News / Calgary

City notes significant jump in legal secondary suite applications

Elimination of development permit requirement for some cited as cause for 400 per cent jump

Who’d have thought cutting down on paperwork would have a positive result?

The City of Calgary is boasting that applications for secondary suites are up 400 per cent since September 2015, when the process was streamlined and an online registry was created.

That means 383 suites have been approved or are in the process of being approved.

With the system as it stands now, many homeowners can skip getting a development permit and move straight onto the building permit application.

“Over half of the people who are coming in, they’re qualifying to go straight to the building permit,” said Cliff de Jong, senior special projects officer with the city.

“They’re obviously very pleased about the simplicity of the process now. But it creates a bit of a financial cost avoidance for the homeowner.”

He said it’s really since the development permit exemption came in that the city saw a significant jump in applications.

Michael Bakgaard is in the process of applying to build a secondary suite. The Calgary Planning commission approved his zoning re-designation on Thursday.

Bakgaard said he did benefit from a reduction of fees, but he didn’t decided to go ahead with the project because of the city’s changes.

He’s also unsure if the registry will be of value to him as a landlord.

“I don’t know if there’s enough people that know about the secondary suite registry for that to be relevant,” he said, adding he’s just not sure.

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