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Calgary moves forward on housing task force recommendations
Council voted 8-7 to reject the recommendations, reconsidered the next day
Make R-CG the base zoning for residential areas, allowing infill housing: rowhouses, townhouses, duplexes, and “cottage housing clusters.”
Make H-GO the zoning for areas close to transit and main streets, allowing more missing-middle housing.
Remove minimum parking requirements.
On Tuesday, council voted 8-7 against accepting the recommendations. The reason given was fear of voter reaction. Calgary Herald:
One action called on council to make R-CG zoning the “base zoning” in all residential areas. This would allow for the construction of rowhouses, townhouses, duplexes, semi-detached and cottage housing clusters in more areas.
It was that item, more than any, that seemed to concern some — including Coun. Andre Chabot, who felt the plan was setting the city up for failure. He said bringing in blanket R-CG zoning would be like having the secondary suite debate “on steroids.”
“I think there’s absolutely no way that I could convince my communities to support that major of a change,” said Chabot.
Next day, council voted to reconsider (10-5), and subsequently voted 14-1 to move ahead with an amended motion, allowing more time for discussion and the final decision.
[Richard] Pootmans said he did some reflecting on the vote that evening and then reached out to his colleagues.
“It occurred to me after I went home, I was ashamed. The city has an affordable housing issue and there’s a housing problem as well. None of this was effectively addressed by what we did yesterday,” he told reporters. “In fact, it was not at all addressed.”
Alberta needs an extra 20,000 homes to maintain affordability, but how do we get there? Bryan Labby, CBC, February 2023. Describes the current process for housing approvals in Calgary.
The Calgary affordable housing idea that divides conservatives, federal and local. Jason Markusoff, CBC. Housing is an issue that cuts across the usual left-right divides, resulting in intra-party fights. “The councillors who voted this week to cut off any such movement were, once again, the more conservative-leaning members, including those who aligned themselves with federal party leader Pierre Poilievre (Dan McLean), ran provincially for the Progressive Conservatives (Sean Chu), or Wildrose (Terry Wong), or tried to become a UCP candidate (Andre Chabot).” They were criticized on Twitter by Scott Aitchison (CPC housing critic) and Michelle Garner Rempel, while Greg McLean (CPC MP for Calgary Centre) took the other side.
Map showing where only single-detached houses are currently allowed: