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Chinook Station Area Plan and Chinook Land Use Amendment

We’re updating our station area plan policy document, which guides development in the area.

A land use redesignation application by the landowner of Chinook Centre was presented at the July 13, 2017 Calgary Planning Commission meeting. Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the redesignation. The proposal will be presented to Council at a Public Hearing on September 11, 2017 where Council will make a final decision on the application.​

View the March 21, 2017 open house boards

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The Chinook Station Area Plan (SAP) sets out a long term vision for the future of the Chinook Station Area and establishes implementation actions to realize the plan’s vision. While Chinook Centre, as one of the most productive shopping centres in North America, has been expanding, there has not been major redevelopment in the area east of Macleod Trail S. Through this project, the Chinook Station Area Plan will be rescinded and replaced with the statutory Chinook Station Area Redevelopment Plan (SARP).

Chinook Centre land use amendment

The City of Calgary has received an application LOC2017-0008 for a land use amendment on the southeast portion of the Chinook Centre site. The application proposes to change the designation to accommodate

  • a simplified, less prescriptive set of rules to guide development by retaining the existing Site 1 to allow for continued use as an enclosed mall and combining the existing Sites 2-5 in the current DC into Site 2
  • an addition of a small C-COR3 parcel to the DC
  • the ability to develop mixed-use development along the southeastern edge of the property in phases
  • the removal building separation requirement on Site 2
  • the removal of limitations on the amount of parking that may be provided on each site
  • changes to the allowable Floor Area Ratios (FAR) from the current DC (4.1 FAR) to 4.1 FAR for development and an additional 3.0 FAR for structured parking for a total of 7.1 FAR
  • a bonus of 1.0 FAR on Site 2 through bonusing (provision of affordable housing and/or a contribution to a community enhancement fund)

This proposed DC (direct control district) is based on the rules of the Commercial - Regional 2 (C-R2) District for Site 1 including the existing shopping centre, and Commercial - Corridor 1 (C-COR1) District for Site 2 (along the southeastern edge of the property, adjacent to Macleod Trail).

What is a Direct Control District (DC)?
A Direct Control District (DC) is a customized district that is only to be used for the purpose of providing for developments, that due to their unique characteristics, innovated, or unusual site constraints, require specific regulation unavailable in other land use districts.

Has there been a traffic study in the area?
Yes, transportation studies are currently under review as a part of this application.

How can landowners apply for their property to be designated as a Direct Control (DC) district?
A Direct Control is a customized district that is only used for the purpose of providing for developments that due to their unique characteristics, innovative or unusual site constraints, require specific regulation unavailable in other land use districts. Landowners are first encouraged to apply for a pre-application to see if a standard district will provide a land use that can be accommodated on a specific parcel.​

Chinook Station Area Redevelopment Plan

The City of Calgary is in the process of updating the Chinook Station Area Plan (SAP). This non-statutory planning policy document guides development transit-oriented development (TOD) in the Chinook area. The existing SAP will be replaced with the Chinook Station Area Redevelopment Plan, a statutory planning policy document that will guide redevelopment in the Chinook area.

The policies in this plan will provide direction for land use, densities, mobility, the public realm, parks and open spaces that will guide re-development focused around the Chinook LRT station over the coming decades.

As part of the development of this new plan, The City is exploring expanding the plan boundary. Council has directed Administration to investigate with landowners on the opportunity to extend the plan boundary to 2 St. SE between 58 Ave. and Glenmore Tr. The City is also gathering feedback on an addition expansion options to provide a consistent policy approach to all land in the area that is designated as part of the Major Activity Centre.

What is the difference between statutory and non-statutory?
Statutory plans must go through a public hearing and three readings prior to adoption by Council. There is a legal requirement to adhere to the plan. Non-statutory plans are passed by resolution and provide guidance for development.

What is transit-oriented development (TOD)?
Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a strategy that promotes higher density, mixed-use development within walking distance of a public transit station (in this case, the Chinook LRT Station and transit hub).

What is a Station Area Plan (SAP)?
A Station Area Plan is a policy plan that provides comprehensive guidance for transit-oriented development.

What is a Station Area Redevelopment Plan (SARP)?
A Station Area Redevelopment Plan is a policy plan that provides comprehensive guidance for Transit Oriented Development, focusing on strategic redevelopment opportunities.

What is a Major Activity Centre (MAC)?
Major Activity Centres (MAC) are areas of high job and population growth located in strategic areas central to larger residential areas and linked by the Primary Transit Network (high frequency transit services). A MAC has the highest density outside of the Centre City, with a broad range of land uses and amenities. The area around the Chinook LRT station is designated as a MAC in the Municipal Development Plan.

Why expand the Chinook SAP boundary?
The expansion of the boundary would provide a more holistic policy framework for the Chinook area to offer direction and increased certainty for landowners as to what types of redevelopment would be appropriate.

Can someone in the area “opt out” of a policy?
No. All landowners, including land owned by The City, must follow policy for the area.

What about sites that are contaminated? Will you require landowners to remediate?
Any application would need to meet City standards for development, which may include an Environmental Site Assessment and remediation.

Will this be another “cookie cutter” transit-oriented development (TOD) area?
Chinook has a unique context with no existing residents in the current plan area boundary. The new Chinook SARP would take that context into account to create a TOD that builds upon the successful employment base in the area.


chinook area plan

Supporting documents


Breanne Harder, MPlan
Planner 2, Community Planning
Planning & Development