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Calgary’s RC-G rezoning public hearing wrapped up on Monday. What’s next?

Calgary City Council heard its last panel at the historic public hearing about a proposed rezoning bylaw on Monday evening, wrapping up 12 days of presentations.

Council voted 8-7 in favour of a motion by Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot, which said council will return Thursday to hear a recap of the public hearing from city administration.

However, debate and questions of administration aren’t expected to start until Monday, May 13.

Gondek previously told Global News she thinks the debate could last two to three days.

“Anytime we are going into something where there is a lot of interest from the public and from council, it’s hard to predict where the conversation will go,” she said.

The proposed bylaw is one of around 80 recommendations in the City of Calgary’s housing strategy, which would change the base residential zoning district to RC-G instead of RC-1 or RC-2 zoning.

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Currently, the majority of residential areas are zoned to only allow single-family homes by default.

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RC-G zoning will allow single-family homes and duplexes, triplexes and rowhouses to be built. Apartment buildings are not allowed to be built in RC-G neighbourhoods.

City administration said by changing the base residential zoning district to RC-G, it will be easier to build a diverse range of homes, which will increase housing options for all Calgarians and improve housing affordability in the city.

According to the City of Calgary website, rezoning will also increase transit options, such as active and public transportation systems.

The website also said rezoning will help keep property taxes down as costs to maintain utilities and roads are shared among a larger population.

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Those against the bylaw argued that by adding duplexes, triplexes and rowhouses, council will introduce too much density to RC-1 zoned neighbourhoods that will ultimately change their character.

Others said they aren’t sure rezoning will actually have an impact on housing prices, arguing that developers and landlords will charge high rents for new builds.

Many of those against the bylaw also said they don’t feel heard by city council, claiming their rights are being stripped away. However, city administration said public hearings for development permits will still continue even if the bylaw is passed.

Many organizations that support and provide resources to vulnerable Calgarians urged council to pass the bylaw, saying the bylaw could potentially speed up the process to develop non-market housing. The representatives also said many low-income residents were unable to participate in the public hearing because they couldn’t afford to take time off work.

Representatives from the Drop-In Centre, YWCA Calgary and Momentum Calgary were among others asking council to vote in favour of the bylaw.

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