The Appeal Board staff will not act as an agent, counsel or advocate to any party, nor will they offer an opinion on the merit or lack of merit of any appeal. Information provided by the Appeal Board staff is for your assistance only, it cannot be construed as legal advice nor will it assure you of a favourable decision.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to present evidence to support their application or respond to the issues raised by the appellant(s) or affected parties. The applicant should not rely on the Development or Subdivision Authority to make the case for them.
In an effort to minimize delays and increase the effectiveness of the hearing process, the Calgary SDAB may determine procedural or jurisdictional matters, or both, at the commencement of some appeal hearings
The process is designed to manage scheduling and prevent delays (including additional adjournment requests) by ensuring the Board and the parties are aware of:
In addition, the Board may determine jurisdictional matters such as whether an appeal has been filed on time.
If your appeal is selected for the procedural and jurisdictional process, your hearing will start with the Board identifying who the participants are and the length of time the hearing is likely to take. The Board will also give guidance to the parties present about the filing of materials and evidence for the appeal. The Board may also deal with preliminary issues regarding the appeal. This process is typically short in duration. In most cases, the Board will schedule a later date to hear the merits of the appeal, taking into account the scheduling requests of parties.
All of this means that you may have to appear more than once; however, it also provides greater certainty about the specific hearing date and time for your appeal, potentially eliminating further delays.
Any of the parties may request that the Board deal with some issues or hear the entire appeal on the date scheduled. The Board may agree to do so, in its discretion. For this reason, it is important to come to the first session prepared to present your case. The Board also has authority to determine procedural and/or jurisdictional issues at any time during the appeal hearing, not just at the outset.
The Board encourages everyone involved in an appeal to discuss the issues prior to the hearing and throughout the appeal process. Such discussions can clarify the issues and may result in a resolution or an agreement between the parties.
If you come to a resolution or an agreement, please advise the Appeal Board office at email@example.com as soon as possible. The Board may be able to consider it at the initial session.
If you reach a resolution which involves changes to the proposed development or development permit, the applicant should submit a list of the amendments and the amended plans with any changes highlighted in red in advance of the hearing.
Listed below are some suggestions that may assist you in preparing your presentation to the SDAB:
When you are preparing your presentation, consider asking these types of questions:
Impact of Potential Development
The SDAB has developed guidelines to help people who are involved in an appeal and wish to submit digital materials. Note that the SDAB always has the authority and discretion to override these guidelines, and issue case-specific directions.
The SDAB recognizes that people may not have technical expertise with computers and may request support. If you have questions related to the electronic filing of materials, SDAB administration staff are happy to provide limited assistance. Specific directions may require the advice of persons qualified to provide technical assistance. SDAB administration staff cannot assume responsibilities belonging to parties and participants, give advice on responsibilities or provide technical advice beyond what is covered within these guidelines.
Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 403-268-5312, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday if you require additional information.
Format, Size, and Submission of Digital Materials
The SDAB requires digital materials to be provided in specific formats and sizes:
Video recordings in the following digital formats: MOV or MP4, no larger than two (2) Gigabytes and no longer than two (2) minutes in total length, per party (including representatives), whether it is a single or multiple files.
Audio recordings in the following digital formats: MP3 or .m4a, no larger than two (2) Gigabytes and no longer than two (2) minutes in total length, per party (including representatives), whether it is a single or multiple files.
Photographs stored as digital images in the following formats: JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP or PNG.
Documents (planning documents, reports, studies, etc.) stored as digital files in the following format: Adobe PDF.
Documents created in other formats (for example, a Word document, PowerPoint presentation or a webpage) should be saved as a PDF document and submitted either in digital or print format.
Materials submitted in digital format should be submitted by email, unless they are too large, in which case parties are to contact SDAB administration for access to a OneDrive location and follow these instructions for submitting.
Presenting Digital material at Hearings
Audio and Video digital media must be available for review by all parties and the public prior to a hearing. The submitting party must upload the original version, meeting the specified guidelines above, to a widely accessible digital media streaming service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. A copy of the file along with the link to the streaming platform location is to be sent to SDAB administration for review and inclusion to the Board report by established submission guidelines. Note that the link must remain active for the entirety of the appeal process.
Photographs and documents submitted by parties will be added to the published Board report and be available for viewing on the Board’s website prior to the hearing.
Digital materials submitted will not necessarily be viewed in their entirety during the hearing but may be referenced by parties as part of their presentation.
Verifying Digital Media
As the SDAB is supported by the City of Calgary network, we take the protection of government computer networks and your personal information very seriously. Therefore, we will only accept digital materials in the formats and delivery methods specified above. CD-ROM, DVD, SD card, or USB drive submissions will not be accepted.
Prior to being accepted and included in the Board report, SDAB administration will ensure that the material submitted meets the established format, size, and access guidelines. If the material submitted does not, the party will be notified and may re-submit appropriately formatted material if submission deadlines have not passed.
All Digital materials must be provided and/or uploaded by the submission deadlines established for your appeal.
Parties to an appeal (appellant, applicant, owner, potentially affected parties) should provide all material that they wish for the Board to review, or that they intend to present or refer to during the hearing no later than the deadline specified within the Notice of Hearing (and available on the list of Active Appeals), or by any such other date as directed by the SDAB. Materials submitted after deadline will not be accepted unless there are exceptional circumstances to the satisfaction of the SDAB. Late submissions will be provided to the panel.
