Public Hearing and Ward 12

Here is the information for the Public Hearing next week and an update on how I am preparing.

April 22 Public Hearing Meeting of Council

Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 25 the PH is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. and run to 9:30 p.m. (subject to Council direction)

Saturday, April 26 PH overflow; scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. and run to 9:30 p.m. (subject to Council direction)

Sunday, April 27 – OFF

It is anticipated that the Public Hearing will overflow into the week of the 29th and weave in between previously scheduled meetings.

Information has been updated on and is available here: Council and committee agendas, minutes and video (


My concerns & approach

Ward 12 communities already carry their weight

One of the biggest themes I have heard both through the survey, in emails, on the phone and even when door knocking on the issue was frustration that our Ward 12 communities are already compact, already have high densities, a healthy mix of uses and the associated issues with parking, traffic congestion, etc.

I struggle with the rationale of why our newer MDP-compliant and master-planned communities that already accommodate some of the highest suburban density in our City are also subject to this broad stroke and the looming spectre of the worst-case scenario popping up on our street. 

I have questions:

  • Isn’t the potential impact incredibly small? Isn't the opportunity loss/gain incredibly narrow?
  • Won’t market factors largely keep these developments from moving forward until the housing stock reaches a certain age?
  • Why introduce the uncertainty of the worst possible outcomes here when it's the established neighbourhoods that need to adapt?


Right now, I am exploring a possible amendment around R-G (proposed base zoning for our neighbourhoods) and mitigating that unnecessary uncertainty.


Parking Constraints

The zero-lot line homes in Ward 12, in particular already have a lot of parking concerns. This is further exacerbated by the fact that we don't have great transit service levels to offset adding any more density. With the inclusion of backyard suites, this is concerning for how individual properties will contribute to strained neighbour relationships and parking supply. Our already tight communities are set to feel the impact more acutely and developing neighbourhoods are building new homes with 37-40% suites already included, it would be irresponsible to add to this without transit being a viable option. 


Cllr. Dhaliwal has the same concerns and is working on an amendment to ensure parking is required when going past the already permitted primary and secondary suites.


Phasing and Targeting

Another piece of feedback that I find myself particularly amenable to is the urging that we consider phasing and/or targeting the upzoning vs. blanket.

I am not sure why we wouldn’t choose to phase the approach and focus on neighbourhoods already needing to change while also opening up the possibility of a measured approach with course corrections as The City learns and market factors change.

Additionally, there has been a lot of thoughtful feedback around committing to the previous Local Area Planning (LAP) process to ensure that Calgarians have an opportunity to engage with The City in longer-form conversations.


I need to better understand how this proposal fits into the LAP process. I intend to find out if this rezoning Public Hearing could tether zoning changes in some way to the LAP process.


Commercialization of Housing

One of my biggest concerns about the conversation is the changing trends in our housing market. 

(2) Daniel Foch on X: "% change in homebuyers since 2015" / X (

I am very concerned that Rezoning for Housing is becoming a lightning rod for all issues with our housing continuum, and I am further worried that the attempt to solve a housing headwind (in zoning) will create another more pernicious one by saddling it with blame for our rapidly commercializing housing market.


Ultimately, there isn't much to be done here outside of strengthening regulations within the purview of The City. The Short-Term Rental study and recommendations will be an important piece of work to ensure The City is doing what it can to keep housing available for people instead of investors looking to cash in on an over heated rental market.


Preserving Trust

After many emails, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations, I am struck with just how little trust exists in our City right now. This genuinely breaks my heart. It is hard to move forward as a society when fundamental rights like housing become such divisive subjects.


I will continue to listen and engage intently through this process. I am your neighbour Ward 12 and I am taking this decision very seriously. 


Evan Spencer

Cllr. Ward 12