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I hesitate to say ‘I told you so’ about blanket rezoning in Calgary, but honestly, I was ringing the ‘alarm bells’ about this 13 years ago when the ‘Plan It Calgary’ initiative came into existence and increased density targets were set for new suburbia. At the time, it defied logic that only new suburban neighbourhoods would densify more and that established neighbourhoods were not mentioned. 

For those who aren’t aware, in 2009 an initiative was conceived by Calgary City Administration called “Plan It Calgary”. It was a plan to accommodate 50 per cent of our future population growth in the developed parts of the city, as opposed to greenfield (suburban) expansion all the while adding more densification to new suburban neighbourhoods. 

While I agreed with more densification and product diversity, I was always concerned with what appeared to be an attempt to eliminate the single-family home, which most Calgarians and Canadians still aspire to own.

I rang the ‘alarm bell’ with friends, acquaintances, the public and the media but no one seemed concerned at the time. They should have been, because the only way to achieve these targets in established areas was to densify them more.  R-CG zoning is common in new suburban neighbourhoods since that designation allows for several types of home styles to be built, such as Single-family homes, duplexes, semi-detached, townhomes, row-houses, secondary suites, backyard suites and for some unexplained reason, cottage housing. 

This was welcomed by the development community since it allowed flexibility in the blocks to adjust housing types to market trends, but also to properly transition housing types to protect purchasers’ investment. 

Where things become contentious with blanket rezoning is not with the designation itself, but rather by mixing housing types without a plan. Anyone who has watched the panel of people opposed to blanket rezoning can hear the concerns homeowners in established communities have, and this is exactly why. 


Shane Wenzel

Shane is the President & CEO of the Shane Homes Group of Companies and the namesake. Shane's responsibilities include strategic direction for the companies, policy advice for the building industry through BILD Calgary, and political involvement through the Alberta Enterprise Group on the economy, making him an industry leader in his field. Shane's sales and marketing background comes from growing up with two entrepreneurial parents, Cal and Edith, and participating in a business advisory group. On the personal side, Shane considers himself a bit of a "tech junky" and social media influencer on various platforms. He's also proudly apart of the LGBTQ community.