Guidebook for Great Communities delayed Nov 8 2019

After the Standing Policy on Planning and Urban Development (PUD) Committee meeting on Wednesday, the Guidebook for Great Communities has been delayed in thanks to our work and that of our industry colleagues. Leslie Evans, our Executive Director was part of a panel that was created at the request of the PUD Committee members. The panel consisted of stakeholders that had previously been engaged on the Guidebook. After the Oct 2nd PUD meeting and over the past month, members of the panel met to address outstanding concerns. Members of the panel recommended 3 options for adoption of the Guidebook, please click here to read the full panel response to Council.

​​​​​​​At PUD on Wednesday, members of Committee decided to:
Direct Administration to execute Option 2 (adopt the Guidebook in combination with the North Hill Multi-Community Plan), with the following refinements.
a. Build awareness among Calgarians about the changes being proposed and to allow Calgarians to participate in the community conversation on long-term planning and supporting growth with infrastructure and amenities
b. Communicate the vision and intent of the document within Calgary communities in partnership with stakeholder groups, before the document becomes statutory. This communication should include examples from pilot communities.
c. Prepare a clear engagement process for statutory planning work going forward, making expectations clear to all stakeholders about when to engage, what type of engagement is required, and what the outcomes of the work will be.
d. Provide clarity to the relationship between this work and the City’s shift to larger local area plans
e. Forward this report to the 2019 November 18 Combined meeting of Council. (There will be no public hearing at December 16 Meeting of Council – postponed until March 2020).
In addition, members of the Committee will also like to see:

  • Parts of the Guidebook tested with the North Hill multi-community planning process
  • Funding and planning tools for heritage resources
  • Financial tools that will fund some of the amenities contained in the Guidebook (these tools are being developed concurrently in the Established Areas Growth and Change Strategies groups)

What does this mean for my Community?
The Guidebook is now scheduled to be adopted in combination with the North Hill Multi-Community Plan that is anticipated to go to SPC on PUD in March and then Council in April. No part of the Guidebook including chapter 3 has being adopted yet.
Administration has been directed to create more opportunities for engagement, but please note that the engagement sessions will be to create awareness about the changes being proposed, provide clarity between this work and the City’s shift to multi-community plans and communicate the vision and intent of the guidebook.
The Federation is committed to sending information on opportunities and dates for engagement sessions, in the meantime, please:

  • Learn more by visiting the links
  • Engage your community
  • Stay in touch with your Councillor

What is the Guidebook?
The City is adopting a new Guidebook for Great Communities (GGC) which directs how communities will evolve and grow. The Guidebook is the tool (statutory policy) that sets out guidance and a common understanding of how development will contribute to a great community.

The new Guidebook influences the way that we approach local area planning (i.e., Area Redevelopment Plans also called Local Area Plans (LAPs)). Part of this approach is to establish Multi-Community Local Area Plans that include policies for a group of communities instead of those stand-alone plans, as was the practice in the past. This strategy allows a consistent approach across the places where life and activity occur, that does not always stop at community boundaries. This allows a larger picture of assessing amenities – like parks and schools, infrastructure – like roads and sewer, and shopping or service areas that impact community evolution spanning numerous communities.

The new Guidebook is the first step to creating the urban form categories and helps the LAPs lay down the foundation to create a vision that focuses on the street experience. It provides the tools to capture the key elements (i.e., overlays) within the community, and policies (Chapter 3) to provide best practice on development.