Auto Mall Development on 130th Avenue

Development in the deep SE has been a positive thing for Ward 12. With that being said, development can often have some growing pains and raise questions within the existing communities.

Residents in New Brighton and Copperfield will have noticed a number of new car dealerships that are opening along 130th Avenue. These dealerships are east of the future site of the New Brighton Athletic Park and immediately south of the Shepard Waste Management Facility.


It is important to clarify the differences between Community Association and Resident’s Associations in the development/land use application consultation process. Resident’s Associations are typically limited to maintaining and operating public amenities built by the developer of a community. RAs serve an important purpose, but do not typically have input on the planning process. Community Associations typically have a broader scope that includes things like providing recreational and social opportunities, managing public facilities and providing a voice for the community.

If the Community Association perceives a land use or development application to be controversial, they will often seek input from the residents they represent. This was not the case with the land use or development applications for the dealerships on 130th Avenue. The President of the New Brighton Community Association at the time was well briefed on the development and land use applications. The President and another individual on the CA also sat on the RA board. The development and land use applications were raised and understood by both entities.

I have heard some recent concerns that this development has a negative impact on the adjacent community and that the appropriate consultation process did not take place. I always do my best to thoroughly investigate these types of concerns and provide residents with as much of the information as possible. My office has looked into this file and I’m pleased to provide some of the facts:

  • The land was purchased in 2012 by a group that intended to build a series of car dealerships.
  • The land was originally designated as I-G (Industrial- General District). This designation does not allow for development of vehicle sale facilities.
    • Some Discretionary land uses for I-G include:
      • Auction markets for goods, vehicles or equipment
      • Auto body and paint shop
      • Major and minor auto service
      • Beverage container drop-off depot
      • Bulk fuel sales depot
      • Crematorium
      • Distribution centre
      • Equipment yard
      • Freight yard
      • Light and medium general industrial
      • Large vehicle and equipment sales
      • Medical marihuana production facility
      • Municipal works depot
      • Parking lot at grade or structure
      • Large place of worship
      • Medium or small power generation facility
      • Recreational vehicle storage
      • Recyclable construction material collection depot
      • Salvage yard
    • On October 1, 2012 Council approved a land use amendment that moved the lands to I-C (Industrial – Commercial District).
      • The land use application was circulated to a variety of circulation referees, including the New Brighton Community Association. Comments were requested during the review period from April 18, 2012 – May 8, 2012.
      • The New Brighton CA commented in support of the application in a letter on August 14, 2012.
      • Auto-sales are allowed with I-C designation.
      • I-C zoning provides for a more sensitive interface/uses with the surrounding community.
    • Development and land use applications for these sites followed standard procedures
      • The development application (DP2013-2773) was circulated to a variety of circulation referees, including the New Brighton Community Association.
        • The New Brighton Community Association was sent the Development Permit circulation package on August 16, 2013. Planning and Development received a “no objection” letter back from New Brighton Community Association.
      • One of the requirements of the development was for the ownership group to provide the city with a satisfactory Traffic Impact Assessment study to ensure the development would not adversely affect the traffic corridor.
    • The development proposal fit within the Area Structure Plan by providing the following:
      • Compatible interface with the adjacent community and an attractive appearance when viewed from an adjoining public road;
        • Prior to development the residential area had a view of the Shepard landfill and 130th There was no sound buffer between the residential area and 130th Avenue which has increased in traffic volume as development in New Brighton and Copperfield continues.
      • Presentation of an attractive building, fencing and landscaping treatment along public roads, and reserve land where visible from residential areas.
        • The site and adjacent residential community are separated by a wetland/pond which measures approximately 72 meters from property line to property line
      • Setbacks, screening, landscaping and building design that addresses aesthetic concerns associated with highly visible locations.


The area south of 130th is very quickly being transformed. For residents that back on to the new developments, change can be concerning. Prior to development, these residents backed on to 130th Avenue and the southern slope of the Shepard Waste Management Facility. Development of this site was always planned through the East McKenzie area structure plan. As traffic volume grows on 130th Avenue, a auto mall could serve as a useful buffer for the adjacent residents.

In Conclusion:

This area is quickly changing. While I certainly understand some of the concerns regarding the new developments south of 130th Avenue, proper procedures have been followed throughout this process. The development of car dealerships are preferable to what could have been developed on this site with the previous I-G land designation. Residents need to ask themselves, would they find the development of a freight yard in this space better than an auto mall? With the previous land designation that scenario certainly could have happened.

Adjacent residents still enjoy a considerable set back with a 72 meter separation between their property lines, and the developments property line. The set back can be seen here:20151128_160424


With rapid change happening in Ward 12, I encourage residents to stay informed. The City of Calgary recently launched a new Planning and Development Map that shows re-designation applications in their area. This map can be viewed here: