Farkas: Up and out. Calgarians should have a choice of built forms as their professional and family needs evolve. Land supply should be released because the current limitations are artificially driving up costs of homeownership for Calgarians. Putting an intentional freeze on development on land surrounding the city restricts our tax base growth potential and strangles the dreams of many young Calgarians and young families to own their own homes. Not everyone wants to live in the inner city. Choice should be enabled.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Farkas: I am opposed. There is a spending problem at every level of government, not a lack of money.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Farkas: These innovations are best driven by the market, not government. Government should get out of the way of good ideas, entrepreneurs and disruptive technologies.
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Farkas: Housing affordability is a spectrum of needs requiring non-market, below-market, market, and government solutions. Calgarians should be able to achieve housing appropriate to their needs as they evolve. At City Hall, we need to revisit zoning, bylaws, and approval processes to allow innovation to address gaps in housing stock, such as tiny homes and the “Missing Middle.”
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
Farkas: Upstream flood mitigation is the major priority. It’s not a matter of if, but when. In 2017 there isn’t the business confidence to bounce back, and we have to be prepared. Otherwise, the southwest/west ring road, LRT extension to the airport, Green Line, and Crowchild Trail/Bow Trail interchange are all needed investments for Calgary’s continued economic success and competitiveness.
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Farkas: Our councillor’s job is to represent our neighbourhoods, rather than impose City Hall’s view on Calgarians. My family chose to live in an R-1 neighbourhood for a reason and want to see that lifestyle maintained. In my experience, many Ward 11 residents feel similarly. Approval for secondary suites should move out of the hands of city councillors and into the hands of neighbours and an administrative process.
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?
Farkas: Victoria Park. Plans should be anchored around the future Green Line LRT Station at 4th Street SE, but with effective connections to the billions of dollars of ongoing investment in nearby Beltline and East Village. Building on the new National Music Centre and Central Library, there is potential for something very special in this inner-city neighbourhood.