Hey Westbrook Communities, your Local Area Plan is ready!

The Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan sets the vision for the evolution of the area over the next 30 years—providing direction on future development and investment that residents, landowners, builders/developers, City Planners and Councillors can commonly refer to as new development and investment ideas are proposed.


Wondering what the Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan is all about?

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLAN


What is this project about?


Communities change and evolve over time. Having a local area plan to inform decisions about where, why and how revitalization and redevelopment should happen are essential to ensure our communities change in the right ways.

A local area plan sets the vision for the evolution of the area over the next 30 years—providing direction on future development and investment that residents, landowners, builders/developers, City Planners and Councillors can commonly refer to as new development and investment ideas are proposed.


The Westbrook Communities Local Area Planning project includes the communities of: Wildwood, Spruce Cliff, Westgate, Rosscarrock, Shaganappi, Glendale, Killarney/ Glengarry, Glenbrook and the portions of Upper Scarboro/Sunalta West and Richmond that are west of Crowchild Trail.

Through the local growth planning process, we’ll work together to create a future vision for how land could be used and redeveloped in the area – building on the vision, goals and policies outlined in Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and The Guide for Local Area Planning. Learn more about Local Area Planning in Calgary.

Westbrook LAP Boundary Map

Westbrook LAP Boundary Map

Growth and change happens in a community with or without a Local Area Plan. Market forces, consumer demand and other factors will drive change in the community. However, in areas with high demand that do not have a Local Area Plan, developers will often have to undertake site-by-site rezoning applications in order to build developments to meet demand for new housing and businesses.

This site-by-site approach can create uncertainty for local residents, who don’t know where the next application will come and what it will propose. It also creates uncertainty for developers, who don’t know for certain what types of proposals will be acceptable where. Without a local area plan, conversations about growth and change happen application by application, often in a manner disconnected from a wider vision.

A local area plan helps create more certainty for everyone by outlining the general expectation for what scale and type of new development is appropriate where and what policies will help shape development that is proposed.

A local area plan sets the vision for the evolution of the area over the next 30 years—providing direction on future development and investment that residents, landowners, builders/developers, City Planners and Councillors can commonly refer to as new development and investment ideas are proposed.

A local area plan includes the following key sections:

  1. Visualizing growth – What is the vision for the area? (vision and core values)
  2. Enabling growth – What type of growth makes sense where and what local/custom direction is needed to realize great development in this area? (future growth concept and development policies)
  3. Supporting growth – If growth occurs, what physical and social investments are needed? (future investment goals and implementation options)

A local area plan is a statutory document, adopted by Council as an Area Redevelopment Plan.

Input provided by citizens and other participants helped the project team understand perspectives, opinions and concerns throughout the all phases of the project. Input collected in each phase of the project helped influence and inform the concepts and policies that were created and refined throughout the process. Throughout the project, the project team shared what was heard, highlighted the key themes raised, and provided responses for how key themes were addressed and considered.

  • Check out the "Engagement Overview" tab on the REALIZE page for more detailed information.
Although it would be a great outcome, the goal of public engagement is not to reach consensus or make everyone happy. Public engagement is about considering the input, ideas and perspectives of those who are interested in or impacted by decisions, before decisions are made. Public input is an important part of local area planning, but is one of many areas of consideration. Other areas include: City policies, professional expertise, current context and trends, and equity which all factor into the ultimate decision-making process and concept development.


Public input provided in each phase of the engagement process was compiled, reviewed and considered as each chapter of the local area plan was created.


A variety of opportunities for involvement were available through the process that aimed to accommodate a range of participation interests and intensities, as well as to remove barriers to participation.

Engagement opportunities and methods included: Westbrook Communities Working Group sessions, in-person and virtual engagement sessions (with the public, community associations & development industry representatives), pop-up engagement events, online engagement, mailed engagement packages, My Idea Stations, Conversation Starter Kits and community walk & talks (with community association representatives).

Through the project, over 2.1 million advertisements were displayed to help raise awareness of the project and opportunities to get involved. Methods used to raise awareness included: mailed information, community newsletter articles and ads, large format road signs, social media ads (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor), digital ads (including video ads on YouTube and audio ads on Spotify), digital and print ads in local restaurants, Communications Toolits for area Councillors and Community Association representatives to help spread the word.

