Secondary suite rules set to be debated by Council March 12

Calgary City Council is proposing changes to Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 to improve the process for developing Secondary Suites and Backyard Suites for Calgarians, which will be debated on March 12, 2018.

The changes mean that both forms of secondary suites would become discretionary uses within the R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts. ​

“Under the existing bylaw, if you wanted to develop a suite in your basement, in your backyard or above your garage, you would have to ask City Council for permission through a land use redesignation,” says Lisa Kahn, Growth Strategies Coordinator at The City of Calgary. “The proposed changes would mean property owners would have the ability to develop a suite without City Council approval, but would still work with Planning and Development staff at The City of Calgary to obtain Development and Building Permits.”

The proposed changes are expected to directly affect 170,000 land owners in Calgary. Letters notifying land owners of the changes and the upcoming hearing have been mailed out today, inviting them to provide written submissions before March 5th or attend the public meeting and present to Council on March 12th. The City has also built an online search tool for Calgarians to check their address on to see if they are impacted.

On March 12, Council will also discuss proposed changes that would require all existing and new suites to be part of The City’s Suites Registry Program which would allow renters to confirm whether a suite they are looking to rent is meeting safety standards.

“The registry empowers Calgarians to ensure they are residing in a legal and safe secondary suite,” says Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Officer at The City of Calgary. “The online map shows all registered suites that have obtained the necessary permits and have been inspected to meet Alberta’s Safety Code requirements.”

To find out if which properties are affected by the proposed changes, and for details on the public hearing and how to submit opinions to Council, visit