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Changes to business parking requirements

Parking shapes how our communities are designed and influences how people live, work, and move around. Changes to the Land Use Bylaw approved by Council on Nov. 2 mean businesses can now propose to The City how much parking makes sense for them, rather than having those requirements required in the Land Use Bylaw. This provides flexibility to businesses, creates walkable and attractive communities, and supports Calgary’s climate goals.

Business parking update

Updates to the Bylaw are complete and are available at www.calgary.ca/lub. If you currently have a Development Permit or Land Use Amendment under review, please contact your file manager to discuss how this change may impact your application.

About business parking

The City of Calgary has removed minimum parking requirements for non-residential uses from the Land Use Bylaw. This means businesses can now propose to the City how much parking makes sense for them. This change recognizes the changing needs of Calgarians, supports Calgary’s comeback and creates a stronger alignment between the Bylaw and overarching citywide policy documents. City Administration will assess the proposed parking to determine its appropriateness.

Parking minimums in the Bylaw can result in an over-supply of parking for different uses in varying locations throughout the city because some of the parking minimums required under the Land Use Bylaw were found to exceed the real demand for parking. Eliminating vehicle parking minimums for certain uses citywide enables parking to be tailored to a site based on context and supporting rationale, such as a parking study.

This change:

  • Allows businesses and developers to right-size parking based on the context of the development.
  • Creates an urban form that encourages walking, cycling and transit
  • Enables spaces to be designed for people rather than for vehicles
  • Aligns with Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy
  • Decreases indirect parking costs that would be passed onto consumers, businesses and tenants

Important links

Frequently asked questions

Does this mean that there will be no parking provided for businesses?

Eliminating minimum parking requirements does not mean that every business will choose to not provide parking. Rather it allows a developer or business owner to evaluate the parking demands based on the context of their development and work collaboratively with City Administration to determine the right-size parking supply. 

What happens when there is spillover parking in residential areas?

Administration has established clear policies around the regulation of on-street parking and the use of paid parking in commercial areas as part of Calgary Parking Policies (Council Policy TP017).

These policies would provide the framework that would enable on-street parking to respond to changing parking demands that could be generated from developments that choose to not provide parking.

Will there be additional bicycle parking?

Bicycle parking is provided based on the current Land Use Bylaw requirements.,

How does this support businesses and development during Calgary’s economic recovery?

Minimum parking requirements are one of the most frequently cited concerns heard from developers, communities and Council over the past ten years. Meeting the previous Land Use Bylaw minimum on-site parking requirements had a significant impact not only on the cost of development, but also on built form outcomes and the ability to achieve high-quality urban design, pedestrian-friendly and accessible streetscapes, and affordable development.

What happens if a new development decides to build without parking?

Businesses are aware that their success hinges on patrons being able to get to their stores. There will be situations where businesses can rely on alternative modes of transportation including transit, walking and cycling, as well as on-street parking options. City Administration will retain the ability to assess the parking proposal  and work collaboratively with the developer or business owner to determine the appropriate amount of parking to be provided based on a review of the anticipated parking demand and the neighbourhood context in which the project is proposed. 

What is the relationship between removing parking minimums and an on-street parking program?

On-street parking programs directly benefit business owners by providing supplemental parking spaces that can be managed to achieve a high customer turnover. City Staff has established clear policies around the regulation of on-street parking and the use of pricing in commercial areas as part of Calgary Parking Policies (Council Policy TP017).

The developer should work collaboratively with City Staff to determine the impact to on-street parking and contribute to mitigation strategies. 

Businesses and Developers

Does this change impact current businesses who are redeveloping?

It might. You can request a free pre-application inquiry through the Planning Services Centre.

How will barrier free parking stalls be supplied?

Barrier free parking is regulated by the Alberta Building Code, and is a requirement for all new buildings. For existing buildings, barrier free parking stalls may not be required based on existing conditions on site.

How will these amendments impact Direct Control (DC) Districts?

The proposed amendment will apply to DC Districts that reference Bylaw 1P2007 “as it changes from time to time”, which make up the majority of DC Districts that have been approved since the adoption of Bylaw 1P2007 in 2008. For those DC Districts that reference Bylaw 2P80, the proposed amendment will not apply.

How will this change impact developers or businesses that currently have a project under review?

Applicants should contact their file manager to discuss to their application and any impacts this change might have.

Where can I find out more information on the Land Use Bylaw change?

You can learn more about the land use bylaw at calgary.ca/lub


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. ​

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