FAQs

FAQs 2017-12-26T16:21:22+00:00

FAQs

Development and Transportation Committee

The DTC was formed in January 2017.  We are members of the BCA and we focus on development and transportation issues in our community.  We meet on the first Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the BCA Boardroom.

  1. We review applications for change of land use (rezoning) and development permits. We comment on how the proposed development fits into or affects our community.  Although we do not have formal jurisdiction or authority, our comments are considered for the City Planning Department review.
  2. We represent and act on behalf of the community and its residents for planning issues. We are the first point of contact from the City and Planning Department.
  3. We convey information to our residents regarding planning issues, through the website, articles in the Bugle, direct email, Neighbour Notifications, meetings, etc., so that they are aware of DPs that may affect them.

Relevant BCA Documents

In 2017, the DTC created a Community Vision Statement that serves as a guideline for us to use in evaluating DPs that we receive.  This is a document that is a proactive way to tell developers and the City what is important to our community, especially as we face challenges with increased redevelopment.

The document was created by a DTC sub-committee with feedback from community residents.  It is a “living document” which can be amended through the BCA Board depending on the feedback we receive. We welcome comments on the document.  Email the Brentwood CA office at brntwdca@telus.net.

Community Development Guidelines:  Values and Vision

Development Process Information

If you are interested in learning more about the development process in Calgary, here are some excellent resources with information about everything from land use (zoning) to specific building and development guidelines.  Please see links below.

This guide explains the planning system in Calgary including the policy structure and planning processes. It is an excellent planning reference.  There is a section explaining the role of the community association in planning matters (Chapter 3).

https://calgarycommunities.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/The-Community-Guide-to-the-Planning-Process-2015-web.pdf

The City of Calgary website states:

“Bylaws (are) standards by which all Calgarians must live and abide.   These bylaws have been developed in order to help you live in harmony with your fellow Calgarians and to create beautiful and safe communities.   We believe in an education-first approach to bylaw enforcement. Through campaigns and programs, we strive to teach you about what our bylaws are and how you can lead by example, to make your community a better place.”

The Community Standards Bylaw spells out exactly what the rules are around things like noise, property maintenance, dogs, snow removal, garbage and public behavior.  Enter “Community Standards Bylaw” into a search engine like Google and you’ll find the detailed City of Calgary document or click on the attached link:  http://www.calgary.ca/_layouts/cocis/DirectDownload.aspx?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.calgary.ca%2fCA%2fcity-clerks%2fDocuments%2fLegislative-services%2fBylaws%2f5M2004-CommunityStandards.pdf&noredirect=1&sf=1

Infractions of these bylaws can be reported through 311.

What to do if you have a complaint?

First, can you address the problem directly?  Ideally, talk to the responsible person / homeowner if possible.  Make sure they are aware of your concern and give them a chance to fix the problem.  However, if you are uncomfortable with this, bylaw is the means to address your concern.

All homeowners have certain rights, but also certain responsibilities in regards to property standards and public behaviours.  It is in all of our interests to pay attention to what is happening on our streets to ensure that the community as a whole thrives.  If there are problems that a conversation does not solve, the appropriate way to deal with them is through Bylaw Services.

Contacting 311 is the only way to register a complaint and seek action to resolve the issue.  Bylaw works on a complaint basis only.  If you say nothing, then nothing will or can be done.

A 311 call (or online submission) will lead to follow-up with a bylaw officer who will check out the complaint.  The officer can issue an order for property clean-up, snow-shoveling or grass cutting or other similar actions.

Many people have told me they don’t want to complain, they don’t want to be on record and they don’t want to “tell on” someone.  All 311 report are private and confidential.  You have to provide your name and address but the information is not available to anyone else.  You will be asked to provide a password and given a tracking number so that you are the only one who can request information about any follow-up on the complaint.

If you see a problem, likely other neighbours do as well and it benefits everyone to have the issue resolved.  It also sets an expectation for every property owner that he must maintain his property and comply with the existing bylaws.  Finally, if there truly is a problem property, a record of calls to 311 is the only way to ensure that there is a record of complaints.  A bylaw officer will investigate and fines or penalties can be levied if necessary.

As stated on the City of Calgary website, bylaws exist to help us “live in harmony”, “created beautiful and safe communities” and “make your community a better place.”

This contains all the regulations related to land use within the City of Calgary.
There are general rules governing all districts of the city as well as specific rules for each type of land use (zoning), such as low density residential, multi-residential, commercial and industrial.

This is where you can find details about building heights, setbacks, lot coverage, etc. as well as what uses are permitted in each area.

http://lub.calgary.ca/

This document contains city-wide policies and objectives for planning and development in Calgary.

It considers aspects such as urban design, typologies for future urban design and a framework for growth and change.

There are specific implementation guides relating to new communities, centre city areas and developed areas (such as Brentwood).

http://www.calgary.ca/_layouts/cocis/DirectDownload.aspx?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.calgary.ca%2fPDA%2fpd%2fDocuments%2fplanning_policy_information%2fmdp-municipal-development-plan.pdf&noredirect=1&sf=1

Secondary Suites

(Source: The Community Guide to the Planning Process, 2015)

A Secondary Suite is a legal accessory dwelling unit (consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen) developed within, or on the same property, as a single detached dwelling.

The addition of secondary suites requires that a minimum of one motor vehicle parking stall is provided for the tenant.

Secondary suites must be approved for development in accordance with the Land Use Bylaw prior to making an application for a Building Permit.

Details can be found on the City of Calgary website:

http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/pd/Pages/Home-building-and-renovations/Applying-For-A-Secondary-Suite.aspx

While basement suites are most common, there are various other types of suites:

  • Secondary Suite (any suite that can be combined within a principal dwelling)
  • Secondary Suite – Detached Garage (above a rear detached garage)
  • Secondary Suite – Detached Garden (i.e. standalone structure)

In Brentwood, most homes are zoned R-C1 which means the properties are not zoned for secondary suites.  An application can be made asking Council to rezone the property to allow for a suite.  The land use must change from R-C1 to R-C1s before the secondary suite can be legal.

A Development Permit (DP) for a Change of Land Use (rezoning) will be posted on the property of the proposed secondary suite.  The DP will also be published in both Calgary newspapers.

Neighbours and the Community Association will have the opportunity to comment on the application.  Letters can be submitted to the file manager and they will be considered in the application. Comments should focus on planning rationale, i.e. is there sufficient parking, have all conditions been met, and so on.

The file will move to the CPC (Calgary Planning Commission) before moving to City Council.  On the Hearing date, residents have the opportunity to speak before Council.  Council will vote on the Motion.  Currently, about 83% of all applications are approved.

Appeals can be made to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

No.  There is no requirement for an owner to live there.  An investor with multiple properties can apply for a secondary suite on each property; there is no restriction on the number of suites he can own (although only one suite on each site is allowed).

The Brentwood Community Association receives many comments regarding secondary suites from area residents. The majority of complaints we hear appear to be cases where both the main home and the secondary suite are rented out so there is an absentee landlord. While we realize only the use, not the user, can be regulated, we hear from our residents that having an owner on site tends to lessen potential problems with property upkeep, garbage handling, yard maintenance and unruly tenants.

If you are concerned about a secondary suite in your neighbourhood, you should register a complaint with 311.  All complaints are anonymous, although you do have to provide your contact information for the 311 file.  If there are no 311 complaints registered against the property, there is no history or record of complaints and it is assumed that there are no concerns.

After calling 311, the information will be passed to a bylaw officer who will check if the suite is legal or illegal and if there are issues (such as lawn maintenance, garbage, etc.) that need to be dealt with.