Caution | Outdoor water restrictions in effect

Stage 3 outdoor water restrictions are in effect. Learn more about how City services are impacted and what you can do during this stage.

Learn more

Established Area Linear Levy Pilot

Established Area Linear Levy Pilot

As of March 2024, The City is pleased to offer a three-year Established Area Linear Levy Pilot. The pilot will continue until Sept. 1, 2026. Development permit applications with construction drawing submissions received during this time will be considered for reimbursement. The reimbursement will pend an eligibility review.

This pilot aims to incentivize the immediate production of housing in the Established Area. Public funding sources will be used to pay for local water and wastewater pipe upgrades required.

Pilot objectives

The City has five objectives for the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot:

  1. Incentivize the immediate production of housing that would be otherwise suppressed by local water and/or wastewater upgrade costs.
  2. Encourage subsequent housing developments by eliminating the financial risk of a housing developer being “first” to trigger a costly local water and/or wastewater upgrade in the Established Area during the pilot period.
  3. Determine the impact of funding upgrades on advancing growth rates.
  4. Identify an appropriate size of investment pool and funding source(s) from data generated by the pilot to ensure increased growth rates and the financial sustainability of a future long-term program.
  5. Develop, test, and implement reimbursement and repayment processes suitable for a long-term program.

The City will monitor the pilot’s success throughout the three-year period to determine the next steps for this initiative. The Established Area Linear Levy Pilot was developed as a financial support mechanism for infrastructure servicing costs. These costs would otherwise pose a barrier to the immediate delivery of housing units. The pilot is administered by Utilities Infrastructure Planning.


Eligible projects include public, local-sized water and sanitary upgrades triggered by residential development in the Established Area. Utility upgrades must provide increased servicing capacity in the public water or sanitary systems. For example, pipe diameter increases to improve available fire flow or sanitary capacity.

What to submit

  • Reimbursement Request Form

  • Construction drawings

  • Cost estimate from developer

How to submit

  • Review the submissions process document. Find out if you're eligible to apply for the pilot program

  • Submit the Reimbursement Request Online Form. You will receive instructions to submit a cost estimate.

  • Construction drawings are submitted electronically via ApplyCentral

ApplyCentral electronic submissions must contain all required information and attachments for a review. If any information or required attachments are missing the submission will be rejected. No partial applications will be accepted.

ApplyCentral is accessed through The City's VISTA website. Select the "Submit to Water" link located on the left-hand side of the page.

For information about Vista logins see Urban Development Online.

For more information about the pilot project, please contact Marie Standing or Kylee van der Poorten.

Frequently asked questions


How have communities and members of industry been engaged?

Since 2016, the Citywide Growth Strategy team has led discussions on housing barriers and potential solutions. These discussions are held through the Established Area Working Groups. These working groups include:

  • Utility providers
  • Community representatives
  • The development industry

Many ideas from working group discussions were put forward under this funding program. This includes the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot. The City will facilitate ongoing open engagement regarding the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot. Community representatives and members of industry will be included through the meetings of the Utility Working Group.

How has the City funded this pilot?

The pilot is supported by City utility rates and other funding partners. In October 2023, The City signed a Contribution Agreement in partnership with CMHC. The agreement supports Calgarians with an increase in housing supply. The City is using these funds for Calgary’s Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan. The plan includes seven initiatives and their associated milestones. The Established Area Linear Levy Pilot is captured under Initiative 5: enabling housing growth in established areas.

How will this kind of investment support housing development and the rezoning changes?

Investments made through the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot provide a financial support mechanism. A larger building in select locations requires additional water flow used in fire suppression. Higher densities require increased wastewater capacity.

Through reimbursement of these costs, the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot should:

  • incentivize housing developers
  • increase the supply and affordability of housing
  • increase servicing capacity for subsequent developments 

These investments help prepare industry for the upgrade requirements for citywide rezoning. They ensure servicing levels are safe for new and existing residents.

Established Area Initiative

How does The City’s Established Area Linear Levy Pilot benefit the first-in problem in Calgary?

