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JULY 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 remain focused 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!

LOCAL ECONOMY

Downtown incentive program inspires two more office-to-residential conversions

The City has announced two more successful applicants to the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program:

  • United Place (808 4 Avenue S.W.) – United Canadian Investment Inc.
  • Canadian Centre (833 4 Avenue S.W.) – PBA Group of Companies

The announcement brings the total number of successful applicants to the program to five (the first three were announced in our May edition).

The two newest projects will convert empty office space into new homes in an area of the Downtown Core with one of the highest office vacancy rates in the city. Together the projects will remove ~251,000 square feet of office space from the market and create an estimated 306 homes.

The incentive program is one way we’re moving beyond the traditional 9 to 5 business district towards a vibrant city centre, with a balanced mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism and culture.

The grants for the two new projects are estimated at ~$18.4 million, based on $75 per square foot of office space conversions, out of a $100 million fund approved by Council in 2021. The final amounts will be confirmed and disbursed once the projects are complete.

Learn more about the projects and the incentive program.


ENABLING

Inspection fees waived for special event building permits

Festival and events bring Calgarians together year-round, but summer is definitely the high season. To show our support for community events, we’re waiving the after-hours building permit inspection fees for event tents.

A Building Permit and related inspection ensure tents are set-up safely and meet the code requirements outlined in the National Building Code – Alberta Edition.

Learn more about planning your next event here.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

New online tool "this close" to launching

Online access to the Land Use Bylaw will offer an improved user experience with the launch of a new technology tool, expected to be live by July 15. The web address remains the same (http://lub.calgary.ca), but the functionality should provide a much better experience. Here’s a few highlights of the new tool.
  • Mobile friendly and meets Web Content Accessibility requirements
  • Summarizes changes for an amending bylaw
  • Easy navigation of use definitions with an A to Z index
  • Copy function for defined terms and uses
  • Print friendly
The online and PDF versions are intended for reference purposes only. Please contact the City Clerk’s Office whenever the official version of the bylaw is required.

If you encounter any issues or have concerns accessing or using the online tool, please email pinky.suri@calgary.ca.

TRANSPARENCY

2021 Annual Levy Reports now available

Each year The City publishes reports that provide an annual look at Off-site and Centre City levies collected and spent as part of our ongoing commitment to accountability and transparency.

Off-site levies contribute to building a great Calgary by providing a funding source for growth-related infrastructure that enables development. This includes utility pipes, treatment plants, interchanges, libraries, fire halls and recreation centres. This infrastructure supports the needs of a growing city, new residents and businesses, employment and economic activity for Calgary.

In 2021, $111M in total levy funds (Off-site Levy and Centre City Levy) were spent as part of The City’s $1.2B investment in capital expenditures. The levy funds were spent on several key city-building investments that address the needs of a growing city.

The 2021 Off-site Levy and Centre City Levy reports were presented to Council on July 5, and are now available on calgary.ca/offsitelevy

EFFICIENCY

Peace Officers to take on enforcement of rec vehicles, trailers and parking on front lawns

On June 7, Council adopted concurrent amendments to the Community Standards Bylaw (23M2022) and Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 (34P2022).

The bylaw amendments move existing regulations related to recreational vehicles, trailers and parking on front lawns from the Land Use Bylaw to the Community Standards Bylaw. The changes transfer enforcement of the regulations to Community Peace Officers, who can address vehicles contributing to problem properties in a more timely and comprehensive manner. The change takes effect Aug. 15.

If you have questions, please contact 311.

LOCAL ECONOMY

City partners with local teams to redesign Stephen Avenue

We’ve retained Gehl Studio and Stantec Calgary as design partners in The Future of Stephen Avenue project.  

Gehl Studio and Stantec Calgary’s team will work with our team to develop a new design for the entire length of Stephen Avenue, from 11 Street S.W. to Olympic Plaza. In this stage of the project the team will advance design concepts, based on the previously developed Stephen Avenue Public Realm Study, to provide a clear blueprint for how a new version of Stephen Avenue will be constructed.

The design goal is to create a vibrant future for Calgary’s most iconic street, including:
  • rebranding and repositioning the avenue in the context of the future of Calgary’s downtown
  • creating connections with other areas of the downtown
  • activating public spaces
  • opening up buildings and businesses to the avenue
Investing in the future of Stephen Avenue is a fundamental piece of The City’s Downtown Strategy. It leverages the collective efforts of The City and its public and private sector partners to respond to economic challenges, and capitalize on opportunities that will create jobs, drive economic recovery, and revitalize and transform the downtown. The City’s priority is to be active and proactive to address problems, seek out solutions and embrace opportunities.

Updating our historic pedestrian hub goes beyond designing an improved physical streetscape. It involves developing strategies to encourage economic investment and redevelopment of private space, while creating a plan for programming the public space to ensure residents and tourists are drawn to Stephen Avenue for years to come.

Learn more about the future of Stephen Avenue.

LOCAL ECONOMY

5 Street underpass project now complete

A popular connector between Calgary’s downtown and the Beltline communities has been given a new lease on life as part of the recently completed 5 Street S.W. Underpass Improvement project.

Designed to improve safety and accessibility for the nearly 6,500 pedestrians and 1,200 cyclists who pass through each day, the project enhancements include widened sidewalks, upgraded crosswalks, brighter lighting and safety measures, lifecycle improvements to the bridge and walls, as well as landscaping and beautification in the area.

The temporary pilot cycle tracks were also replaced with permanent cycle tracks, with improved separation between the vehicle travel lanes, cycle tracks, and sidewalks. The 5 Street S.W. stormwater lift station, which pumps water run-off within the underpass to the stormwater system, was also upgraded as part of this project.

Adding to the experience for commuters, Canadian artist Jill Anholt worked with the project team to design an immersive art feature representative of the important relationship Calgary has to water, both past and present.

Investing in the future of public spaces is a fundamental piece of The City’s Downtown Strategy, created to support and incentivize private investment, generate visits and spending, and provide amenities and services to enhance the quality of life for people living and working in Calgary’s downtown. The City is taking actions that will improve downtown vibrancy, ensure downtown safety, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods.

Learn more about the project.

COLLABORATION

BMO Centre expansion progress worthy of a big 'Yahoo!'

If you’re at the Stampede grounds during this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, be sure to check out the progress on the BMO Centre’s world-class expansion project. A third of the project’s 9,000 metric tonnes of steel are already rising high above the Midway, says Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), the development manager in partnership with Calgary Stampede, with funding support from The City and other levels of government.

On schedule and on budget for opening in June 2024, the BMO Centre promises a facility that celebrates Calgary, captures the Stampede spirit and energizes the city.

Learn more about the project and view the new renderings on CMLC’s website.

TRANSPARENCY

Better Every Day highlights City's contributions to pandemic recovery

Want to know more about what The City is doing to contribute to Calgary’s recovery? Check out the latest edition of Better Every Day, featuring a selection of stories highlighting how we are rising to the challenge. 

Better Every Day is part of the City Manager’s Quarterly Report.

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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