Over 31 public engagement events, 23 community association sessions, 12 working group sessions, and 8 builder/development industry sessions were held. Online engagement was open for 152 days and over 44K engagement packages/booklets were mailed to residents and businesses. Overall, there were over 3,600 unique instances of direct engagement and over 9,000 comments were shared.

There are opportunities for the public to get involved at both the Infrastructure and Planning Committee (IPC) and Council public hearings.

The Plan is planned to be presented to the Infrastructure and Planning Committee (IPC) on December 8.

The agenda for both meetings will be posted a few days prior to the hearings at the link below:

Council and Committee Agendas, Minutes and Video (calgary.ca)

Those wishing to participate in the public hearings can submit their comments or register to speak. Comments submitted before the agenda has been posted should clearly state that the submission is for "The Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan".

Public Submission to City Clerks (calgary.ca)

Members of the public may also watch the Committee and Council hearings via live webcast:

Council and Committee webcasts (calgary.ca)

For more information visit Participate in a Council or Committee meeting (calgary.ca)

City Council is the decision maker for all statutory City planning policies. The Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan (the Plan) will be brought forward to the public hearing of Council for review and decision (date to be determined). Prior to the public hearing of Council, Infrastructure and Planning Committee (IPC) will review proposed Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan. The Plan is planned to be presented to the Infrastructure and Planning Committee (IPC) on December 8.

Following Council review and decision, the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Growth Board will review the Plan, prior to formal adoption by City Council.

Existing statutory and non-statutory policies (such as Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs), Design briefs etc. will be rescinded or amended where appropriate. Administration’s recommendations for the Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan includes rescinding three and amending one existing statutory planning policies. The policies to be rescinded are: the Westbrook Village Area Redevelopment Plan, the Killarney/Glengarry Redevelopment Plan and the Shaganappi Point Area Redevelopment Plan. The Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan will be amended to remove those portions of Richmond that are within the Westbrook Communities Local Area Plan from the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan.

Local area plans are meant to be living documents that may be amended and updated over time as the community changes and evolves and as conditions and circumstances in the area change.

City Council is the decision maker for all local area plan amendments.

No. The Local Area Plan itself does not rezone land. Property/landowners determine if and when to propose to rezone their land. If a land use rezoning (redesignation) were brought forward by a property/landowner, it would be reviewed for alignment with the Westbrook Hill Communities Local Area Plan, if the Local Area Plan is approved by Council. The Local Area Plan provides direction that would inform and guide decisions about development in the area.

The City of Calgary may propose to redesignate (rezone) land, and does so periodically in connection with initiatives such as the Main Streets program or if/when the Land Use Bylaw is updated. The process to update the Land Use Bylaw and redesignate parcels will include opportunities for public involvement and notification.

City Council makes the final decision on land use zoning applications. Administration must review all rezoning proposals and makes a recommendation to Council based on planning merits, supporting policy and comments received. Council refers to the Local Area Plan and other City policy and holds a public hearing prior to making a decision. Council can make a decision based on their own interpretation of policies, site characteristics and the merits of the application.

New development must always go through the proper permitting and approval process. For proposed development that conforms to existing zoning, developers must submit development permit applications, which detail the design (building height, size, materials, parking, landscaping, etc.) of the proposed development prior to proceeding with construction. The public can view the details of proposed developments, including plans, and can submit comments on proposed developments through the Development Map application (Development Map (PDMAP) (calgary.ca)). Affected parties can also appeal the approval of a discretionary development to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. Some types of developments, called permitted uses, such as contextual single-detached dwellings and contextual semi-detached dwellings, are not subject to public comment, are approved by the development authority after a technical review and are not subject to appeal as long as they follow all the rules of the bylaw.

If a proposed development does not conform to the existing zoning, and a developer wishes to bring the zoning in line with the Local Area Plan, the developer must submit a land use redesignation (rezoning) application. This process is also open to public comment, and similarly to development permits, information is posted on the Development Map application (Development Map (PDMAP) (calgary.ca)). The decision on a land use redesignation (rezoning) application is made by City Council, and a public hearing is held prior to the decision.

