Community associations, sports groups and social recreation site development


This page assists community associations, sports groups and social recreation group volunteers in determining the potential of developing a community association property, and what third-party business activities might be possible.

Before you start

Please note, all development permit applications on City owned/titled property will require a letter of authorization from The City of Calgary. Please contact your community’s Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator or Sport Development Advisor for assistance.

What rules apply to my community association site?

To determine what might be eligible on a community association property, please enter the address in the property information tool below. The land use district for this property will be displayed below. Click on the Land Use Bylaw Link to see the specific rules that apply to this property.

General information

See General Rules for Special Purpose Land Use Districts

Land Use Districts

General information

See General Rules for Special Purpose Land Use Districts


Special Purpose - Recreation District (S-R)
The S-R designation is primarily for private recreation facilities, both indoor and outdoor.
Land Use Bylaw - S-R


Special Purpose - Community Service District (S-CS)
The S-CS designation is for education and community uses. It accommodates a limited range of small scale public recreation facilities, both indoor and outdoor, on land not designated reserve land under the Municipal Government Act.
Land Use Bylaw - S-CS


Special Purpose - School, Park and Community Reserve District, (S-SPR)
The S-SPR designation is for public parks, open space, schools and recreation facilities on land designated as 'reserve land' under the Municipal Government Act.
Land Use Bylaw - S-SPR

Common development inquiries

Rental Space

Activities in a community centre can provide recreation, social and leisure activities to the public. This may also include child care, faith based activities, theatre groups, and mediation groups, which involves rental of the facility.

Development permit requirements

A development permit is required if the permitted use for the site must change from what is currently approved. See “What rules apply to my community association site” above to determine your sites permitted uses.    

Building permit requirements

Renovations or construction to a space might require a building or trade permit to ensure compliance with the Alberta Safety Act. Contact our Planning Services Centre for assistance to determine if a permit is required.

Business licence

The Community Association is responsible for rental of the space, but the business owner is responsible for obtaining a business licence with The City

  • Business licence required for: Personal trainer (yoga, basketball coach, and dance class), trade show and food services. For more information link visit Home-based businesses.
  • Business licence not required: School curriculum tutoring (math, english, social studies) and condo board meetings. Business Activity like “coffee shop, fitness club or skate sharpening” can occur if they are run by the community association for the community association. If a third party company would like to rent out space to run their “coffee shop, fitness club or skate sharpening” a Change of Use would be required.

Catering services

Commercial caterers cannot operate their business permanently from a community association location. They would be required to operate part of their business from the home, while renting out the kitchen.

A commercial caterer can use the hall’s kitchen in two different scenarios:

  • To prepare food for a function within the hall
  • To prepare food for delivery at a different location provided:
    • It is an hourly rental of the hall’s kitchen
    • The caterer has a business licence
    • No storage of food occurs at the hall

A business licence would be required for the above scenarios. The license type would be categorised as Food Service – No Premises and the Land Use approval would be approved with a Home Occupation – Class 1.

Child care services

In cases where the Community Association would serve as a child care, additional Land Use approval would be required. Child Care Service is defined as a use where temporary care and supervision is provided to seven or more children under the age of 13 for periods of less than 24 hours. These may include programming for the social, educational, and physical development of children. Common terms for this use includes, but are not limited to, day cares, pre-schools and out of school care programs.

Development permit requirements

If the building or portions of the building are being proposed for a Child Care Service, a development permit is required since it no longer meets the definition of a Community Recreation Facility. A Development Permit for a Change of Use – Discretionary, and Residential Care and Health applications would be required.

Building permit requirements

Any renovations or construction in the space might require a building permit to ensure compliance with the Alberta Safety Act. Contact our Planning Services Centre for assistance to determine if a permit is required.

Business Licence

A City business licence is not required to operate a Child Care Service however, Child Care Services are regulated by the province and if they meet the definition (more than six children), they will need a Provincial Licence. The Calgary Region Child and Family Services Authority is responsible for licensing in the Calgary area. They can be reached at 403-297-6100 or

Check your land use and speak to your Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator to ensure childcare services are allowed, or our know the rules section below.

Event tents and other special functions

Community Associations may at times get requests from their members regarding hosting events. Some of these requests may require permits from The City. For more information, please visit our Special events​ page.

Temporary events which have temporary structures (e.g. tents, tables, stages, bleachers, etc.) erected on a parcel are referred to as Special Functions.

Please note: In some cases, permits from multiple departments may be required depending on the location, size, and complexity of the event. If this is case, The City’s Recreation led by Arts & Culture can assist in determining what permits are required. Customers can call Arts & Culture at 403-476- 4323, and an Arts & Culture Liaison will be assigned, when applicable.

Development permit requirements

A Development Permit is not required as long as the event meets the definition and use rules of Special Function (see above) and all rules of the Airport Vicinity Protection Area are met, and the event is not located in the floodway.

Building permit requirements

Might be required if a tent, platform, stage, overheard structure or bleachers are involved. For more information contact the Planning Service Centre.

Changes to a site - parking, sheds, gardens, sea cans, etc.

The Community Association is responsible for making sure all of the necessary permits are in place to complete a project safely, to code, and according to the Land Use Bylaw.

A few of the more common inquiries related to changes to a communication association building or site can be found below. Please contact our Planning Services Centre for any additional information or inquires.

Please note, Land Use Bylaw rules for residential properties do not apply for commercial sites, please contact our Planning Service Centre for any additional information or inquires.

Effecting a building

  • Additions to an existing building will require a development permit and a building permit prior to construction. Additional trade permits may also be required depending on the scope of the work.
  • Accessory buildings such as a shed or garage require a development permit and building permit for sites including community associations, sports groups and social recreational.
  • Temporary structures including sea cans, tents, air supported structures, stages and other festival-type structures are considered to be buildings as defined by the Alberta Building Code 2014. A building permit would be required and depending on the type of event or structure a development permit may also be required.
  • Wheelchair ramps might require a revised plan or development permit depending on the details of your project. A building permit would be required following the approval of the revised plan or development permit.

Outside changes

  • New landscaping & community gardens might require a development permit depending on the project, please see the requirement list below.
  • Signage: New signage or alterations to an existing sign requires development permit. This includes fascia sign, freestanding sign, canopy, projecting sign, or digital message sign.
    A Community Entrance Feature (a landscape attraction, monument or sign that states the name of, or in some way identifies, a residential community) requires a development permit for a Community Entrance Feature.

What permits do I need?

The scope of work being performed will dictate which permits are required. If a development permit is required, this must be applied for and approved prior to building permit and trade permit applications.


We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.

Development permit timelines vary based on the type of application and the impacts to the community.

  • If a development permit is required for a proposed project or activity, the estimated processing time is 8-12 calendar weeks from time of submission until the Development Permit is fully released.
  • If a building permit is required for a proposed project, the processing time is 21 calendar days for projects with an estimated construction value of $1 million.
  • Trade permits can be obtained by a valid licence contractor on the same day.
Know the rules

To determine what is eligible for your community association site, please enter the address in the property information tool and your land use district will be display. To find the rules specific to your property, click on the Land Use Bylaw link provided.

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.

How to apply

The scope of work being performed will dictate which applications and permits are required. Please see our Building and Development lists and forms or contact our Planning Services Centre


Planning Services Centre

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

Click before you dig

Always contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. Submit a locate request online or call 1-800-242-3447 for more information.

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. ​