Land Use Amendment
Before you apply
What is a Land Use Amendment?
A Land Use Amendment (also called a Land Use Redesignation) changes the land use district of a property to allow for future development that is currently not allowed. When applying for a land use Land Use Amendment, it is important to understand the Land Use Bylaw.
Each land use district has a purpose statement that captures the intent of the area to guide applications. These statements will be considered when you apply for a Land Use Amendment and will be factored into the decision.
If amending for a particular use to be allowed on a property, consider the two different types of uses: permitted uses and discretionary uses.
Permitted or Discretionary? What’s the difference?
In the Land Use Bylaw, Uses are defined as either being Permitted or Discretionary in a Land Use District.
Permitted means that, if a use meets all the rules of the bylaw, it must be approved. The uses listed as permitted were intended for this location and have little to no impact on the surrounding community.
Permitted with Relaxation means a use that is permitted but requires a relaxation of one of more bylaw rules. Evaluations are done on a case-by-case basis to determine if the relaxation is appropriate and how it impacts the surrounding community.
Discretionary use means that the use needs to be reviewed and is evaluated against several factors including applicable policies, appropriateness of the location, the compatibility of the use with others in the surrounding area, access, parking, servicing, and sound planning principles. Each submission is reviewed on its own merit at the time of application as discretionary uses have a higher impact on the surrounding community.
For more information on land use districts, visit calgary.ca/districts.
What do you need if you are applying for a Direct Control district?
In general, amendments (or redesignations) involve already existing land use districts, and applicants must use the most appropriate district whenever possible.
- Direct Control Districts should only be used when a development’s unique characteristics, innovative ideas or unusual site constraints require specific regulations that are not available in another land use district.
- A Direct Control has a specific, unique set of uses and rules that alter the one of the existing land use districts to accommodate a particular development. Direct Control districts have their own bylaw number.
- See more information on existing Direct Control Districts.
Do you need a Pre-application meeting?
Due to the complex and sometimes controversial nature of Land Use Amendments, pre-application enquiries are recommended. They can help highlight major issues with the proposal and identify additional technical information that will be required with the formal application. Applicants may find a pre-application meeting helpful, prior to formal application.
There are two different types of pre-application services:
Development Approvals Review Team (DART) Pre-Applications: To start your application, contact the Planning Services Centre at (403) 268-5311 or calgary.ca/livechat. When representatives from Parks and Open Spaces, Mobility Engineering, and Utility Engineering are required to review your proposal, this is considered a Development Approvals Review Team (DART) pre-application meeting.
For more information, see pre-application meetings.
How much does a Land Use Amendment cost?
The Land Use Amendment fee is based on the property size and the district that is being proposed.
How do you pay for your application?
In person or OneDrive submissions
When submitting your application in person, payment is due upon the time of submission. There are several different methods of payment accepted listed below.
How long will it take to get a permit?
The processing time depends on the type and complexity of the application. Land Use Amendment applications take a minimum of three months and usually about six months to process. It may be longer if there are difficult policy or technical issues that need to be resolved.
Council’s decision is final and binding. There is no opportunity to appeal Council’s decision, unless the appeal is based on a matter of law (e.g. legally binding procedures were not followed).
Will you need professional involvement?
Depending on the complexity of the proposed redesignation, a property owner may be able to apply for redesignation on their own. In more complex cases, an external professional can be hired to help with the process.
What is the application Process?
The applicant may choose to conduct outreach with the community before submitting their application. For more information on Community Outreach connected to planning and development, visit calgary.ca/planningoutreach.
A complete application is submitted to the Planning Services Center by calling 403-268-5343 and speaking to a Planning Services Technician (PST).
They will set up a OneDrive link for you to upload the completed application requirements to during the call.
The PST will review your application and advise if anything is missing. Missing items will need to be submitted immediately for your application to be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
The application is reviewed by the Development Applications Review Team (DART) and circulated to City of Calgary business units, community associations, councillors and other external agencies.
At this time, adjacent landowners are notified of the application by mail. This notification invites landowners to submit comments regarding the application during the initial stages of review. A notice posting (Proposed Redesignation) will be placed at the site, to further inform surrounding landowners of the application and allow for comment prior to the DART team recommendation to the Calgary Planning Commission (CPC).
When evaluating proposals for Outline Plans, the Development Applications Review Team (DART) may take into account relevant plans and policies, context, the rational of the proposal and sound planning principles.
Feedback from affected parties is considered as part of the application review.
After the circulation process, the applicant will receive a detailed team review, which explains the recommendation for approval or refusal to the CPC. At this time, the applicant may address any issues to attain a more favorable recommendation before the meeting
Applicants are advised to attend the meeting in case there are any questions directed towards them. The meeting is also open for the public to attend but not participate.
For more information, visit calgary.ca/cpc.
