Positive response to suite registry changes
In March 2018, the City of Calgary changed its secondary suite registry program and waived the $700 charge for development permit and registry fees until June 1, 2020.
Prior to the changes, people wanting to build a secondary suite in their homes had to plead their cases in front of city council, which at times was an overbearingly emotional experience.
Homeowners within R-1, R-C1 and R-C1L land-use districts can develop a secondary suite without City Council approval, saving months in the applications process, which has had a positive impact, says Cliff de Jong, senior special projects officer with the City of Calgary.
“The number of legal and safe secondary suites has more than doubled since March in part because of the changes made to the Suite Registry program,” says de Jong. “We knew Calgarians wanted to ensure their new or existing suites were legal and safe, but needed additional support in doing so. The Suite Registry program provides Calgarians with more rental choices and also offers homeowners a helping hand.”
The application process has been streamlined with online services such as live-chat, drawing applications and suite tool. The suite tool helps homeowners determine their property’s requirements anonymously before applying and provides the application form required for a specific property based on the information provided.
“We hope homeowners t ake advantage of the services and fee reductions and register their suites,” says de Jong. “The registry allows Calgarians to verify if a suite meets Alberta’s building codes requirements and has been inspected by The City.”
While The City continues to simplify how Calgarians can qualify their secondary suites in the registry, applying does not guarantee approval. The City continues to offer neighbours and Community Associations input into the process.