June 21, 2019 Pop-Ups in Calgary Opportunities for arts spaces are popping up all over Joni Carroll Got your eye on a sweet ground-floor space that you want to use for a pop-up or a six-month interim business? Want to start a market? Then we have exciting news for you! The City of Calgary has made it easier to have short term spaces all across Calgary, including artist studios, retail uses, and events. We all owe a big thank you to Market Collective for spurring this initiative and to Mark Hopkins for speaking at the Council public hearing. We’ve studied the recent changes to the City’s land use bylaw, came up with a set of steps, and then double-checked it with City staff. We’ve even written a template for a letter that you can adapt to send to the landlord. Before You Start: Determine if you want to be a “pop-up use” (four days max at a time, max 50 days a year) or an “interim use” (six months in a year, either consecutively or not). Step 1: Make sure your idea fits one of these use categories The land use bylaw has very specific definitions of each of these uses. Read more at lub.calgary.ca then find the use that best describes your pop-up or interim use idea. Permitted interim uses are: Artist’s Studio Information and Service Provider Office Print Centre Retail and Consumer Service Specialty Food Store Permitted pop-up uses are: Amusement Arcade Artist’s Studio Auction Market – Other Goods Billiard Parlour Cinema Computer Games Facility Conference and Event Facility Counselling Service Fitness Centre Indoor Recreation Facility Information and Service Provider Instruction Facility Library Market (see special note below) Medical Clinic Museum Office Performing Arts Centre Pet Care Service Print Centre Retail and Consumer Service Specialty Food Store Veterinary Clinic Or an “educational, recreational, sporting, social, and worship activity that includes, but is not limited to a wedding, circus, birthday, trade show, and ceremony.” Step 2: Determine the property’s land use Pop-ups and interim uses are allowed on the ground floor of existing buildings or within an enclosed shopping mall if the land use is listed. Find the building you want to locate in on the map at maps.calgary.ca, click on the property and see the land use information in the box that pops up. This box also gives you other important information, like the name of the City councilor. Pop-Ups: Throughout all of Calgary, if the land use is Commercial (C-anything), Industrial (I-G, B, E, C or R), Multi-Residential (M-H or M-X), or Mixed Use (MU-anything), you are good to go! In Centre City, look for CC-MHX, CC-X, CC-COR, and CR20, and in East Village, look for CC-ET, CC-EIR, CC-EMU, and CC-EPR. Interim Uses: Throughout all of Calgary, if the land use is Commercial (C-anything), Industrial (I-B, E, or C), Multi-Residential (M-H or M-X), or Mixed Use (MU-anything), you are good to go! In Centre City, look for CC-MHX, CC-X, CC-COR, and CR20-C20/R20 and in East Village, look for CC-ET, CC-EIR, CC-EMU, and CC-EPR. Some Important Notes: 1. If the building’s land use is DC (Direct Control), you need to check the date to determine when the direct control was created e.g. DC 64D2010 was created in 2010. Sadly, this new change to the bylaw does not apply retroactively to direct control districts. If your favourite building falls into this pre-2019 land use, contact us and we will try to help. 2. If your event/shop requires a health inspection (e.g. food preparation on site), you will need to have a business license. Consider partnering with a food truck that already has the appropriate licenses. 3. If your business type requires an AGLC license (e.g. serving alcohol), you will need to have a business license. 4. If the space you want to use is huge (e.g. an empty big-box store), the Fire Department may have additional criteria to keep the public safe in case of emergency. Step 3: Approach the landlord or leasing agent In addition to researching and developing your business plan, feel free to use this template as part of your approach: Dear Landlord/Leasing Agent, The City of Calgary made changes to the Land Use Bylaw in May 2019 to allow short term leases to fill spaces throughout the city, without a development permit, building permit or a business licence, on either an interim or “pop-up” basis. This is in response to Calgary’s need for business regulations that are flexible, and that enable quicker occupancy for commercial spaces. There are two new categories of uses: Pop-Up Uses: Four consecutive days maximum, 50 days a year maximum. Interim Uses: Up to six months within one calendar year per user. [For Pop-Up Uses] Our organization is interested in using your empty storefront at 123 Main St. SW as a pop-up art supply retail shop for four days each month during 2020 except July and August, for 40 days in total. We’ve done our homework and we are confident that your space is eligible for to be used as a pop-up under the newly amended land use bylaw. No change of use development permit will be required, despite your space’s previous use as a restaurant. We do not intend to make any changes that will require a building permit; we will just bring in our display furnishings at the beginning of each four-day pop-up event. We are also happy to reach out to the community to see if other groups are interested in “popping up” here when we are not using the space. We’d love to talk further about this opportunity and can be reached at… [For Interim Uses] Our organization is interested in using your empty storefront at 123 Main St. SW as an interim art supply retail shop for six months starting in September 2019. We’ve done our homework and we are confident that your space is eligible for to be used as an interim use under the newly amended land use bylaw. No change of use development permit will be required, despite your space’s previous use as a restaurant. We do not intend to make any changes that will require a building permit; we will just bring in our display furnishings at the beginning of our six month use of the space. We see this as an opportunity to test out our business idea and—if we’re successful—we may be interested in renting the space on a permanent basis. We’d love to talk further about this opportunity and can be reached at… Step 4: Keep in touch We’d love to know if you give this a try and if you were successful or if you encountered some hiccups. Note that this information is accurate at time of writing (June 2019) but the land use bylaw does change over time. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Joni Carroll is Calgary Arts Development’s Arts Spaces Consultant, striving for abundant, appropriate, affordable arts spaces in Calgary through her work with arts organizations, space developers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Joni has a particular passion for the arts and began her relationship with Calgary Arts Development by volunteering for the Arts Spaces Committee in 2006. Additionally, she has volunteered on the boards of other spaces initiatives in Calgary including Doors Open YYC and the Calgary Heritage Authority.