Three-storey homes are already allowed to be built in every community. As long as a home is within the height and lot coverage allowed, it can be approved by The City. Some communities are already seeing older bungalows being torn down and replaced with three-storey homes, and this is allowed throughout the city. 525 new single-detached homes have been built in the Westbrook Communities in the last 20 years, often replacing smaller bungalows with larger new homes.

No. Semi-detached homes and duplexes have the same allowable height and lot coverage as single-detached homes. Allowing semi-detached homes and duplexes doesn’t increase the allowable size of new homes, but it does allow two homes (plus suites) in a single building instead of one (plus suites).

Those details are not in the scope of the Local Area Plan; however, at the development permit stage details such as building design, site constraints, landscaping, parking, utilities and waste and recycling staging areas are discussed and carefully looked at. Privacy is also discussed as part of the design of the new development. For example, glass blocks or frosted glass can be placed when side windows are proposed. All discretionary development permits include the opportunity for the public to provide comments during the review of the proposal as well as to appeal the decision about a proposed discretionary development.

Currently, the Land Use Bylaw permits small-scale homes including single-detached homes to be built up to three storeys; however, specific design details are looked at during the development permit stage. The proposed development should align with the contextual rules set in the Land Use Bylaw. In addition, during the development permit application review, the file manager reviews comments from the public and discusses options with the applicant to better integrate the new proposed development into the existing context.

No. Neither the Land Use Bylaw nor the Local Area Plan regulate the materials or architectural design of homes. The Bylaw does regulate built form, which includes things such as lot coverage, building height and landscaping requirements, but the architectural style of a home is up to each individual homebuilder and owner.

As we have refined the plan and finalized the urban form category and scale modifier maps, our colleagues model potential growth scenarios based on the plan to understand how the population of the area can change over time. This model is then used by our transportation and water resources departments to analyze infrastructure capacity and usage based on potential population growth. This analysis will help identify potential upgrades that may be needed as growth occurs in the plan area. This information is also shared with other utility partners, such as Enmax, so they can similarly forecast growth and infrastructure capacity and plan for upgrades.

Timeline

Multi-phased engagement process
  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    DISCOVER & GET INVOLVED

    • Learn more about the project
    • Apply to be a member of the working group
  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    ENVISION

    Phase 1 initial: Winter 2019 - Fall 2020

    • Share what you love about the community and your vision for the future.

    Phase 1 validate: Fall 2021

    • Looking back at the past, understanding the present and envisioning the future of the area.
    • Provide input on the first chapter of the local area plan including: the area’s rich history (PAST), the area as it exists today (PRESENT), the vision for the area and core values that support this vision (FUTURE).
  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    EXPLORE

    Phase 2: Winter - Spring 2022

    • Exploring where and how growth and change could happen in the area.
    • Key topics, priorities, options and alternatives are explored, disucssed and refined.
  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    REFINE

    Phase 3: Spring - Summer 2022

    In this phase we'll focus on refining the plan content and concepts, and confirming investment priorities.

  • Timeline item 5 - active

    REALIZE [WE ARE HERE]

    Phase 4: Fall 2022 - Winter 2023

    • Sharing the proposed local area plan and bringing it forward to Committee and Council.

IMPLEMENT - Ongoing

  • Landowners decide if and when they want to develop or redevelop their land.
  • If a landowner decides they want to redevelop their land under a different land use district (zone), they must apply for a land use redesignation.
  • In some cases, The City (rather than a specific landowner) will rezone land. The City is more likely to rezone land if it is aligned with the long-term vision for growth and redevelopment such as in the Municipal Development Plan or local area plan.
  • City Council is the decision maker on all land use amendements.


UPDATE & AMEND - Ongoing

  • Local area plans are meant to be ‘living documents’ that may be amended and updated over time as the community changes and evolves and as conditions and circumstances in the area change.
  • City Council is the decision maker on all local area plan amendments.

Past Engagement & What We Heard

Engagement Pages

What We Heard / What We Did reports

Check out the What We Heard Reports to learn what we heard from the public and other stakeholders in each phase of the engagement.

Check out the What We Did Reports to see the key 'What We Heard' themes raised in each phase as well as a summary of 'What We Did' in response to each of the key themes that were raised.


PHASE 3: REFINE

The City defines engagement as:

Learn more about the Westbrook Communities Working Group.