City waives permit and fee for homeowners with illegal secondary suites
New initiative intended to make secondary suites safer
The city is making it easier — and less expensive — for Calgarians with illegal secondary suites to bring them up to code and make them safer.
- Legal secondary suites needed for safe, affordable Calgary housing, students say
- Secondary suites proposal would permit them in central wards
- Calgary considers campaign about illegal secondary suites
The city is waiving the development permit and fee for the next 18 months as long as homeowners have the proper zoning and meet all the Land Use Bylaw requirements for a legal suite.
Special Project Coordinator Cliff De Jong says there are thousands of illegal suites in the city — and it's hoped many of those homeowners will take advantage of the program. It is estimated there are about 16,000 illegal suites in the city.
"If they don't, then they would still need to apply for a development permit to accommodate the relaxation but that development permit is actually free," said De Jong. "So we're eliminating as many steps and barriers as possible to encourage people to come in and really just focus on the safety aspect, bring it up to code requirements."
The fee will be waived from Sept. 1 to March 3, 2017. The city says eligible homeowners can save up to $2,200.