The City is planning the future of Calgary’s thriving main streets. The Main Streets initiative is going to make policy and land use improvements to the Bowness Road N.W. main streets area, to encourage a vibrant public realm, greater variety of retail and small business, and to increase local services and housing choices. Our team will analyze local input, economic information and infrastructure investments, to make proposed land use redesignations and amendments to the Bowness local area plan.

Land Use Changes

“From Bridge to Bridge” Bowness Road N.W. has been an important part of the community of Bowness since its beginning. Providing direction for redevelopment with land use planning policies, the Bowness Area Redevelopment Plan was originally approved in 1995. Decisions on growth are also informed by city wide policies in the Municipal Development Plan and the recently approved Developed Areas Guidebook. Updates to the existing land use districts (zoning) and the Area Redevelopment Plan will provide more direction for growth and change in Bowness.

Existing Land Use (Zoning)

Bowness Road N.W. is the heart of Bowness and is a great example of a prairie main street. Current zoning does not allow for development to reach the population and employment targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. Along the main street itself, the zoning does allow for low-rise mixed use development, but the current land use population allowances are not necessarily sufficient enough to prompt redevelopment. Rezoning could allow greater flexibility for mixed use along Bowness Road and offer more options in terms of row- or townhouses as a further transition, allowing more households and businesses to choose Bowness.

Proposed Land Use (Zoning)

When Bowness residents provided input about the future of this area, they shared their hope that commercial business would continue to serve the local community and be a destination for all Calgarians; there be more potential for future markets, events and festivals; and that an improved street environment that is safe and vibrant would provide improved connectivity with the city. Between March 2018 and June 2018, local residents provided detailed feedback at public input sessions on a proposed land use framework to meet this growth potential. These comments were considered when refining this proposal. This new zoning proposal will provide new forms of housing and commercial space that provide housing options and benefit businesses in the neighbourhood and the main street area can grow to meet the desires expressed by the community.

The City's proposed land use changes and updates to the Bowness Area Redevelopment Plan were approved by Council on Monday, February 25, 2019.