October 27, 2020 Updates on Pop-Ups & Interim Uses Animate your unused ground floor space with pop-ups and interim tenants Joni Carroll Pop-ups and interim uses are evolving in Calgary! There have been some changes since we first wrote about pop-ups and interim uses in 2019. In late July 2020, The City passed amendments to the land use bylaw to support businesses during Calgary’s economic recovery and post-COVID-19. These include: Eliminating the requirement for permitted uses to meet parking requirements when going into an existing building in commercial, industrial and mixed-use districts. Deleting the prohibition of speakers for outdoor cafes. Eliminating the size maximum and distance to residential for outdoor cafes. Expanding allowable pop-up uses and interim uses. Increasing the six metre outdoor limit for retail, pop-up uses, and interim uses to have outside merchandise. Extending timelines for Special Function – Class 1 [temporary structures set up on a parcel of land]. For full details, look up Bylaw Number 32P2020 on The City of Calgary website. This means that it may be easier for artists and arts organizations to access temporary and long term spaces and easier to engage Calgarians out of doors by having those spaces spill onto the street and by allowing temporary structures to be erected for up to 120 days. The biggest, most positive change is related to permitted interim uses: we’ve updated the list below to show that markets, fitness centres, indoor recreation facilities, and many types of food service uses are now permitted interim uses. And the list of permitted pop-up uses has grown too and now also includes many types of food services. We’ve highlighted the new permitted uses below. 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’re going to start with would-be tenants and then include information for building owners below. Before you start: Determine if you are interested in 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: Artist’s Studio Catering Service – Minor Food Kiosk Fitness Centre Indoor Recreation Facility Information and Service Provider Market Office Print Centre Restaurant [seven different types, refer to land use bylaw] Retail and Consumer Service Specialty Food Store Take-Out Food Service Permitted pop-up uses: Amusement Arcade Artist’s Studio Auction Market – Other Goods Billiard Parlour Cinema Computer Games Facility Conference and Event Facility Counselling Service Fitness Centre Food Kiosk 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 Restaurant [seven different types, refer to land use bylaw] 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.” Some important notes: A business licence is required for any use that requires a health inspection (e.g. food preparation on site). A business licence is required for any use that requires an AGLC license (e.g. serving alcohol). 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. The space will likely already have an existing use designation e.g. retail shop, restaurant. This information is not included on the My Property link; you must call 403.268.5351 to determine this designation. Some important notes about land use designation: 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 the building falls into this pre-2019 land use, contact us and we will try to help. If the space 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. If your event or 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. If your business type requires an AGLC license (e.g. serving alcohol), you will need to have a business license. 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 for Tenants 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 Street NE as a pop-up art supply retail shop for four days each month during 2021 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 Street NE as an interim art supply retail shop for six months starting in October 2020. We’ve done our homework and we are confident that your space is eligible 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 3 for Building Owners Connecting with pop-ups and interim uses Once you’ve determined the kind of uses you want to have from the list above, it’s time to do a little marketing of your space. It won’t be too hard to find individuals and organizations in your community that are interested in popping up! One of the most effective things you can do is to put a large engaging sign in the window of your space, inviting the kind of use and duration you are interested in. And use social media to reach people interested in the short-term use of your space. One of the most effective uses of social media is to share the posts and tweets about this weekend’s pop-up to find next month’s short term user. Step 4 for Building Owners Book a free ‘pre-application’ meeting with The City of Calgary’s planning and development team City staff have a nimble approach to these meetings and will schedule one within three days of hearing from you. The intent of the meeting is to re-confirm that a straightforward pop-up or interim use is possible in your space (see notes above re food preparation, alcohol and large spaces). Step 5 And lastly, 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 (October 2020) 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.