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JUNE 2022 NEWSLETTER

Planning & Development

Our mission: To plan and enable building a great Calgary

Calgary is a great place to make a living and a life. Planning & Development continues to support our local economy and the aspirations of landowners by processing planning applications and building permits. We've remained open for business throughout the pandemic, with a continued focus on providing great service for our customers and building great communities together.
We’re on Twitter! The City of Calgary’s Planning & Development department joined Twitter as another channel to showcase the planning work we do in Calgary and give the opportunity for more conversation about how we plan and enable building a great city. It’s a place where we're bringing the “social” back so we can engage with more audiences about what makes our city awesome now and in the future. Come join the conversation @yycplan!

COLLABORATION

Input invited during Phase 3 of Westbrook Communities and Heritage Communities local area planning

We’re currently in the third phase, REFINE, of the Westbrook Communities and Heritage Communities Local Area Planning projects. Through this phase of engagement, we're looking to further discuss and refine how growth, change and redevelopment could happen in the plan area communities. We're also looking for input on local investment priorities.

As part of the REFINE phase, we’ve already had several sessions with our working groups and local community associations, and we'll be connecting with development industry representatives soon. Opportunities for public involvement are open until June 30. Key topics include:

Topic 1: Small-Scale Homes
We’ve heard from the community that small-scale homes are an important topic. We’re looking for input to inform development direction on this topic.

Topic 2: Draft Urban Form & Building Scale Maps
We started the conversation about focus areas for growth and change in the last phase. We’ve created updated draft maps further outlining where and how growth and change could happen in the area. Take a look and provide feedback on the draft maps.

Topic 3: Investment Priorities
Let’s discuss priority projects that, when implemented, can help support this growth. This could include projects such as playground enhancement, pedestrian improvements and new bikeway/pathway connections. If you have additional ideas, let us know!

There’s a variety of ways to get involved in this engagement phase:

  • Join an in-person engagement session.
  • Join a virtual engagement / Q&A session.
  • Provide input online.
  • Complete and mail back (pre-paid postage included) the feedback form included in the engagement booklets mailed to residents and businesses in each planning area. If you didn’t receive one in the mail, copies are available for pick up at local My Idea Stations (see map online for locations).

Visit calgary.ca/Westbrook or calgary.ca/HeritageCommunities to learn more about these projects and join the conversation. 


COLLABORATION

Reminder: Have your say on the future of Chinatown by June 20

Calgarians still have time to provide input on making Chinatown a more vibrant place to live, visit, work and do business for generations to come. 

We’re asking questions on how growth should be guided in one of Calgary’s most culturally-rich communities:
  • Spaces for public activity
  • Parking
  • Community involvement on future developments
  • Chinese culture representation, as part of new developments
Visit calgary.ca/chinatown before June 20 to learn more and share your feedback.

SAFETY

Everything is awesome when you're part of a (respectful) team!

With spring snowfalls behind us (knock on wood), everyone is preparing for the upcoming construction season. During this busy time, we understand the importance of getting jobs done efficiently. Our inspection teams share your goals while ensuring building standards and safety measures are in place.

Challenges may arise on a jobsite and that’s okay. Onsite inspections provide an opportunity to have constructive conversations about the inspection and what's been observed. Where a difference of opinion or perspective occurs, we believe it’s in everyone’s interest and responsibility to treat these situations in a respectful manner.  At the end of the day, we have a shared interest to see projects completed.

Ideally, disrespectful exchanges will never take place. However, in the unfortunate event they do, we encourage inspection teams to provide improved reporting of any such incident, whether physical or verbal.

We're also providing our customers an avenue to escalate situations as needed. If there’s a concern you’d like to raise, please call our Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 and we’ll forward your comments directly to the inspections team leader for follow-up.

Throughout this busy construction season, we appreciate your ongoing effort to maintain worksites that are safe, fun and awesome.