The City will eliminate the risk associated with a housing developer being “first” to trigger a costly local water or wastewater upgrade during the pilot. The “first” developer is responsible for the full cost of upgrade(s). But, these upgrades support the “next” developments over a much wider geographical area. Therefore, other developers benefit from another being the "first". The Established Area Linear Levy Pilot will cover costs up to $1.0 million per project. This applies to developers who are required to construct the water or wastewater upgrade. 

What has The City accomplished to date?

The City has established a reimbursement process for Applicant. It uses existing planning workflows and processes. The Established Area Linear Levy Pilot has officially launched and is accepting applications. 

How does The City’s Established Area Linear Levy Pilot differ from a future Water Linear Established Area Levy discussed between the City of Calgary and industry in 2021 and 2022?

While both initiatives address a funding gap for local water and/or wastewater upgrade(s) triggered by new development, the Established Area Linear Levy Pilot will be financially supported by City utility rates and other funding partners rather than developer contributions. A development charge will not be collected from developers during this period. The investment pool to fund these types of upgrades will be supported from a combination of the Housing Accelerator Fund and utility rates. Both mechanisms fund a required water or wastewater upgrade for a development permit to proceed. Upgrades are triggered when the available fire flow and/or wastewater capacity are insufficient for the proposed growth. A future levy will be a development charge dependent on the type of land use for the proposed development. The charges collected will be put into an investment pool to fund these types of upgrades when unexpectedly triggered by growth. 

How does The City decide an upgrade is needed?

The development review process determines the need for a local water and/or wastewater upgrade. An Engineering Utility Generalist will identify the need for a Required Fire Flow (RFF) analysis and/or Sanitary Servicing Study (SSS). These evaluate the servicing needs of the development. The City will determine whether an upgrade is required upon review of the RFF/SSS. Housing developers work with the City to deliver the required upgrade. The Engineering Utility Generalist conditions the development upon approved infrastructure construction drawings. Then permission is granted by the City to construct the upgrade.

How does The City decide who constructs the linear upgrade?

Typically, applicants are responsible for constructing any water/wastewater main upgrade. These are triggered by their development application. These obligations are specified prior to construction. 

The City may deliver the linear upgrade under the following circumstances:

If a small-scale housing developer is unable to construct an upgrade. 

The City may construct the upgrade on their behalf, pending availability. If there are sufficient resources, The City provides a cost estimate. The housing developer is required to prepay the full upfront cost for the construction. The applicant can request reimbursement after construction. This is up to $1.0 million per project.

For larger offsite water or wastewater upgrades.

The City may choose to construct the main upgrade due to the complexity. The City provides a cost estimate for the work to be done. The applicant is required to prepay the full upfront cost for the construction. The applicant can request reimbursement through the pilot. This is up to a maximum of $1.0 million reimbursed per development application.

How will The City monitor and communicate the performance of the pilot?

The City is accountable for ongoing progress updates and data reports submitted to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This satisfies the terms of the Housing Accelerator Fund Agreement. The City provides a variety of tools to monitor short and long-term growth trends. These include the Growth Monitoring Report and the City of Calgary’s Development Map.  Applications are continually  tracked. The City will leverage these resources to evaluate the impact of funded upgrades.The City is hoping to determine whether investment in an upgrade leads to additional development/building permits with the cost barrier removed. Performance and progress updates will also be shared through the Citywide Growth Strategy’s Utility Working Group.

How will funds be sustained and monitored?

Program parameters will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. This ensures funds are sufficiently leveraged. For example, funding limits of the reimbursement may need to be re-evaluated. The intent of the pilot is to encourage as much housing as possible.

The investment pool will be closely monitored on an annual basis. Commitments are on a first-come, first-served basis. Should the investment pool become depleted, Utilities Infrastructure Planning may delay reimbursements or request more funding. The City may announce that funding is no longer available for a particular year. Further commitments would be put on hold. 

Details on the submission and reimbursement processes are currently being developed and are subject to change.

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. ​