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Should Calgary Ease Zoning Prohibitions on Secondary Suites?

Calgary Municipal Election

A secondary suite is "a self-contained living space consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen located within or on the same property as a single family home."1 Calgary has specific rules governing where secondary suites can be developed.

 

Calgary should ease zoning prohibitions on secondary suites

Calgary should not ease zoning prohibitions on secondary suites

Housing Availability

Calgary has a shortage of housing.  Demand on rental property is very high right now.  This problem has only gotten worse with the recent flooding making many residences unavailable.  Several previously existing and legal secondary suites that were destroyed by the flood are in zones where rebuilding those suites is prohibited.

The current limitations on secondary suites are aggravating the housing problem unnecessarily.  The additional living space that could be created in the city by allowing more secondary suites would help Calgarians find more and better homes within the city.

Housing Availability

The Calgary housing market will adjust as required according to market conditions, therefore allowing secondary suites would only be a short term solution to the problem.

No number or estimate has been provided concerning how many secondary suites were damaged in the flood and could not be rebuilt.

Over-Crowding

Most home-owners do not choose to create secondary suites.  The additional people who live in communities with secondary suites are usually spread out and no significant impact from overcrowding occurs.

Over-Crowding

Secondary suites lead to over-crowding of areas.  Parking problem occur when secondary suites are developed.

Illegal Secondary Suites

The current limitations on legal secondary suites has resulted in a large number of illegal suites being run throughout the city.  Illegal suites are not maintained to regulated standards and safety requirements.  When people who live in illegal secondary suites have problems with their landlords, they have no legal recourse.

Expanding the availability of legal secondary suites will hurt the market for illegal suites.  People who are given the choice will live in safe legal suites rather than unsafe illegal ones.

Illegal Secondary Suites

The solution to illegal secondary suites is not to create new legal secondary suites, but to find better ways to enforce current city requirements.

Home Ownership Rights

Secondary suite regulations aren’t about whether a home owner can bring in a renter and they are not about how many people can live in a house.  They are only about how the house is modified in order to accommodate residents and whether owners can provide a separate space for privacy.  (Normally it comes down to the addition of a second kitchen)  These decisions should ultimately be in the hands of home owners.

Home Ownership Rights

Secondary suites regulations are just one of the ways that Calgary protects communities from individual home owners.

 

Designated Secondary Suite Mixed Parcels Jan2011 2

 

Image from Shane Keating's Blog

 

Candidate Views:

Candidate

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Reference/Comments

Mayoral Candidates:

   

Naheed Nenshi

Supports easing zoning prohibitions

 http://www.nenshi.ca/community

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raXHOgdf6Is

Michael Abramenko

   

Larry Heather

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Alex Morozov

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Milan Papev

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Norm Perrault

   

Carter Thomson

   

Ward 1

   

Chris Harper

Supports easing zoning prohibitions

http://www.chrisharper.ca/keeping-our-growth-balanced.html

- It has been argued that his platform is unclear. - Stated in tweet on 23 August, 2013: "I support moving forward with #suiteyyc."

Dan Larabie

   

Judi Vanderbrink

   Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward Sutherland

   Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

John Hilton-O’Brien

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 2

   

Terry Wong

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Bernie Dowhan

  Website down 15 Sep 13

Joe Magliocca

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Terry Avramenko

Supports easing zoning          prohibitions  http://terryavramenko.ca/city-issues/#secondary-suites

Richard Poon

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Shawn Ripley

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 3

   

Jim Stevenson

Voted against motion for legalizing suites in July.

Metro News4.  “It’s not right for us to do a mass land use change on people who have not had a chance to have any input on it.”

Ward 4

   

Gael MacLeod

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Sean Chu

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Blair Houston

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13 

Michael Hartford

  Wants to "toughen up the laws and punishments for illegal suites"

Ward 5

   

Ray Jones

  Website not found

Ward 6

   

Richard Pootmans

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Bob Bowles

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 7

   

Joylin Nodwell

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Brent Alexander

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Kevin Taylor

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Druh Farrel

Supports easing zoning prohibitions

 http://www.druhfarrell.com/secondary_suites

Ward 8

   

John Mar

Supports easing zoning prohibitions.  

Metro News.4  Raised the motion to legalize suites after flood.

Evan Woolley

Supports easing zoning prohibitions.  http://evanwoolley.ca/platform/

Ian Newman

Supports easing zoning prohibitions.  http://www.iannewman.ca/ians-commitment/

Ward 9

   

Gian-Carlo Carra

Supports easing zoning prohibitions

 http://www.gccarra.ca/ward-9-tv/ward-9-tv-episode-5/

Jordan Katz

   Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Richard Wilkie

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 10

   

Andre Chabot

Does not support a "blanket" approval of secondary suites  http://www.voteforandre.com/secondary-suites/

Nargis Dossa

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 11

   

James Maxim

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Brian Pincott

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Wayne Frish

  Not stated on website 15 Sep 13

Ward 12

   

Shane Keating

Would approve if some conditions are met.  http://shanekeating.ca/category/shanes-blog/ (Blog post from Feb 2011)

Ward 13

   

Dian Colley-Urquhard

Voted against motion for legalizing suites in July.

Metro News4

Adam Frisch

  Not stated on website 16 Sep 13

Scott Sorokoski

  Website not found

Ward 14

   

Peter Demong

Does not support easing zoning prohibitions  http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/city/story.html?id=c874e406-4056-440c-aa91-8f4cd1af46dc

Shawn Kao

Supports easing zoning prohibitions

 http://blog.kao14.ca/2013/09/secondary-suites-are-part-of-solution.html

 

Calgary Secondary Suites

Should Calgary Ease Zoning Prohibitions on Secondary Suites?

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Calgary should ease zoning prohibitions on secondary suites.
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Undecided
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Votes

Calgary should not ease zoning prohibitions on secondary suites.
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References

1. City of Calgary: Secondary Suites
2. City of Calgary: A guide to developing a secondary suite
3. Calgary Herald: Push to ease limits on secondary suites fails again
4. Metro News: Secondary Suites Shaping Up to be Key Calgary Election Issue

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