Continuing to Grow

Calgarians can expect to see further growth to the city within the next five years according to the 2013-2017 Suburban Residential Growth report released May 14.

The five-year forecast anticipates a population increase of 118,600 residents and 50,600 additional housing units with approximately 94 per cent of the population and 77 per cent of the housing growth being captured in new suburban development.

As Calgary grows, the Calgary Herald reported the City wants to enact a new sequencing list to limit the number of new communities that begin developing all at once to avoid tightening funds when it comes to infrastructure. However, there is a question of industry providing the dollars for needed infrastructure in new communities.

“It’s an open question at this point: should the development community have the right to proceed on land they think they want to develop if indeed the they pay all the costs?” Alderman Richard Pootmans told the Herald.

The City currently has 10 to 12 years of planned land supply (land identified for future residential use), which can accommodate 310,834 people in a mix of single and multi-residential units. Over the next three to five years the City has serviced land supply with approved land uses in place to accommodate 130,047 people with additional supply to be added this year. And there are four to six years of supply of serviced land with a population capacity of 153,474 with water, storm and sewer capacity in place.

“This report is designed to provide an accurate description of recent suburban residential development inventory and activity in Calgary and to forecast estimated demand for the 2013-2017 period,” said Decker Shields, senior planning specialist for the City in a letter released with the report. “The report does not contain policy recommendations or explicit budget priorities — its contribution lies in providing a solid, comprehensive information base to support planning, development and budgeting decisions for utilities in the short-term.”

The City’s long-term goal, as set out in the Municipal Development Plan, is to strike more of a balance between inner-city redevelopment and new suburban development.

According to the report, a year of supply is determined by taking the estimated absorption of single/semi units and land needs against existing supply.

“Calgary’s suburban development proceeds in all sectors at various rates, depending on supply, demand, infrastructure, location and consumer preference,” states the report. “This has a cumulative effect on Calgary’s growth and development on a city-wide basis and could result in a need for improvements in the City facilities.”

“[We are] pleased this year’s summary incorporates the reporting of single/semi and multi-unit supply breakdown and we appreciate the new section adding in the serviced land supply details (single/semi, multi-unit) in areas with approved land use in place,” said Donna Moore, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region. “These changes will enable a more robust analysis of the changing market.”

The Suburban Residential Growth Report is available online at www.calgary.ca/geodemographics.

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