Suburban developers want Calgary taxpayers to pay for more new sprawl

Calgary's suburban developer-run builders association BILD is once again fighting to stop City Council from charging developers for their fair share of infrastructure costs for new communities.

Image source: City of Calgary

In 2019, it was reported that the 14 new communities approved by Council in 2018 contributed to a $56.9-million shortfall across utilities, transportation and community services.

Calgarians can't afford to bankroll new suburbs. City Council will be voting on increased off-site levy fees for developers on Tuesday, January 16th.

How off-site levies help ensure sprawl pays for itself

Image source: City of Calgary

Off-site levies fund the infrastructure that we use every day in new communities. In Calgary, an off-site levy is a development charge paid by developers. The greenfield is the area on the edges of Calgary that are not developed yet.

New communities have impacts on infrastructure outside of the community. This can include more pressure on major roads or the sewage treatment system. Developers pay off-site levies to help share the costs of the off-site impacts from growth.

Calgary’s off-site levies help pay for infrastructure that supports growth and development. The Municipal Government Act and the Off-site Levies Bylaw outline what infrastructure the levy pays for. Some examples of the types of infrastructure are:

  • water and wastewater pipes
  • transportation (roads, interchanges, pathways, bikeways, etc.)
  • stormwater pipes
  • emergency response stations
  • transit buses
  • police stations
  • recreation centres
  • libraries
  • water and wastewater 


Council voting on increased off-site levies this Tuesday, January 16th

City Council will be voting on increased off-site levies for suburban developers this Tuesday.


More info

🤓 Read more about the proposed changes to the off-site levies

🤓 City of Calgary: Off-site Levies Presentation (Oct 23, 2023)