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Calgary city council approves citywide rezoning with amendments

Calgary city council has voted in favour of the amended citywide rezoning bylaw following four weeks of debate, thousands of public feedback on the contentious proposal and two days of debate.

Council voted 9-6 to approve the bylaw, with councillors Dan McLean, Sonya Sharp,  Andre Chabot, Sean Chu, Terry Wong and Peter Demong voting against.

The vote comes after council spent 12 days and 100 hours in a public hearing, the longest public hearing in the city’s history.

Around 736 speakers spoke in total. Around 227 people spoke in favour, while 458 people were opposed and 51 people remained neutral about the bylaw.

The city also received 6,101 submissions and more than 50,000 people watched the livestream.

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The move means Calgary’s land-use bylaw will be amended to make residential grade-oriented infill (R-CG) the default residential zoning district across the city.

R-CG allows a variety of housing types including single-detached, semi-detached, duplexes and rowhouses.

However, the change won’t be implemented until sometime in August.

The move was a key recommendation and one of more than 80 in the city’s housing strategy, aimed at boosting supply and improving housing affordability.

According to city projections, the change to R-CG would generate an additional 250 properties redeveloping to rowhouses per year, which could translate into around 750 net new additional homes.

City administration also said rezoning will increase transit options, such as active and public transportation systems.

Many organizations that provide resources to vulnerable Calgarians urged council to pass the bylaw, arguing it could potentially speed up the process to develop non-market housing.

However, those against the bylaw argued that by adding duplexes, triplexes and rowhouses, council will introduce too much density to RC-1 zoned neighbourhoods that will ultimately change their character.

Others said they aren’t sure rezoning will actually have an impact on housing prices, arguing that developers and landlords will charge high rents for new builds.

Many Calgarians also expressed concerns that they don’t feel heard by city council and administration, claiming their rights are being stripped away.

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