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Development Terminology to Know

Designing and developing communities can be a complicated business, and that’s why sifting through the industry language can sometimes seem complicated too. To help you navigate the development industry, here’s some common terminology and buzzwords to know.

  • Block plan: a plan view of adjacent buildings, used to establish context.
  • Building permit: an application which gives authorization or consent to erect, demolish, relocate, alter, or repair a structure.
  • Densification: planning aimed at increasing population density in key urban areas.
  • Developed area: an existing area within the city that has completed its initial residential development. 
  • Developing area: new area within the city that has yet to complete its initial residential development.
  • Development permit: a planning application that allows the City to review a development, in accordance with relevant bylaws and policies, and includes the plans and conditions of approval.
  • Duplex: building which contains two dwelling units, one located above the other, with each having a separate entrance.
  • Land Use Bylaw: the Land Use Bylaw is the key tool used to regulate and control the use and development of all land and buildings in Calgary.
  • Land use district: designation or zoning term given to parcels of land within the city. It describes uses that are either a permitted or discretionary use.
  • Multi-residential development: building that contains three or more dwelling units.
  • Parcel: a piece of land enclosed by property lines.
  • Permitted use: a use listed in a land use district where approval is guaranteed as long as all the rules are met.
  • Placemaking: this buzzword refers to an approach to urban design that foregrounds the health, happiness and experiences of people in public spaces.
  • Property line: a use listed in a land use district where approval is guaranteed as long as all the rules are met.
  • Semi-detached dwelling: a building that contains two dwelling units located side by side and separated by a common party wall extending from foundation to roof.
  • Single detached dwelling: a building that may contain one dwelling unit, and may include a secondary suite in districts where secondary suite is a listed use.
  • Single construction permit: a new home construction permit that includes the building permit and trades installations for the construction of one dwelling.
  • Streetscape: an elevation drawing of adjacent buildings, used to establish context.
  • Subdivision: the division of a property.
  • Townhouse: a building that contains three or more dwelling units.
  • Zero lot line:  a legal provision which allows you to build up to your side property line

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