Boechler: Build a city of the future. In the short and medium term, build up, not out. Focus development within the ring road, realizing efficiency as infrastructure already exists. Focus re-development on aging properties in the suburbs and encourage more duplex infills. Focus on infrastructure, such as public transit, recreation centres, new traffic measures and other development to prepare the City to handle the growing population 15-20 years out. Long term, expand the city with emphasis on current infrastructure towards Okotoks, Airdrie and Cochrane. Connect the LRT to these municipalities while serving new communities.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Boechler: I would not support a land transfer tax. It increases the costs for all homebuyers, specifically having a negative impact on the affordability and size of mortgages for first-time homebuyers.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Boechler: Energy-efficient homes are the future. They save money and reduce impact on the environment, and are becoming more affordable and accessible to the consumer as technology evolves. Redevelopment and retrofitting of current properties has a guaranteed return on investment, as the owner realizes savings over the life of the technology.
As technology evolves, so will building codes and standards. Policy development from the City of Calgary will have to evolve to reflect this, as energy-efficient solutions become the norm.
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Boechler: Focus on the City of Calgary’s Housing Corporation and ensuring that it has appropriate levels of funding to accomplish the expectations placed upon it. Work with NGOs and community partners to ensure that citizens’ needs on the ground are being met with sufficient resources and programming. Encourage development of smaller, efficient condominium projects that are at a price point low-income individuals can afford.
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
Boechler: Transit investment would focus on completion of the Green Line with a further expansion to Airdrie, as well as an expansion of the Blue Line to the airport, and an expansion of the Red Line northwest to Cochrane and south to Okotoks. Development of a “super train” between Calgary and Edmonton will be a necessity as population in Alberta approaches five million people. Increases in population will require new recreation centres, parks and pathway systems, traffic infrastructure, and safety measures – all the components that increase the livability of Calgary.
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Boechler: The approval process should not be so onerous that it becomes a barrier to homeowners developing their own properties. In fact, approvals should be straight forward and convenient, ensuring a set of minimum standards that landlords must meet in order to get an approved secondary suite. I believe people have the right to develop their own property how they see fit, and should be able to generate rent income from their largest asset if that is what they would like to do.
CREB®Now: What is your preferred location for a new Calgary Flames arena and how would you propose the City develop the surrounding area to best meet the needs of Calgarians?
Boechler: I like the Victoria Park location in proximity to the Stampede Grounds and East Village. This is the logical location given the current infrastructure in place currently servicing the Saddledome. The new stadium would turn the evolution of our downtown core and East Village into a revolution with a complete revitalization. The area would need to be developed with citizens of East Village in mind, providing them with services, restaurants and shops, while at the same time taking into consideration the needs of visitors to our amazing arena.