Flood-proofing renovation rules worry Calgary homeowners
Land use bylaw review aims to ensure all major home renovations are flood-resilient
The city wants to impose stricter flood-proofing standards on homes undergoing major renovations.
- BLOG | City report breaks down Calgary flood by the numbers
- Flood-wary homeowner installs 'spray-and-wash' basement
- Flood fortresses: Some Calgarians take extreme measures to protect homes
Until now, many older Calgary homes were grandfathered and did not have to follow modern flood standards.
However, many of the homeowners who gathered in Elbow Park on Thursday night for a presentation on the proposed bylaw changes didn't like what they heard.
Brenda Leeds Binder is with the Calgary River Communities Action Group, which is trying to stop the bylaw amendments.
“Changes like this are punitive to the homeowner. Punitive because they will impact our property value and they'd be extremely punitive if I were to try to do some sort of even small-scale renovation or addition,” she said.
Major renovations only, says manager
But Darrell Sargent, project manager for the Flood Hazard Area Policy and Bylaw Review, said the new rules would only apply to a major renovation.
"It's only when somebody is doing a substantial alteration to their house, adding a second storey, rebuilding or doing a substantial alteration to the footprint, that these rules would apply,” he said.
“What we’re trying to do is level the playing field so everyone is applying the same rules.”
The new rules are not expected to have a substantial impact on peoples’ property values, Sargent said.
But homeowner John Crossland said the public isn't getting a genuine say.
“They've come to consult, but their idea of consulting is to tell us what they're doing. They’re not listening and they're not going to make any changes to what they proposed,” he said.
City council is expected to vote on the proposed changes in June.