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Development next to freight rail corridors policy

The City of Calgary has developed a policy to guide development next to freight rail corridors (such as CN and CP train lines – this does not include LRT lines). The purpose of the development next to rail corridor policy is to proactively manage the risk of development in these areas and ensure a high quality of life and facilitate responsible development. This policy advances the vision of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) by ensuring that development and redevelopment of land adjacent to freight rail corridors is realized.

Policy scope

This policy guides and evaluates new and redevelopment applications from physical risk and noise perspective.

  • This policy applies to parcels adjacent to freight rail corridors. Adjacent parcels means parcels that are partially or entirely within 30 metres of the freight rail corridor property line. This area is called rail proximity envelope.
  • This policy only applies to high density residential and commercial uses and sensitive uses.
  • This policy does not apply retroactively to existing structures unless there is a change of use application for residential, hotel, or sensitive use.
  • The policy does not apply to development outside the rail proximity envelope. 
  • The policy applies to new development located within the rail proximity envelope. It does not prohibit development in that space, but requires additional consideration for mitigating the possible risk if required.

What to expect as an applicant

Proponents of development proposals that are adjacent to a freight rail corridor in Calgary should familiarize themselves with the policy prior to undertaking detailed site planning.

A map has been created to show the parcel risk profile for each parcel that is next to freight rail corridors and is an implementation tool for the development next to freight rail corridors policy.

View the interactive map​

Contact us

For additional questions about applications within the rail proximity zone, please contact:

Lisa Kahn, Coordinator, Land Use Bylaw
City and Regional Planning​​​​​​​


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. ​