Five Things to Know About Calgary Secondary Suite Applications

secondary suite design calgaryKey points about the SECONDARY SUITE application and re-designation process in Calgary


Your Property

The first thing you need to know before applying for a secondary suite re-designation is how your property is currently zoned. The city will accept re-designation applications (often called re-zoning) for any property but you’ll want to set yourself up for success by knowing the current zoning and what zoning you’re looking for. If you don’t know about the zoning, city hall will allow pre-application inquiries where you can find out more.  Call us if you would like some advice on Calgary zoning and re-designation for secondary suites.


For re-designation applications in particular zones, the city is waiving the application fee of approx. $5000:

Applications still go through the full re-designation process however the fee is waived. Don’t take this to mean that an ill-prepared application will be successful, this initiative is meant to encourage application where an owner might not otherwise risk the investment.


Don’t underestimate the time it takes to collect all the required information, and the resulting re-designation process. It may take up to a month to assemble & submit your application, and expect the following rough timeline for the process to run its course:

  • 1 month for internal review & follow-up questions;
  • 2 week advertising period with “Re-Designation Application” sign on the property, with 2-3 additional weeks to receive public input;
  • Administration presentation and review to Calgary Planning Commission at the next scheduled meeting;
  • If approved at CPC, another 2 week advertising period with “Land Use Bylaw Amendment” sign on the property, with 2-3 weeks following to receive public input;
  • Application presentation and review with Calgary City Council at the next scheduled public meeting.

It will be important to demonstrate that you’ve made a concerted effort to contact and discuss your application with your neighbours. It’s been suggested that at a minimum you should contact any adjacent neighbours, and any directly across the street or alley.  I would suggest doubling or tripling that effort and requesting your neighbours sign a letter stating their name, address, and indicating support for your application. It wouldn’t hurt to show a summary on a map – who doesn’t love graphics!

Your Story

When you present your application, keep in mind that there are many perspectives from which one might view the application. You can make your case from a planning, financial, personal, and/or social perspective. It may be wise to touch on all of these perspectives so your application appears complete and well thought out.