This month has been a whirlwind of activity. I'm feeling grateful that the weather is giving us a break following some serious cold and snow. Thank you to all the agencies helping to keep our community warm and to City crews responding so diligently to snowfall after snowfall to keep us moving.
There's a lot on the agenda for City Council this month. Let's get right into the updates!
Policy & updates:
- Boarded up Properties
A concerning number of boarded up properties in a few neighbourhoods was the subject of a Planning committee report earlier this month. The Fire Department proposes to take the lead to address the issue and will prioritize properties in this state under their fire inspection work and enforcement of the property maintenance and nuisance abatement bylaw. This has been endorsed by the Committee and the Fire Department will continue to engage with stakeholders such as community associations who have been contributing to the discussion.
- Landlord accountability
The administration has presented a report outlining their research on landlord licensing as a means to improve landlord accountability with respect to their properties. They do not recommend a license as a solution and instead discuss various measures to enforce and educate. City Council is being asked to direct that a proactive approach to enforcement be reported on as it will require new resources.
Community engagement and feedback has made it clear that the rights and wellbeing of tenants needs to be more strongly prioritized in these discussions. I agree and have echoed that feedback and provided direction about this through Committee.
On Monday, City Council will be given an opportunity to consider the report (item 8.1.4), and specifically the options about proceeding with defining the specific proactive enforcement approach, or to continue to consider in greater detail a licensing option.
- Preferred options coming out of the Circle Drive West Functional Study were presented at an open house earlier this week by City consultants. The plan outlines options to improve flow on Circle Drive west while maintaining all existing turning movements. This is likely to include some interchanges.
- Short Term Accommodations
Consideration of how to regulate this growing property-use moves on to the Municipal Planning Commission next week. It will then will be presented to City Council with a recommendation, likely in February.
- The proposed approach for regulating Waste diversion by Business and Organizations has been proposed and will be considered by City Council this month (item 8.3.3). This work goes hand in hand with waste diversion from the residential sector to get our community closer to our waste diversion targets - extending the life of the landfill and reducing GHG emissions.
- The City Council recap below lists other policy files underway with decisions or updates on Monday such as important work on the future of Corridor Infill and plans for where a future Downtown Entertainment District may be located.
Did you know...
- Agencies across Saskatoon are collaborating to keep us warm. When the temperatures dip below -30 the cold weather strategy is in effect. Next time the chill sets in, check out and share this list of warm up locations to keep our community safe.
- Going paperless can pay! Anyone switching to paperless billing before Feb 15th (and anyone already getting e-bills) will be entered to win one of two $250 utility bill credits! Don't wait to make the switch!
- Signing up for NotifyNow is the most reliable way to be sure you're in the know in an emergency. Sign up today.
- There's a standard timeline of response after a snow event. Want to know what to expect? Check out the snow clearing level of service.
- Saskatoon is embracing the cold winter months. Coming this winter, watch for the release of the draft outcomes and actions for the WintercityYXE Strategy. Learn more at Saskatoon.ca/WintercityYXE.
- On February 1st, come get to know the artists in residence at the Bunkhouse! Artists Lenore Maier and Muvedett Al-Katib will give public talks on their work.
- The Bison are back. Wanuskewin Heritage Park celebrated the return of Plains bison to their natural prairie home. Congratulations to all who have been part of making this journey home possible!
- There is a new searchable database of current Community Association programming on the City's website. Check it out here and sign up for a class in your neighbourhood!
- Have you been wondering about the rink in your neighbourhood? It's likely run by your community association - check in with them about when the warming shack will be open and when there are supervised skate times. Skating at other times is welcome too!
- Each year the Living in Harmony Awards recognize individuals and organizations working to eliminate racial discrimination in our community. Consider nominating a community champion today! The deadline for nominations is February 28th, 2020.
- Curious about what's happening in our community and province regarding Reconciliation? Check out news and event updates from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and consider exploring the resources from ConnectR (a project of Reconciliation Saskatoon) to get connected.
City Council | January 27th
City Council meets Monday (January 27th) at City Hall in City Council chambers. As always, Council meetings are open to the public. Brief highlights are outlined below. For full agenda, visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/city-hall/city-council-boards-committees/council/minutes-and-agendas
Regular Business Meeting | 1:00 PM
- Public Art Acquisition
- Corridor transformation Plan
- Licensing Rental Properties (see comments above)
- Lot presale process - Aspen Ridge/Brighton
- TRC Calls to action - update
- Regulation for ICI/business Waste diversion (see comments above)
- Sidewalk Infill Prioritization
- Downtown Event and Entertainment District Update
- Bylaws & Amendments
- Parking Capital Reserve (amendment)
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft in the City Bylaw
- Corporate Reorganization (amendments - various)
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
Discretionary Use & Rezoning applications:
- Childcare Centre - Bolstad Link
- Childcare Centre - Witney Ave (Ward 2 - Meadowgreen)
Proposed street closure - 9th street @ Idylwyld on-ramp
Intent to borrow - various
Procedures & Committees bylaw - various amendments
Proclamations and Flag Raisings
If you'd like to speak to Council as a whole about something on the agenda please get in touch with the Clerk's office or fill out the form at the link before 10 am the day of the meeting. https://www.saskatoon.ca/write-letter-councilcommittees