and any feedback that may have been collected.
  • Approve/refuse the local area plan or development application.

What are the minimum requirements for community outreach?

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the law under which all Alberta municipalities are empowered to shape their communities. The MGA helps ensure citizens are provided with the opportunity to be involved in municipal decision-making processes, including minimum requirements public notification and opportunities for comment on planning matters.

Public participation mechanisms regulated under the MGA include:

  • Open meetings: Municipalities are required to hold all their council and committee meetings open to the public, with some exceptions.
  • Notices and the right to be heard: A citizen’s right to receive notice of certain matters to be considered by a municipal council (e.g. statutory plan amendments, road closures, etc.).
  • Access to information: The public can request any information from their municipality.
  • Petitions: Citizens can petition council to allow for a vote on an advertised bylaw or resolution, to create a new bylaw, or to amend or repeal an existing bylaw or resolution.

The City fulfills minimum requirements through notice posting, application circulation and commenting through the online development map. This is in addition to the public hearing on land use redesignation applications.

When it comes to outreach led by applicants there are no mandated requirements, but The City’s general recommended minimum approach is for applicants to complete the Outreach Assessment tool which helps applicants assess and consider the potential impact of their proposal within the context of the community they are working in and provides guidance on high-level outreach considerations. In addition to completing the Outreach Assessment tool​, The City recommends connecting with the surrounding neighbours, community association or relevant member-based organizations and area Councillor early in the process to discuss their development ideas. Applicants will be asked to submit an Applicant Outreach Summary to explain what community outreach efforts where undertaken.


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​