Canada: City Of Calgary Passes New Off-Site Levies Bylaw

On January 11, 2016 the Calgary City Council passed off-site levies bylaw 2M2016 ("Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw") in replacement of the 2011 off-site levies bylaw which, when it comes into force on February 1, 2016, will implement a number of important changes, including a significant increase in off-site levy rates in respect of "Greenfield Areas" and a new off-site levy for water and waste water treatment in respect of "Established Areas".

Prior to being passed, the Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw was subject to an extensive industry engagement and consultation process and was not without controversy amongst stakeholders who were of the view that such a bylaw would negatively impact developers' costs and potentially result in an obstacle to the City's target for more density. Following a lengthy collaborative process, the Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw received the support of various industry groups, including NAIOP (Calgary), UDI (Calgary) and the Canadian Home Builders' Association (Calgary Region).

Legislative Authority

Section 648 of the Municipal Government Act authorizes a municipal council to, by bylaw, provide for the imposition and payment of an "off-site levy" in respect of land that is to be developed or subdivided. Such off-site levies may be used only to pay for all or part of the capital cost of new or expanded facilities for the storage, transmission, treatment or supplying of water; new or expanded facilities for the treatment, movement or disposal of sanitary sewage; new or expanded storm sewer drainage facilities; new or expanded roads required for or impacted by a subdivision or development; and land required for or in connection with such facilities.


Developers in Calgary fund the capital cost of the internal infrastructure within new communities such as roads, sidewalks, parks and underground utilities by constructing or paying for such infrastructure. Costs in respect of off-site infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment systems and major roads and interchanges are generally funded by the City and shared by developers in the form of a contribution by way of off-site levies. The rates for these off-site levies are fixed on a per hectare basis and are subject to annual adjustment and review by the City.

For those areas identified in the Calgary Off-site Levy Bylaw as Established Areas, the City did not previously impose a levy for water and waste water treatment facilities.

In addition, with the surge in growth in Calgary in recent years and the resulting increase in the development of new communities, the cost of the infrastructure required to service those new communities has significantly increased and the off-site levy rate structure established under the 2011 off-site levies bylaw did not meet these requirements, placing a strain on the City's capital budget.

In an ongoing effort to manage the significant cost of infrastructure required to service new communities and the costs associated with increased redevelopment within existing communities, the City has passed the Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw as part of its growth management strategy.

Key Points

The following is a summary of the key components in the Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw and its application:

  • A levy is imposed for water and wastewater treatment plants citywide, including for Established Areas which were previously not charged this levy.
  • New off-site rates have been set for water distribution, wastewater collection, drainage and transportation in areas identified as Greenfield Areas which are intended to capture 100% of the proportionate share of costs attributable to growth in Greenfield Areas. The new rates will result in a total off-site levy rate of between $422,073 to $464,777 per hectare for Greenfield Areas (up from the 2015 rate of $286,692 to $342,508 per hectare). This includes additional charges for community services. 1
  • The rate for the water treatment plant levy will be applied to development of Greenfield Areas on a per hectare basis, consistent with the other levies which apply to such developments. For Established Areas, rates will be applied on a per unit basis in respect of residential development (calculated based on the expected occupancy of each residential unit type) and on a total gross floor area basis in respect of commercial and industrial development (calculated based on the expected jobs per square metre of gross floor area).
  • As an incentive to encourage higher density development and to offset the cost impact of the new water treatment plant levy, the water treatment plant levy for Established Areas will be subject to a maximum density of 285 equivalent people per hectare for the purposes of calculating these levies.
  • In order to mitigate the impact of increased off-site levies in Greenfield Areas, a longer period of time for the payment of the levies will now apply.
  • In respect of the new off-site levies for Established Areas, the rates will be phased in over two years, such that the full rates will not apply until 2018.
  • Established Areas which are subject to municipal development agreements entered into between January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2010 will not be subject to the water treatment plant levy.
  • The Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw includes transitional provisions which establish key dates of which developers should be aware: (i) a water treatment plant levy may not be imposed on land in an Established Area on a development permit application received on or before January 31, 2016 and approved on or before January 31, 2018, (ii) the provisions of previous off-site levy bylaws continue to apply to development permits where the approving authority decision occurs on or before January 31, 2016, and (iii) the provisions of previous off-site levy bylaws continue to apply to subdivisions where the approving authority's decision occurs on or before January 31, 2016 and an "Interim Indemnity Agreement" for that approval is executed on or before February 15, 2016.

Looking Ahead

The Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw is intended to promote financial stability for the City by ensuring that developers are responsible for the cost of water and wastewater infrastructure in both new and established neighbourhoods across Calgary as well as the increased costs associated with the development of Greenfield Areas. The City has attempted to address the concerns of the development industry through a collaborative approach to the work underpinning the Calgary Off-site Levies Bylaw and by setting longer or phased payments in Greenfield Areas and Established Areas respectively, as well as creating a density incentive program to offset the cost of the new charges in Established Areas. Both the City and the development industry recognize that ongoing engagement and collaboration will be required to ensure success. A Comprehensive Work Plan for 2016 has been created which contemplates the establishment of working groups to oversee and review the impacts of off-site levies and other development related policies, processes and strategies. In addition, both the City and the development industry are following next steps in the Alberta government's ongoing review of the Municipal Government Act as well as the creation of civic charters which have been proposed for both Calgary and Edmonton.


1. Although not enabled as off-site levies within the scope of the Municipal Government Act, community services charges (to recover the costs of facilities such as public libraries, emergency response stations, police services, recreation centres and transit buses) are being paid to the City by developers of new communities as an accepted industry practice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.