Secondary Suites

Update on Secondary Suites – February 16, 2011

On February 16th, I voluntarily removed myself from the discussions on secondary suites at the Land Use Planning & Transportation Committee. Realizing that there may be a possible conflict of interest, excusing myself from the proceedings seemed to be the most prudent course of action at this time.

Family members of mine will be moving into my residence for which I will be in the position of putting forward an application for a secondary suite in the near future.

Regardless of any conflict I have, the issue of secondary suites in Calgary is an issue that affects not only Ward 12, but the entire city.

Currently, approximately 60% of Ward 12 is zoned to accept secondary suites and approximately 40% are designated R1, RC1 and RC1L, and are not zoned for secondary suites.

With the decision coming to committee and council, there are a number of factors that must be addressed in order for me to vote in favour of allowing secondary suites throughout the ward, and the City of Calgary.

Going forward I believe that if secondary suites are allowed, there must be several measures in place so that the surrounding neighbourhoods are not negatively impacted, such as;

  • There must be an effective method to notify the homeowners and resident in the affected neighbourhood
  • There must be an opportunity for concerned neighbours to appeal the secondary suite application.
  • The homeowner must live on-site
  • Building code and fire code requirements must be met
  • Dedicated parking must be available off road

Original Blog Entry 

The issue of Secondary Suites will be coming to committee this week (February 16, 2011). In preparation for the meeting, I have included a map of Calgary which shows all residential areas in Calgary (both single and low/medium density multi-unit) that either allow Secondary Suites as discretionary uses (green) or do not allow secondary suites (red).

Closer view of Ward 12


Approximately 40% of Ward 12 falls into the red, or portion that does not allow secondary suites, while close to 60% of Ward 12 is currently zoned to allow the option (green).

This would include the areas of Douglasglen, Douglasdale and McKenzie Lake.

Committee, and then Council, will discuss the potential of allowing secondary suites in the areas that are currently marked in red.

Some of the questions being posed are:

  • Should secondary suites be allowed at all or should they be allowed on a case by case basis?
  • What would the process be to approve new secondary suites in Calgary?
  • What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of allowing secondary suites in communities?

I would appreciate your feedback on how the residents of Ward 12 feel about this issue. Please email your comments to me at (please include the name of the community you live in as well as any contact information you can provide).

Thank you