Suites That Could Be Made Legal

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A secondary suite is a separate living space created within a property originally designed

Applying for the Development Permit exemption

If you’re thinking about developing a secondary suite, or legalizing an existing suite, there is no better time than now. City Council approved an 18 month long Development Permit exemption from September 1, 2015 to March 3, 2017. If your property is eligible, you can save an estimated $2,200 in costs and hours of paperwork by skipping the Development Permit process altogether. You need to find Suites that could be made legal as listed above.

Skip a suite step

Is your property a candidate for the permit exemption?

Property eligibility requirements:

  • Your home must be zoned to allow a secondary suite, or have obtained a Land Use Redesignation

Check your property’s zoning by contacting us or visit suites page

  • Your proposed secondary suite must be a permitted use, located in the home only (basement suite)

See our FAQs for permitted vs discretionary uses

  • Meets all Land Use Bylaw requirements
    • parcel (property) dimensions
    • Onsite parking stall
    • Outdoor amenity space

See our chart below for dimensions based on your property’s Land Use District

Basement Suite

Don’t qualify for the permit exemption?

Good news, The City is currently waiving the Development Permit fee for secondary suites, and if your property is not zoned to allow a suite, the fee for a Land Use Redesignation application. You’ll still have to apply but at least you won’t need your wallet.

Why a Development Permit exemption?

Legal and safe secondary suites have been inspected to meet Alberta’s building code and provide people a safe place to live. The exemption program makes it faster and easier for those interested in developing a suite or making an existing suite legal by eliminating the Development Permit process where eligible.

Benefits of Secondary Suites

What steps do I need to take?

  • First you need to find Suites that could be made legal as listed above.
  • You can verify if your property is zoned for secondary suites by entering your address oncalgary.ca/secondarysuite zoning tool, or you can contact our Planning Service Call Centre for assistance.
  • Ensure you meet the minimum size requirements for your parcel’s Land Use District.
  • Your property must provide an onsite parking stall and a large enough private amenity space outside for a resident (minimum 7.5m², with no dimension less than 1.5m)Minimum parcel dimensions:
    Land Use District Minimum Parcel Width Minimum Required Parcel Depth Minimum Required Parcel Area
    R-1s 11m 30m 330m²
    R-C1s 15m 30m 400m²
    R-C2, R-2 9m None None
    R-C1Ls 24m 30m 1100m²
  • Complete the application form (below), book an appointment(please select Development Permit) or visit the Planning Services Counter. The details of your application will be reviewed by our planning staff to ensure your property is eligible for the exemption.
  • Development Permit Exempt Secondary Suite application form
    Here’s what you’ll need to bring or have as part of your application:

    • Site Plan (Existing Real Property Report)
    • Floor Plan
    • Side Elevation
    • Cross Section
  • Should your application be eligible for the Development Permit exemption, you can apply for a Building Permit to begin construction or renovations. You or your qualified licensed contractor can begin applying for Trade Permits. The time required to complete your secondary suite depends on your personal plans, but all construction must meet all safety code requirements for occupancy to be approved.
  • You or your qualified licensed contractor contacts 311 to book a City inspection to ensure all Alberta Safety Code and City bylaw requirements have been met.

What permits do you need?

If your property is determined to be eligible for the Development Permit exemption, your project will require a:

  • Building Permit
  • Applicable Trade Permit(s) – e.g. heating, electrical, plumbing, gas.

For Completed details visit  //www.calgary.ca/PDA/pd/Pages/Permits/Projects/Applying-for-the-Development-Permit-exemption.aspx