Frequently asked questions

Where will Housing Grade-Oriented (H-GO) development happen?

Where a community has a modern Local Area Plan made in partnership with residents of the community, that plan sets the location. Where a Local Area Plan exists, the new district is to be located around higher-traffic roads. For example, in the North Hill Local Area Plan parcels on 20th Ave NW, Center Street, 4th Street, Edmonton Trail could support H-GO development.

If there is no modern Local Area Plan, H-GO is only allowed in the Inner City as identified on the Urban Structure map of the Municipal Development Plan. Within the Inner City redesignation to H-GO will only be supported within 200 meters of a Main Street, 600 meters of an LRT station, 400 meters of a BRT station and 200 metres of a Primary Transit Network. Primary Transit Networks are higher level-of-service bus routes identified in the Municipal Development Plan.

Where will R-CG development happen?

There are currently approximately 2800 R-CG parcels in the City. These are located close to the Bowness & Montgomery Main Street, the 17th Avenue NE Main Street, 37 Street SW Main Street and the Banff Trail/Capitol Hill LRT Station. For a map of all R-CG parcels in the city click here.

Future rezoning applications for R-CG will be evaluated by City staff, who then present a recommendation to Council. Calgary City Council is the final decision maker. City staff provides their recommendation based on the land use plans that apply in the area, technical planning expertise, and public feedback.

How can the public provide input on case-by-case decision-making?

There are many ways to provide input. All rezoning applications are advertised on the subject parcel of land as well as on DMAP. This provides the contact information for the File Manager at the City. Residents are encouraged to provide input to the File Manager on the rezoning application. Each rezoning application is presented to Council and each requires a Public Hearing. Any residents may participate in the Public Hearing or submit a letter.

After the rezoning decision, residents may voice their feedback to the File Manager during the review of the Development Permit application. Finally, many Development Permit applications are advertised upon approval and any residents claiming to be affected have the right to appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Why are you reducing the required number of parking stalls?

Research in the fields of transportation, economics, housing, and planning is clear that minimum parking requirements have negative effects on housing affordability, health, traffic congestion, and climate change. They are also uniquely harmful to the development of rowhouses, townhouses, low-rise apartments, cottage clusters, and other forms of housing. For this reason, many cities are removing and reducing their minimum parking requirements.

The City's current parking requirement for rowhouses is encouraging builders to build smaller suites than they have to, just to meet the parking rules. The current parking requirement also makes it difficult to accommodate waste and recycling storage on the site in a way that is user-friendly and visually unnoticeable. It also does not allow architects and builders to design around existing trees, resulting in tree loss.

Instead of requiring a rowhouse building with suites to build 4 parking stalls, we are proposing to reduce that requirement by 1 stall, to 3 stalls. This adds additional space on the site for better amenity space, waste and recycling space, bike, scooter, or wheelchair storage, or tree preservation. 

Why is it important to reduce multi-residential parking rates city-wide?

Parking requirements are a major barrier to redevelopment city-wide, so a city-wide solution is needed. This will allow higher-intensity redevelopment to be more economically viable on higher-traffic roads, closer to transit and commercial areas.

Applying higher parking requirements to apartments outside the city center would not be fair.   Parking requirements are uniquely harmful to residents of lower-cost apartments. These apartments tend to be located farther from downtown. Higher-end apartments can attach the significant costs of building underground parking to the rent or purchase price. Attaching these costs to more modest apartments results in these buildings not getting built at all - or becoming higher-cost apartments. This reduces the new supply of lower-cost homes in the city. From housing affordability and equity perspectives, a city-wide reduction in mandatory minimum parking requirements is needed. 

Where will residents park their car if they don’t have a parking stall?

Research shows that people pick where they live based on their transportation preferences. A resident who owns two large vehicles is not likely to purchase a home where there is no parking available. Homes with fewer parking spaces are a valuable housing option for residents that own fewer or no cars, drive less, take more transit, or walk and bike to their everyday destinations. These homes are currently under-supplied in the city.

Research also indicates that storage is a more popular use of garage space than vehicle parking, so minimum parking requirements don’t prevent residents from parking on a public street. In fact, minimum parking requirements bring more cars to the area, contributing more to road and curb congestion. 

Are you doing anything to protect trees or get new trees?

Trees are incredibly important and are one of the defining features of great neighborhoods. To further protect trees, we’ve increased the incentive to retain larger, mature trees. This applies to all trees on the property and even to trees on a public boulevard across from the house. We’re also allowing builders to plant larger tree species, and if there’s no room on the parcel, to plant these on public land beside the development. The reduction of mandatory minimum parking requirements by one stall will also improve how architects and builders can place the parking garage, potentially saving trees at the rear of the property. 

Where will waste and recycling be stored?

We’re requiring that builders label where these uses will be stored on the site plan and that they are screened from the view of neighbors and residents. We’ve compiled the Landscaping Guide for Small Residential Sites which provides more information for applicants. This lets applicants know that not every unit or suite is required to have a bin for waste, recycling, and compost. Bin-sharing is permitted and encouraged, as is Private Waste Collection in the form of semi-underground bins. Finally, the reduction in the minimum parking requirements by one stall provides approximately 350 square feet of additional space that can be used to make collections easier and reduce impacts on neighboring properties along the lane.

In the medium to long-term, The City will work to create an additional enforcement solution for untidy bins across the lane, as this is not a problem unique to rowhouses, townhouses, and other “Missing Middle” housing types. 

Do you have other questions? Send them to ali@calgarycommunities.com at the Federation of Calgary Communities, or email us at HousingChoice@calgary.ca.


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. ​