The Carra movement may have increased the value of undeclared property

The councilor used an image of his undeclared home in a presentation to the council

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Com. Gian-Carlo Carra gave a notice of motion in 2018 that could have increased the value of a property he owned a stake in, but the councilor says his intent was only for security in secondary suites.

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During her presentation to council on the motion, Carra used a photo of her undisclosed property to illustrate the style of home targeted by her motion.

An Integrity Commissioner’s report released last Tuesday found that Carra did not disclose his financial interest in ownership of 66 New St. SE for six years, after initially investing $300,000 in 2015.

Carra’s notice of motion, titled “Improving Safety for Thousands of Calgary Homes,” was presented to council on April 23, 2018.

Then-mayor Naheed Nenshi teased Carra about the title of his motion as the case got underway.

“(It’s) the worst title of any notice of motion I’ve heard in my eight years in this chair,” Nenshi joked.

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Carra then began her presentation.

“I sent a note to the clerks indicating that I have a photo of a certain type of house. We all know that well. It is ubiquitous in many parts of the city.

Councilors then saw an image of Carra’s property at 66 New Street SE on council display screens.

“That’s it,” Carra said. “Kind of a 1970s paired special.”

A photo of 66 New St SE in Calgary on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Calgary Councilor Gian-Carlo Carra has not disclosed an interest in a property.
A photo of 66 New St SE in Calgary on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Calgary Councilor Gian-Carlo Carra has not disclosed an interest in a property. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Carra’s motion argued that thousands of homes of this style had already been illegally converted to quadruplexes. He called on the administration to explore ways to find a “path to legality” for secondary suites in homes of this style, including existing illegal ones.

When the issue was raised in committee almost a year later, in April 2019, the title of the motion had been changed to “Improve the security of secondary suites in semi-detached dwellings”.

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The motion was then presented at the April 29, 2019 council meeting and passed to the agenda by consent, meaning there was no further debate by council. This motion directed the administration to report with a plan.

It was finally presented in November 2019 under the title “Allow secondary suites in semi-detached accommodation”. It had been grouped with a related question on parking and passed 8-6.

The result has paved the way for secondary suites in nearly every semi-detached house, including Carra’s New Street property, or any future semi-detached house built on this land.

Calgary real estate agent Mike Star said that generally any time there is a change in ownership that allows more units to be built, the value of the land goes up. It’s a concept known as “highest and best use.”

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“The highest and best utilization really becomes a question of viability on how many properties you can accommodate on a specific piece of land,” he said.

“The more density you put on a property, and modifying it to allow for a legal suite, for multiple reasons, it increases the value of the land and increases the sustainability of that property.”

  1. A photo of 66 New St SE in Calgary on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Calgary Councilor Gian-Carlo Carra has not disclosed an interest in a property.

    ‘Everyone knew’: Carra says he didn’t hide his financial dealings on the Inglewood property

  2. Councilor Gian-Carlo Carra during a council meeting on Monday November 15, 2021.

    Councilman wants police investigation into Carra’s integrity report

However, Carra said her interest in changing the rules on secondary suites in this style of home was to iron out details that were missed when the council legalized secondary suites.

“Honestly, I didn’t put one and one together because there was never any intention of living in this semi-detached like a semi-detached or something like that,” he said. declared. “Honestly, I was focused on winning the secondary sequel battle.”

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He said the house at 66 New Street was badly damaged in the 2013 flood and his intentions were to demolish it and build two individual units on the land.

Carra said the motion to improve security had nothing to do with her stake in the Inglewood property and that a development permit was already underway to demolish the property and build two R-C2 homes on the site.

“I was trying to build a house that my family could live in with a second suite so that it was best practice and I could pay the mortgage, and the other (thing) was we were trying to legalize the seats secondary in semi-detached houses. »

He said the legalization was about the safety and security of people living in these illegal apartments.

Carra’s petition was one of at least two he filed that could have affected the value of the property he failed to disclose.

The other motion – which would have removed density covenants specifically on homes in Inglewood – was noted in the Integrity Commissioner’s report. In this case, Carra made the motion, but later declared an interest and backed out of the case, after consulting with the ethics counselor.

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Twitter: @brodie_thomas

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