EFFICIENCY

Changes to when re-inspection fees are charged now in effect

We’ve made some important changes to our re-inspection fee process. It’s our continued desire to have a close working relationship with the building industry and to further enhance the spirit of cooperation and respect for each other. To maintain our high level of inspection service and reduce the number of unnecessary site inspections, a re-inspection fee can now be applied for the following reasons:
  • Failure to fully correct any previously-noted deficiency recorded in the Inspection Report.
  • Disregard by the contractor/owner to ensure correction of a deficiency or to provide a document requested through an inspection or plans examination report.
  • Incorrect inspection address is supplied to The City.
  • Work is not ready for inspection on requested inspection date.
  • Failure of contractor/owner to ensure safe accessibility to an inspection site.
  • If the work to be inspected has been covered or concealed prior to the inspection.
Other changes:
  • We reduced the re-inspection fee from $338 to $163.50 as of Jan. 1, 2022. This change is reflected in the 2022 Building & Trade Permit Fee Schedule. Additionally, you can now pay your re-inspection fee via the Shopping Cart using your VISTA or myID account. Instructions can be found here: Building inspections (calgary.ca), under Re-inspection Fee.
  • As of May 12, there is no longer an appeal period for a re-inspection fee, in alignment with Safety Codes Permit Bylaw (39M2018). All inquiries regarding a re-inspection fee will be directed to the Safety Codes Officer whose information will appear on the notice.
If you have any questions, please email Adam Ghani, Chief Electrical Inspector at adam.ghani@calgary.ca.

SAFETY

Building code changes designed to prevent window falls

With more than 400 children ending up in emergency rooms across the country each year due to falls from windows in houses, The City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services helped to lead changes in the National Building Code of Canada 2020. The result of this change in building codes is safer windows in newly built single-detached homes across the country.  

The changes limit how much a window can open on the second storey of newly built single-detached homes. The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes developed the change in response to a code change request from The City. The updated building code requirements will come into effect when they are adopted by the provinces and territories. Read the full news release in our newsroom.  

CUSTOMER SERVICE

New geographic teams defined for DART

The Development Applications Review Team (DART) now has two geographic teams for managing multi-disciplinary applications. The new teams – North and South – replace the previously established geographic teams.

If you have an active application with The City, the staff assigned will continue working on your file through to completion. If you have questions, please email us at approvals@calgary.ca.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

City launches new support for local food and beverage entrepreneurs

Starting this month, local eateries, brewhouses and budding entrepreneurs can access customized support from the new Business Experience Representative Team. The initiative includes a one-stop shop for business applicants who are interested in opening a restaurant or brewery in Calgary. Ultimately, business owners will experience faster and more predictable outcomes.

Using feedback from ongoing work with local industry, The City identified opportunities to improve customer service for business applicants. Contact a Business Experience Rep to ask questions about application processes, work through any issues that are impacting the status of their existing applications or receive clarity about development permits, building permits or other approvals needed to open a restaurant or brewery in Calgary.

This is just one of the programs we have in place to improve City processes for businesses. We continue to listen to feedback on how we can improve processes for the business community to get you open faster. Read the full news release in our newsroom.

INNOVATION

Arts & Culture microgrant program open for applications

Citizens and visitors will be able to enjoy several arts, culture, sport and recreation events and activities this year through Calgary’s new Arts & Culture Microgrant Program.

The City of Calgary is awarding between $500 to $50,000 to applicants in support of experiences that take place from June 6 through Dec. 31. Opportunities for funding include community-run projects, new opportunities for local artists, activations in winter months and local events hosted by not-for-profits. These grants are a part of a $3.2M investment in the Arts and Culture sector approved by Council in November 2021.

Calgary event planners, artists, non-profit groups and Business Improvement Areas are invited to submit applications through The City’s website. Applications will be received until the total funding allotment has been awarded. Read the full news release in our newsroom.

COMMUNITY

Community garden now open in East Village

As shared in a recent Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) newsletter, East Village has launched another exciting initiative – a community garden. Universal access features include:
  • Gravel pathways between the garden plots are wheelchair and stroller-friendly. The gravel has a honeycomb-shaped base that prevents the rutting and sinking that makes most other gravel spaces impassable for wheeled devices.
  • Wider pathways between the garden plots enable people using mobility devices are set up at varying heights so people don’t have to bend or kneel to tend to their gardens and can instead stay standing or use their mobility device.
Learn more.
Keep up on development matters going to Committee and Council on calgary.ca/agendaminutes.

Since March 2020, we've created a number of fee relief measures and process changes to support our business and industry customers during these challenging times. For a complete list of Planning & Development service changes, visit calgary.ca.

Visit our online Development Map to find developments of interest, stay up-to-date on the status of applications and submit your comments directly to the file manager.

Join our Business Perspectives Panel to help shape City programs and services directly impacting local businesses. Contact us at business.panel@calgary.ca to learn more.
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