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Secondary suites back up for debate Tuesday at City Council


No it’s not old news: Calgary City Council is preparing once again to tackle the issue of secondary suites and this time, proponents think they may have enough support to finally get it passed.

The mayor refers to this as a compromise and would call for the legalization of “secondary suites” in the inner city, which would include Wards 7, 8, 9 and 11.

‘I’m not a big fan of this particular proposal,” he said and conceded it is better than nothing.

When asked about a particular question that Councillor Peter Demong had, in regards to how will this help with the issue of illegal secondary suites, Naheed Nenshi explained it’s a market situation and the demand for the illegal one will drop off.

“It’s not automatic, it wouldn’t hit all of them, but they will generally be displaced out of the market,” he said.

Members of council were also asked if the province should get involved and legalize them across the board.

“I don’t know the answer to that question, I will say in Ontario that was our experience, that’s the experience, most of the cities legalized them” he said. “There were a couple of hold outs… one of those hold out cities, Brampton, when they were legalized by the province ended up having one of the best processes for neighbour engagement and found it a very positive experience.”

Ward 9 Councillor Gian Carlo Carra would welcome a little help from the newly-elected Alberta government.

“I think it’s the responsible thing to do so I would be a supporter of any order of government exercising their legislative authority in any way they can, in order to make secondary suites a part of the mix here in Calgary,” Carra said.

The comments come as 11 Calgarians had to make personal and private presentations to all of council, in hopes of getting approved.

Andra Chira lives in Scenic Acres and anticipates this could cost her roughly $20,000 by the time she navigates the process.

“I think the city should be supportive and make it easier for people to legalize them,” she said.

The motion will be tabled Tuesday afternoon at 1p.m.