Secondary suite reform passes in Calgary city council

Mar 13 2018, 3:53 pm

City council has made some big changes that will affect an estimated 170,000 homes in the Calgary area.

Secondary Suite reform was debated and voted on at Monday’s council meeting, and it ultimately passed with a vote of nine to six.

The reform will make it easier for Calgary homeowners to create a secondary suite in their basements, backyards, or above their garages because they will not have to go before city council with a proposal. A time consuming and now unnecessary process.

Instead, prospective secondary suites will be automatically considered for discretionary use, meaning that community associations and neighbours will have the ability to comment on the permit review process.

Owners will still need to work with City of Calgary staff to obtain the proper permits before starting renovations.

Councillors Sean Chu, Peter Demong, Jeromy Farkas, Ray Jones, Ward Sutherland, and Joe Magliocca are the six councillors that were opposed to the reforms.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi expressed his joy at the results in a tweet on Monday night.

The reform also means that all existing or new suites will become part of a mandatory registry, with suite owners paying a registry fee of $232.

The registration process will hope to curb the amount of illegal secondary suites in the city.

“The registry empowers Calgarians to ensure they are residing in a legal and safe secondary suite,” said Marco Civitarese, chief building officer at The City of Calgary, in a release.

Calgary residents can check to see if their property is impacted by these changes by going to the City’s website and searching their home address.

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