With a population of over 80,000 with the average age being 33, some residents have been sounding their opinions on whether or not the city would be well served with a nightclub. In a recent social media post to a local group, one resident asked the question, garnering nearly 300 responses. 

Responses ranged from vehemently opposed, citing concerns that such an establishment might also mean more crime within an area, to those who said that having a place for younger people to enjoy themselves may be safer rather than venturing into Calgary, as well as suggestions of what genre of music might attract crowds. 

Even City Councillor Heather Spearman weighed in, writing in a reply that, she is a, 'huge fan of venues for events and culture and opportunities for people to spend their entertainment/date night/friend night funds within our city.' 

However, Councillor Spearman did later clarify that she wasn't indicating whether or not she supported the particular idea, underlining that she supports money being spent locally, rather than in adjacent communities like Calgary.

There were also plenty of responses claiming that nightclubs were effectively not allowed in the city. However, in response, The City clarified that 'The City does not dictate what types of businesses can operate in Airdrie," a city official wrote in an email.

The official also underlined that businesses must apply for a Development Permit which is then reviewed by the City for adherence to the Land Use Bylaw (LUB).  

Defining nightclubs as per city standards

Airdrie's LUB stated that a nightclub, is defined as a, 'use licensed under the Liquor Act where minors are prohibited at all times and liquor is sold and consumed on the premises and where entertainment is provided to patrons in the form of a dance floor, live music stage, live performances or recorded music in areas greater than 30.0 square metres.'

It is also listed within the category of discretionary land use. Discretionary Land Use means that the, 'Development Authority may in its discretion issue a Development Permit to an applicant, if the application meets the purpose and intent of the land use district, the provisions of this Bylaw and makes good planning sense about Compatibility.'


A business defined as a nightclub as per the LUB can't be placed anywhere around the city. 

"'Nightclub' is a discretionary use in the M3, Downtown Core District, C3, Regional Commercial District, IB-1 Mixed Business/Employment District, and a few other Direct Control districts including Gateway," a City official added.

What is 'Sensitive Land'?

The LUB also states that a nightclub is considered to be sensitive land use and has to meet different requirements standards, these standards include a stipulation that if the proposed development would be within 60 meters of residential areas, a public assembly, a community service facility, a recreational facility, supportive housing, or an educational use area, then the Development Authority will consider the context of the surrounding area and not approve the application unless, 'it can show that the sensitive land use, including any proposed mitigation measures to address potential land use impacts, is compatible with surrounding land uses.'

180 meters away from any of the above-mentioned areas requires the consideration of several mitigation strategies, including noise impacts, hours of operation, as well as the accommodation of parking and vehicle traffic. 

"Strictly from a Land Use Bylaw perspective, anyone can apply for a Development Permit and if they meet the requirements of the LUB we would review and make a decision as we would with any application."


City officials also underlined that discretionary uses are subject to appeal, which means they are advertised to the community and residents have 21 days to submit an appeal. 

"We encourage all businesses to develop a business plan to ensure their business idea is viable,"

In four years, Airdrie is estimated to have over 100,000 residents. 

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