Homebuilders in the City of Calgary face greater levels of red-tape than more development-friendly suburbs and its stifling the city’s density goals, a new study reveals.

“Calgary city council talks about increasing density yet its policies are doing the opposite and driving residential development into neighbouring municipalities,” said Kenneth Green, a senior research director at the Fraser Institute and co-author of New Homes and Red Tape in Alberta: Residential Land-Use Regulation in the CalgaryEdmonton Corridor.

The report shows that in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor, Calgary ranks 10th most regulated out of 12 municipalities with Edmonton 6th and Strathmore coming out on top as the least regulated. Foothills No. 31, Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks complete the top 5.

In Calgary, permits take an average of 13.5 months for approval and rezoning applications add both time (average 5 months) and cost ($5,000 more than in surrounding suburbs) for new homes.

“If the City of Calgary really wants to attain its stated goal of increasing density, then it should align residential development regulation with the surrounding regions and stop stunting new development with excessive red tape,” Green said

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