Non digital materials must be delivered to the SDAB’s office prior to the submission deadline. Materials must be marked with the party’s contact information, and the date/time of drop-off. Materials can be submitted in person to the 4th floor of the building at 1212 31 Avenue NE, Calgary AB, or to our drop box on the 1st floor of the building in the hallway (past the elevator) near the postage mailboxes.
Any additional submissions not included in the Board report will be provided via email ahead of a hearing to the panel, to the parties to the appeal who have provided an email address, and to any other pre-registered attendees. Should the appeal be adjourned to a later date, the Board will advise of any additional submission deadlines for all parties. Parties may wish to contact the SDAB office the afternoon prior to a hearing to ask if any Additional or Late Submissions were filed with the Board that were not included in the SDAB report.
All material relating to an appeal will be made available to the public, and may be referenced in the Board’s public written decision.
The following information is provided as a guideline only and lists typical relevant and non-relevant planning considerations; however, there may be other relevant considerations that are not listed.
Relevant Planning Considerations
Some examples of relevant planning considerations include, but are not limited to:
Non-Relevant Planning Considerations
Some examples of non-relevant planning considerations include, but are not limited to:
Note: As an appellant making a presentation to the Board, you are responsible to substantiate your planning arguments (such as the ones listed above) with evidence. The onus of proof is on each party to prove or substantiate their arguments.
Listed below are some of the more common planning documents that you should take into consideration when preparing your presentation to the SDAB.
Low Density Residential Guidelines for Established Communities (Infill Guidelines)
Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP) - may not be available for all communities
Area Structure Plans (ASP) - may not be available for all communities
Other planning documents include the Municipal Development Plan, Centre City Plan, etc.
Note: Copies of these documents can be purchased from the Planning and Transportation Information Centre or downloaded from www.calgary.ca/planning/info.(online information)
Please note that the Board is not an evidence seeking body. It relies on evidence presented, as well as verbal submissions made at hearings, as the basis for its decisions. It is therefore critical that persons appearing before the Board ensure that sufficient evidence is presented to support their respective positions.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to present evidence to support their application or respond to the issues raised by the appellant(s) or affected parties. The applicant should not rely on the Development/Subdivision Authority to make the case for them.
Listed below are some suggestions that will assist you in making a presentation to the SDAB:
SDAB hearings are open to the public. We encourage you to pre-register (send an email to email@example.com or call 403-268-5312) to assist our clerk and facilitate an efficient virtual meeting.
Persons who file an appeal are encouraged to make a verbal presentation to the Board. Persons who have been notified of the appeal also have the right to present a verbal, written and/or visual presentation to the Board.
Please note that the Board is the master of its own procedures. The Board may decide to deviate from the normal hearing process if it deems it necessary in the interest of an efficient hearing and/or to ensure procedural fairness.
If desired, parties may have someone, or an agent, speak on their behalf. If a number of appeals are filed on the same development, it is recommended that a spokesperson be selected to organize presentations so that evidence is not repetitive.
The Board is not an evidence seeking body. It relies on evidence presented, as well as verbal submissions made at hearings, as the basis for its decisions. It is therefore critical that persons appearing before the Board ensure that sufficient evidence is presented to support their respective positions.
The presiding Chair announces each appeal and in some cases calls a representative of The City of Calgary Development/Subdivision Authority to present the application or order (that is, where the site is located, the proposed development, and the reasons for the Development/Subdivision Authority's decision).
For a development or subdivision appeal, the Chair will then ask for:
For an appeal against an enforcement order, the speaking order is slightly different. A representative for the Development Authority will speak first and then the Chair will ask for:
Individuals who have presented their case will be given an opportunity for rebuttal once the Board has questioned the Development/Subdivision Authority on any planning issues raised during the proceedings. Rebuttal is an opportunity to refute information and evidence presented since the last time you spoke that you could not have reasonably anticipated. It is not an opportunity to reargue your case or create new argument.
When presenting an appeal, keep in mind the Board does not consider precedent when making its decision. Each application is judged on its own merits. The Board has no way of knowing if sites presented as a precedent were built, with or without the benefit of a development permit, or whether they have another status under the Land Use Bylaw.
In accordance with the legislation that governs the SDAB, the Board can only consider relevant planning matters when rendering its decision. Some examples of planning matters may include, but are not limited to the following:
Matters not related to planning include comments regarding a person's character and commercial competition. If persons stray from planning matters, the Chair will advise accordingly.
Exhibits used during a presentation become part of the Board's record of the hearing and are retained in keeping with The City of Calgary’s Corporate Records Guidelines and Procedures.
Once the Calgary SDAB has heard from all parties concerning the appeal, the Board will deliberate in private the outcome of the appeal.
Board decision issued
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board may:
The Board's decision is not final until it is signed and issued.
Appealing your decision (Court of Appeal)
You may apply for leave to appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal within 30 days of the date the decision was issued if, in your opinion, the Board erred in a matter of jurisdiction or law. Appeals of the Board's decisions are governed by sections 688 and 689 of the Municipal Government Act. If you are considering an appeal, it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel.