Maintaining Elbow Park's Charm and Character

EPRA Development Committee

Roles of the Development Committee

  • Review Development Permit Applications and provide feedback to the City. 
  • Analyze and map our community to identify what is important to our residents, how we can preserve our character and identity. 
  • Engage residents with workshops and information sessions. 
  • Update existing 2005 Charter (EPRA Charter.pdf
  • Work with City Planners to create a Local Area Plan 

Planning Process

The Development Committee has an obligation to provide oversight in a fair, responsive, transparent and consistent manner. We strive to develop  strategies to evaluate applications for Development Permits under the policies set by the City of Calgary (through its long-term development plans, Land Use Bylaw and permitting process) and taking into consideration our community needs. We do not set policy on community issues like densification, secondary suites, safety or lot size but can help frame community guidance outlined in the EPRA Charter. 

Development Permit Applications that are fully compliant with the contextual rules under the existing Bylaw are automatically approved by the City without community review. This was intended to provide for the efficient permitting of projects without roadblocks while still maintaining stable communities, although it sometimes has the unintended consequence of not filtering design issues that the EPRA would like to comment on. Residents and prospective residents do not have input but rely on the Bylaws and zoning structure for confidence that the standards of their community will be protected within that process. 

On This Page:

Upcoming Planning Meetings

Future Development in Elbow Park 

Join us for a discussion on this important topic. 

February 25, 2021 7:00 PM

Traffic Updates

Future Development in Elbow Park

EPRA is currently extremely concerned about the proposed Guidebook for Great Communities which, if approved, is the first change that sets in motion a complete overhaul of the planning process and threatens the character of our charming neighbourhood. Please inform yourselves about the proposed changes and ensure that you voice your opinions.  

Guidebook Link:


The Guidebook was approved at PUD on Feb 3, 2021 and will go to Council for approval on:

March 22, 2021 City Council Approval of Guidebook

Guidebook for Great Communities - Concerns 
Click on individual graphic for full details. 

 Guidebook Link

West Elbow Local Area Plan (LAP)

In addition to the Guidebook, Elbow Park has been assigned to the West Elbow Multi Community Plan with 15 other communities. EPRA is very concerned that our voice will be diluted given the number of communities included and composition of the working group.  POSTPONED due to Covid. 

The LAP working group will include representatives from the business community, the building and development industry, landowners and one or two representatives from each of the 16 communities. 

For more information and to apply for the Working Group, please go to West Elbow Communities Local Growth Plan.

Protecting our Heritage

It should be noted, that the next step in this long process will eventually  “renew” the Land Use Bylaw and this change the housing category RC1 (Residential Single Family homes) that is assigned to Elbow Park. It will be replaced with a new housing category that will allow for row-housing and other urban forms.  

It has been made clear by City Planning that "no exclusionary policies" will be adopted and no community will be excluded from this plan. 

Example of Local Area Plan: North Hill 

The North Hill Community has just completed the Local Area Plan process and the Plan has just been released. For an example of what an LAP will look like, please visit: North Hill Plan

To keep up to date:

Elbow Park Caveats & Restrictive Covenants

Did you know many properties in Elbow Park have caveats or restrictive covenants on the title which prohibit more than one house being built on one lot, restrict the number of garages and often prescribe setbacks from the street?

It's true. When Elbow Park was developed, the developers put these restrictive covenants (RC) or caveats containing restrictive covenants on many Elbow Park titles to ensure a consistent building scheme and to protect the character of Elbow Park. Many inner-city neighbourhoods in addition to Elbow Park, have similar restrictive covenants, including Mount Royal, Britannia, Bel-Aire, Mayfair, University Heights and Briar Hill.

View an example Caveat (download pdf)

So how do these restrictive covenants work?

Restrictive Covenants are essentially contracts between the property owners to abide by those restrictions set out in the covenant. Any property with a restrictive covenant registered on its title can enforce it against any other property with the same restrictive covenant. You do not need to be an immediate neighbour or even live on the same street to enforce a restrictive covenant. You simply have to have the same restrictive covenant registered on your title. A restrictive covenant can only be enforced through the courts.

How do I find out if I have a restrictive covenant or caveat?

If you want to find out if you have an RC or Caveat on your title, the best way is to pull your land title. You can do so at a registry or online at:

Why does this matter?

There are currently and have been several applications to subdivide certain lots, relax setbacks and re-zone away from RC1 in Elbow Park in violation of the restrictive covenants. Because the covenants are contracts between the property owners, and not a municipal law or bylaw, the City of Calgary is ambivalent about them and often approves zoning changes, subdivisions and development permits that violate the covenants.

Many neighbours wish to preserve the character of Elbow Park and are endeavouring to ensure that future developments in Elbow Park comply with the terms of the restrictive covenants. This requires getting the word out to neighbours, real estate agents and developers that these restrictions exist and must be complied with. If and when a developer refuses to comply, a court application may be necessary. This has been done in other communities, including Britannia, and there are a few ongoing restrictive covenants enforcement actions in Elbow Park today.

Get Involved: Fundraising

If you believe that these restrictive covenants enhance our community and the value of your own property, please consider donating to the enforcement actions. You may have already been contacted to donate but if not, please email Wayne Gambell at or Risa Desa at for instructions.

Relaxations/Removals etc.

It is important to note that if these covenants and caveats are too often ignored, relaxed or waived, that their legal strength is diminished. Some of you may already have been approached to consent to relax or remove caveats or restrictive covenants on a neighbouring property. Although it may seem harmless, please consider very carefully before discharging your rights.

EPRA Caveat Sub-Committee

In light of the upswing in development activity in Elbow Park, EPRA has recently sanctioned the creation of a sub-committee which is tasked with ensuring the restrictive covenants and caveats in Elbow Park are complied with. This is a brand new committee which would welcome any suggestions and input. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Hugoline Morton at

View an example Caveat (download pdf)

Development Committee Links

Upgrade Concept Design Summary

‘Next Generation Planning’ (aka ‘Next Gen Planning’):  cf. 

For amendments to MDP & CTP, see:

“Districts” for Local Area Plan - the Administration is proposing 42 districts for the LAPs
LUB = Land Use Bylaw 
New Bylaw for ‘Low Density Residential’ 


MGA = Municipal Government Act    CTP = Calgary Transportation Plan    ARP = Area Redevelopment Plan  (earlier type of area plan, as compared to the local area plans, see below)    LAP = Local Area Plan  (Multi-Community Area Plans created using the policies from The Guidebook for Great Communities) 

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