There could be an end in sight to the lengthy public hearings at Calgary city council as a move to reform the secondary suite process picks up momentum with a new council.
Currently, council votes on each individual secondary suite application. But, Councillor Jyoti Gondek believes there is an appetite to fix the current system, even though Mayor Naheed Nenshi has been unable to reach a consensus to date on how to reform the process.
WATCH BELOW: City council looks at secondary suites again, while Calgarians add their voice to the debate
“All of us agree that something has to happen to make this a better process. And I think it’s going to take the old working with the new to come up with something that is mutually agreeable and actually serves our citizens well,” she said.
The Ward 3 councillor would like to see a process where secondary suites are handled through a development permit application.
“There’s a lot of people that say that involves blanket rezoning. I would argue that there are ways to make this a permitted use in certain cases and discretionary in others, so regulations are always followed,” she said.
“You have to beef up regulations and make sure the people who are administrating those absolutely understand what it is that needs to be followed and how we need to abide by the rules.”
City council will hold a public hearing on Monday with 20 secondary suite applications on the agenda.
Gondek said voting on each individual case eats up time on council that could be better spent “doing other things that are absolutely critical to getting our city back on track in this type of economic downturn.”