Once the planning department has presented the application to the Calgary Planning Commission (CPC), the CPC makes a further recommendation to City Council.
A public hearing must be held at the City Council meeting and the applicant will have the opportunity to address Council regarding their proposed Outline Plan.
Following the Calgary Planning Commission’s (CPC) recommendation, the date of the public hearing with City Council is advertised in the Calgary Herald prior to the hearing as well as online. Adjacent landowners are notified of the public hearing by mail and a notice is posted on site (Notice of Public Hearing).
Following the public hearing, Council either approves, refuses, or possibly tables the proposed amendment. Tabling or referral to Administration may happen, to allow further engagement through a second or third reading before the final decision is made.
Outline Plans are usually processed together with the Land Use Amendment. It is the process of proposing subdivision plans that show:
- Block patterns
- Hierarchy of roadways
- Distribution of open space in a new area
For more information, visit Outline Plans.
A road closure application is needed if you are wanting to remove a road right-of-way, often on an undeveloped piece of land that has been set aside for potential future road development. Road closure applications are typically accompanied by a land use amendment, to give the piece of land a land use designation.
To make an application for a road closure, you will need to provide the requirements from the Street/Lane Closure – Application Requirement List
See Apply for details on how to apply for this application.
If you want to temporarily close a road, or portion of a road for an event, block party, excavation or hoarding(for the purpose of storing building materials and equipment), you will need to apply with Transportation - Roads department.
How to prepare your application so that it meets the requirements
The following information will help you prepare your application. Use this information to help make sure your application meets the City’s requirements.
Before you make a Land Use Amendment application, consider:
- Connecting with neighbours, the community association and your ward councilor. Changing a property’s land use district may have implications for adjacent properties. For this reason, The City allows those who will be affected to make their concerns known. Please visit calgary.ca/planningoutreach for guidance on how to approach community outreach with those impacted by your project.
- The time and cost involved in this type of application. If you are unsure of the potential fees, view the fee schedule.
- Consulting with The City to ensure you have chosen the most appropriate land use district.
- Reviewing your application to ensure it is complete and accurate.
The following items are all required for your application to be reviewed. Missing information will result in delays in processing your application.
- Application Form
- include the municipal and legal address and area of all properties included in the amendment
- Provide contact information for the Owner and the Applicant
- Indicate which Land Use Districts are being proposed, the current land use district and area of land being amended (in hectares)
- Current copy of the Certificate of Title and registered documents for each property
- Include Restrictive Covenants, Utility Rights-of-Way, Easements and City Caveats registered to each property
- You can obtain these online or in person through the Alberta Land Titles office
- Letter of Authorization
- Needs to be from the registered owner of the land
- If the Owner of the property is a company, include the directors of the company
- We recommend filling out our sample letter of authorization
- You can use your own letter, but it must contain all the information indicated in the sample letter
- Colour Photographs
- Minimum of four different views of the subject property or properties
- Site Contamination Statement
- Abandoned Well Declaration Form
- Climate Resilience Inventory form
- For help completing this form, refer to the Climate Resilience Inventory User Guide
- Applicant Outreach Summary
- For help completing this form, refer to the outreach toolkit
- Applicant Submission
- Provide a description of the proposal and planning justification in support of the application
- Use the Applicant Submission Form or provide your own letter
- Site Plan
After you’ve submitted these minimum requirements, your application will be processed and reviewed.
Following the initial review of the application, additional technical information may be requested.
Tips for a Smooth Application Process
Before you apply
Download the checklist and check each application requirement as you prepare to submit your application. Items listed on the checklist are the minimum requirements, additional information may be requested following the initial review of your application.
Provide all required documents on the checklist, including drawings and supporting material. If you are not sure if something is required, contact the Planning Services Center. Make sure you complete any additional forms that are required.
If you are unsure of which district is best suited to your development or if your project is unique and doesn't fit within our regular land use districts, please set-up a pre-application meeting by contacting the Planning Services Center.
Double check your documents are completed and ensure you have all required items on your plans before you upload them
After you apply
Follow-up on requests for further information in a timely manner when necessary. Requests for further information may come from the Planning Services Centre when reviewing your application for completeness, or from your File Manager after their initial review.
Use the Job Access Code (JAC) to check status updates for your application on calgary.ca/vista
- The JAC should be provided to you once you’ve submitted your application. If you did not receive a JAC number, please contact the Planning Services Center.
- Checking your application’s status using your JAC will provide you with timely updates about the current status of your application
Where can you apply for your permits?
Apply using OneDrive
Call the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5343. Ensure you have completed all your documents and that they are ready to be uploaded using the OneDrive link provided during the call.
After you Apply
How to check the status of your permit
What happens if your application is refused?
When a Land Use Amendment application has been refused by Council or withdrawn by the applicant after advertisement, the same application or a similar change in land use designation may not be reapplied for on the same property until six months has passed.