If you live in Calgary and own a home, you may be subject to different land use by-laws depending on which neighbourhood you live in.
Calgary Land Use ByLaws have been in effect since 1913 but changes have been made over the years. In 2002, a review commenced to accommodate significant population increases and complexities that come with unique planning issues. As a result, different rules are at play when it comes to property bylaws. In particular, bylaws falling under 2P80 that came into effect in 1980, IP2007 implemented in 2007 and ‘Direct Control Districts’ which are under a specific set of rules that override conventional Land Use Bylaws.
The number of districts has increased substantially; from 1996 to 2000 alone, City Council approved 454 of these zones compared with just 191 conventional districts. Springbank Hill in Ward 6 is under partial District Control zoning with some boundaries occurring on the same street between neighbours. An example of different treatment of the two might be driveway widths aren’t regulated and widening doesn’t require a permit in District zones. Permits can cost around $400, and can be accepted or rejected by the city.
Land use bylaws are a necessary planning tool to regulate the development of land in a growing city like Calgary. But we all pay property taxes based on home assessments and City Council approved tax rates.
Residences in Direct Control districts seem to have an advantage over others and Springbank Hill is just one example.
Specific bylaws in unique circumstances is one thing, but why should some neighbourhoods have an advantage over others?