Dickinson: I think we need to grow in a smart and thoughtful manner. To me, this means balancing growth within new communities with growth in established communities. Neighbourhoods should have a diverse housing mix, contain amenities such as parks and recreation, and be built in a way that promotes accessibility, road safety, and pedestrian and cycling movements. We need to improve the efficiency of the process around development, ensuring that the City process works smoothly for all stakeholders and we get the most meaningful outcomes possible.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Dickinson: I generally don’t support a land transfer tax, as it affects affordability for homebuyers, something that is already challenging for Calgarians.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Dickinson: I think we always need to be looking at ways to make homes more energy efficient – both new homes and retrofitting older homes undergoing major updates. As technology like solar panels and even wind power becomes more affordable on a smaller scale, we are seeing more options for homeowners to have more sustainable homes. I think consumers are starting to demand energy-efficient features in their homes, so it makes sense that we address that demand when establishing building requirements.
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Dickinson: We need to ensure there are a variety of types of housing available in Calgary, from multi-family to single-family homes, rental and ownership. In Ward 11, many of the established areas that were built in the ’60s and ’70s are lacking in affordable choices (rental and otherwise) for young families wanting to move into the neighbourhood, as well as seniors looking to “right-size” and stay within the area. I think, in these areas, we need to encourage quality redevelopment at key nodes and centres.
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
Dickinson: I would like to see a continued focus on developing our transit system, as it helps areas become more accessible to a variety of residents and makes us more attractive as a city. A focus on developing our arts and culture community, as well as other amenities like cycle tracks and recreation facilities, would also improve our ability to attract new business and industry to our city. We need to continue to build a city that is vibrant, inclusive and sustainable.
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Dickinson: I am supportive of the secondary suite process being taken out of council and being handled by administration. I also think that secondary suites are a good way of adding gentle density to our communities, provided that they are safe and legal.
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?
Dickinson: My preferred location is the Victoria Park area. I would like to see that surrounding area developed out to include mixed amenities, including condos, purpose-built rentals, shops and services, to create a unique urban village. I think it is the best spot in terms of parking options, access to transit (future Green Line as well as the Red Line and bus routes) and walkability.