Coming up at City Council: January 26-30, 2015

For an overview of everything that happened this week, check out the Mayor’s Week in Review Blog.

Agendas for upcoming City Council meetings are generally released on Thursday afternoons. I like to take a look to see what Council will be discussing, and I figured I should share that here. Below you’ll find links to the meetings taking place next week, as well as links to and thoughts on some agenda items that caught my eye.

City Council Swearing In 2013-2017

Monday, January 26, 2015

Council starts the week with a Public Hearing scheduled to take place from 1:30pm until 9:30pm. There are 27 bylaws listed on the agenda – here are a few that caught my eye:

Bylaw 16733 – Text Amendment to the Zoning Bylaw

This bylaw is ready for three readings after the public hearing has been held and its purpose is to change the terminology for height regulations in the zoning bylaw. Specifically it’ll remove “storeys” as a definition for maximum height.

“The current regulations in Zoning Bylaw 12800 manage height through a numerical distance and a description of building form, but this often creates a contradiction between opportunities. For example, a building could meet the numerical height requirement but not meet the storey requirement.”

This bylaw increases the maximum height in all affected zones from 14 metres to 16 metres in response to advances in building construction methods. “For example, the (RA7) Low Rise Apartment Zone allows a four storey building in 14 metres, but it is not possible to fit a four storey building within this allowance using standard grade calculation methods and typical building designs.” The bylaw also clarifies when a wind study or sun shadow study should be requested, and adds basic evaluation criteria for both.

Bylaw 17011 – Adoption of The Decoteau Area Structure Plan

This bylaw is ready for first and second reading only, which means it’ll be back to Council at least one more time. It deals with the Area Structure Plan (ASP) for the area known as Decoteau, which is south of Anthony Henday Drive, east of 50 Street SW, west of Meridian Street SW, and north of 41 Avenue SW. Really far in the southeast, basically.

Decoteau ASP

This is one of the Urban Growth Areas defined in The Way We Grow, and this ASP is the final one to be prepared and advanced to Council. An ASP describes the land uses and their general locations. The proposed Decoteau ASP is approximately 1,960 hectares and proposes a population of nearly 68,000 living in five neighbourhoods. Here’s the vision for the Decoteau ASP:

“Decoteau embraces its unique landscape to provide residents with a remarkable ecological and recreational network comprised of interconnected wetlands, parks and open spaces. It integrates residential development with retail/commercial nodes, the ecological/recreational network, a significant business employment area, and a dynamic mixed use town centre to create walkable, complete communities for all seasons. The result is a group of diverse neighbourhoods that are connected to surrounding communities yet grounded in the local landscape.”

That was developed by a stakeholder advisory group of land owners, residents, developers, the City, and special interest groups. The area is intended to develop over the next 35-40 years.

The ASP discusses revenue and expenditure expectations over a 50 year time span. It’s a projection, based on build-out in approximately 39 years with a total population of 67,816 people.

decoteau costs

As you can see, cumulative costs exceed cumulative revenues. “So as the City grows this and other residential areas, it must also grow its non-residential areas to maintain balanced growth.” It’s another neighbourhood that can only be supported in the long-run by acquiring more non-residential land, which requires more residential areas, etc. “In other words, for the City as a whole to maintain the current ratio, there needs to be approximately $5 billion of non-residential assessment for every $20 billion in residential assessment growth.”

Horse Hill ASP, NSP, and Meridian Street/Manning Drive Interchange

Bylaw 17021 includes an amendment to the Horse Hill ASP that reconfigures some of the proposed elements and would result in an increase in the net residential density from 31 to 33.4 units per net residential hectare. Bylaw 17022 is the Neighbourhood Structure Plan (NSP) for the proposed Horse Hill Neighbourhood 2, which is bounded by 195 Avenue NW to the north, the North Saskatchewan River to the east, Horsehills Creek to the south, and Manning Drive to the west. The NSP will accommodate 25,800 people in approximately 10,800 dwelling units, resulting in a density of 38.1 units per net residential hectare. Bylaw 17030 is being considered along those two, and amends the boundary of the North Saskatchewan River Valley ARP.

Bylaw 17032 is an amendment to the Arterial Roads for Development bylaw that proposes the transportation levy for Horse Hill include a contribution of funds to the interchange at Meridian Street and Manning Drive. The land is under provincial jurisdiction, but “the Province has indicated that it will not construct the interchange.”

Oliver ARP & mixed used building up to 14 storeys

Bylaw 17040 and Bylaw 17041 together proposed to amend the Oliver ARP to allow for the development of medium to high rise mixed-use development on the north side of Jasper Avenue between 121 Street and 122 Street. Currently on that site is the 121 Jasper Liquor Store, Planet Organic, and some empty lots. The second bylaw would rezone from DC1 and CB1 to CB3 which would allow for mixed-use developments up to 14 storeys in height.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On Tuesday Council will be holding a regular Council meeting. Here is an overview of the agenda:

Reports

There are three new reports to be discussed:

Bylaws

There are 14 bylaws that Council will consider, including:

  • Bylaw 17091 – making the name change of the Chinatown Business Revitalization Zone official
  • Bylaw 17092 – to amend the Quarters CRL bylaw to increase borrowing authorization by $44.345 million
  • Bylaw 17075 – this one is like bylaw inception, amending bylaw 15156 as amended by bylaw 15978 – bottom line: it’s to increase borrowing authorization for the Great Neighbourhoods Initiative by $60 million
  • Bylaw 17076 & Bylaw 17077 – to undertake, construct, and finance the new Northwest Police Campus and Dispatch and Emergency Operations Centre
  • Bylaw 17053 – to authorize the City to lend up to $1.2 million to Waste RE-solutions Edmonton

Six of the other bylaws are to undertake, construct, and finance various Waste Management projects.

Committee Recommendations

The following recommendations have been referred to Council for a vote:

Motions Pending

There are two motions pending, both from Councillor Henderson:

Private and Verbal Reports

There are six private or verbal reports listed on the agenda, which means they’re subject to FOIPP and are not made public due to sensitive information that could diminish the City’s negotiating position or ability to compete:

  • Settlement of an Expropriation Claim – Fort Road Widening
  • Settlement of an Expropriation Claim – Fort Road Old Town Redevelopment
  • Bargaining Update (verbal report)
  • City of Edmonton Nominee – Utilities Consumer Advocate Advisory Board
  • Municipal Development Corporation – Possible City Properties
  • Event Update No. 4 – Commonwealth Games (verbal report)

Wrap-up

You can keep track of City Council on Twitter using the #yegcc hashtag, and you can listen to or watch any Council meeting live online.