REMINDER TO VOTE!

Tomorrow is a big day. Those who turn out to vote will decide the next City Council that will shape the future of our city for years to come. If we want to avoid a repeat of the last four years, where the efforts of the leaders on secondary suite reform were held back by a majority of Council that could not come to the table on reform, we need to make sure we elect a Council that will champion the cause.

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Another report is just another report

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Another secondary suites report?

Last week Councillor Chabot put forward a notice of motion asking City Administration for yet another report on secondary suites, this time asking City Administration to investigate:

 

  • A regulation requiring suites to be registered to advertise for rent or lease;

  • A limit of one secondary suite application per year;

  • A bylaw to differentiate between basement and backyard suites;

  • A process for communities to register a petition to apply for re-designation to allow secondary suites and a list of potential “zones” that would be “suitable” for secondary suite designation.

 

Since 2005 there have been over 30 such reports on secondary suites at the request of the different City Councils of the time.

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New Motion Misses the Mark on Fixing Suites

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This week City Council will consider a Notice of Motion from Councillor Shane Keating for a study to create new zones for secondary suites and mandatory suites registration process, with a $1,000 fee every two years.

 

Calgarians for Secondary Suites supports reform that would make it less onerous for homeowners to build safe and regulated secondary suites. We oppose Councillor Keating’s motion because it fails to address the suites bottleneck at Council and it would make the complex secondary suites process even more difficult and dramatically more expensive for many homeowners.

 

 

If Council can’t approve secondary suites city-wide, then we call for a plebiscite on this issue in the 2017 municipal election.

 

 

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Council’s vote against secondary suite reform was a vote for more illegal suites

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On Monday, June 29 Calgary City Council voted against a bylaw change that would have made it much less burdensome and onerous for homeowners to build safe, regulated secondary suites in the mostly inner-city wards of 7, 8, 9 and 11.

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Massive Community Support for Secondary Suites

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In addition to the overwhelming public support from over 50 top civic leaders, community associations, organizations and businesses in Calgary, Calgarians for Secondary Suites has counted 2,104 emails sent to City Councillors in support of secondary suites since December 8, 2014. We have also received 2,334 signatures on our Suite YYC Petition calling for more secondary suites in more areas of Calgary.

Overall, we have received support from over 3,000 unique Calgarians calling on City Council for secondary suite reform.

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Thank you to the leaders on City Council!

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Last Monday, City Council debated a plan that would have allowed discretionary use of secondary suites citywide. Secondary suite applicants from many areas in Calgary currently have to plead before City Council on a case by case basis seeking a subjective approval. The proposed plan would have allowed homeowners wishing to build secondary suites to apply to City staff and receive approval based on clear requirements and rigorous regulations set out by Council. Unfortunately, this proposal was rejected by an 8-7 vote.

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Brookfield Residential Supports Secondary Suites in Calgary

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One of North America's leading land developers, Brookfield Residential supports the broader use of legal, safe Secondary Suites in Calgary. This is consistent with the support from the Urban Development Institute, which serves as an industry representative on behalf of Brookfield Residential and 200 other related businesses in Calgary.

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A First Step: Council Moves Towards Secondary Suites in Four Wards

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Yesterday, City Council rejected city-wide secondary suites reform by an 8-7 vote. However, City Council also approved drafting of a new by-law, which could allow for secondary suites in Wards 7, 8, 9 and 11. While hopes had been set on city-wide approval, this marks an important first step that could see implementation in four of the fourteen wards by mid-2015, provided that Council approves the final by-law.

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Calgary Herald Editorial Board Endorses Secondary Suite Reform

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With the crucial Secondary Suite vote set to go before City Council today, the Calgary Herald Editorial Board is calling for Councillors to take action on Secondary Suites after years of study, consultation and debate. This follows the endorsements from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Economic Development, Bishop Fred Henry, dozens of community and business leaders across the city, and thousands of Calgarians who have signed a petition asking Council to improve the accessibility of Secondary Suites in Calgary.

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What Calgary's Leaders Have Been Saying About Secondary Suites

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Since the Calgarians For Secondary Suites campaign launched on Sept 1st of this year, we have been hearing from dozens of business and community leaders about the pressing need for action on Secondary Suites. On the eve of the major City Council vote on Secondary Suite reform, we've compiled a list of some of the things they have been saying.

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