How much did Calgary’s marathon public hearing on blanket rezoning cost?

A new report is shedding light on the price tag associated with Calgary’s longest and largest-ever public hearing.

The historic 15-day hearing was held to gauge public opinion on a change to the city’s base zoning that would allow for townhomes or row homes to be built in most communities, alongside single-family homes and duplexes.

According to a report to council on Monday, the total cost of preparing and holding the hearing was nearly $1.3 million.

The cost includes staff overtime and wages which came to nearly $400,000. Other costs included $590,000 for mailing, $136,000 for advertising and promotion and $63,000 for technical support.

Costs of preparing and holding blanket rezoning public hearing:

  • Mailing – $590,000
  • Overtime salaries & wages – $396,000
  • Advertising and promotion – $136,000
  • Meetings and meals – $56,000
  • Other support services – $34,000

The hearing included around 6,100 written submissions and more than 700 speakers who said their piece at city hall. Out of those speakers, more than 62 per cent were opposed to the idea, and just over 30 per cent supported it.

City council voted 9-6 in favour of the proposal for citywide rezoning with some small amendments made to the original motion.

The city hopes the move will provide relief to the housing crisis by speeding up approvals and making it easier for more housing options to be built across the city.

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