Well, it's midway through December, and we've finally got a little bit of snow!
As things wind down for the holidays, I hope you're looking ahead to a bit of rest and some time with loved ones. Below, I've shared a few updates about next week's meetings and a recap from last month too. Thanks for following along this year!
Meetings & Upcoming Decisions
City Council meets on Wednesday Dec 20th. The Regular Business meeting takes place in the day starting at 9:30am and the Public Hearing takes place in the evening beginning at 6:00pm. Highlights below.
Connecting Avenue C - walking and cycling improvements
The proposed plan for the active transportation improvements to Ave C are in front of Council for its consideration. Approving this plan would add this project to a list of projects ready for submission for partnership funding. The plan includes a range of infrastructure changes, with lots of sidewalk improvements, some shared pathway construction, a few blocks of separated bike lanes, and some bikeway designation (traffic calming to permit safe sharing of the street between cars and bikes).
Neighbourhood Bikeway - 30 km/h speed limit
There are a number of designated and planned bikeways around the City. These are streets that have installations to calm/slow traffic and are meant to encourage use by people riding bikes -- with cars and bikes sharing the space on the road. Best practice for these bikeways involves slowing traffic using a number of methods, including by reducing speed limits. A policy to do exactly that is being considered by City Council. This would apply to existing bikeways like 23rd Street West (Blairmore bikeway) and 14th Street East, but also to future bikeways such as on segments of Dudley St., 31st St W, and potentially segments of Ave C North.
Parking minimums for development
The City is contemplating reducing or eliminating the requirements to construct parking with new developments. This is considered to be a way to provide flexibility in development, and reduce costs for developers, improving affordability in housing and other developments. It does not mean that no parking would be developed, but that parking would be guided by developer assessment of the needs of future land users, rather than dictated by the city. The approach to this review is being contemplated by City Council. Committee has recommended starting with an approach that would remove parking minimums entirely, and consider exceptions for the policy on the basis of engagement. This week's decision is to set the approach to the study/engagement. The engage page also has some background.
Homelessness & Cold Weather
We haven't had the frigid winter weather we're used to by now but the urgency to ensure everyone has a warm place to sleep is as present as ever. I've shared updates about the City's collaboration with the Provincial Government on their Provincial Approach to Homelessness (PATH) plans. I don't have any updates about when we'll be able to engage on the next shelter sites, but I want to share the call to action that the Pleasant Hill Community Association shared earlier this month in response to a business closure. I agree with the calls for action and urgency. I want to thank all of the agencies (including Civic agencies) who are working tirelessly to keep people warm and safe. The only solution is appropriate housing. We need full implementation of the PATH commitments now.
Budget Deliberations - results
As you know, City Council deliberated our 2024 and 2025 budgets late last month. The deliberations extended for four days, and ultimately the forecasted gap was reduced by nearly $40 million, bringing the projected property tax increase for 2024 down from ~18% to 6.04%. The final number for 2025 landed at 5.64%. Highlights here.
This budget and my input into it were an effort to balance keeping the tax impact low while making investments that keep our City moving in the right direction with wellbeing at the top of mind. Priorities included tackling housing affordability, maintaining our transportation infrastructure, protecting our urban forest, and expanding west side fire halls. These priorities were informed by City surveys, and conversations with you via email, phone, or in person. Thank you for your input into these important decisions about the future of our community.
To see all projects open for engagement visit www.saskatoon.ca/engage
Caswell Hill Bus Barns
Background and online engagement for the project can be found on this project page.
Public comment is open until Dec 11th.
Even further details about the proposed development directly from the developer can be found here.
Overgrowth in Back Lanes
The City is engaging on the development of a bylaw for the maintenance of overgrown nuisance trees and vegetation in back lanes. The survey is open until Jan 17th.
City Council | Dec 20th (Wednesday)
City Council meets on Wednesday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. Correspondence on Council items can be made in writing or as a request to speak (accommodated by phone or in person). Meetings are live streamed.
Regular Business Meeting | 9:30 AM
- Ownership Transfer - Transmission structures
- Digester Tank - budget adjustment
- Fire Communications Centre - adjustment
- Transit - Long Term Fleet renewal strategy
- Prepaid Servicing rates - 2023 & 2024
- SaskEnergy - Servicing Agreement
- Community Centre Levy rates
- Vacant Lot and Adaptive Reuse - policy amendments
- Growth Monitoring Report
- Conference BID - FCM
- FCM - Membership Fees
- SUMA - Membership Fees
- Natural Resources Canada - Financial Assistance program
- Governance Review - Albert Community Centre & Marr Residence
- Appointments - various
- Connecting Ave C - walking and cycling
- Neighbourhood Bikeway 30km/h speed policy
- Parking Minimums - Options for review
- Electrical Rate change - federal Carbon charge
- Municipal Revenue Sharing - Declaration of Eligibility
- Cemeteries Bylaw
- Private Crossings
- Traffic bylaw
- 2024/2025 rates & Fees
- Kirton: Procedures & Committees Bylaw
- Dubois: Credit Card Processing Fees
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Concept Plan amendment - Aspen Ridge
- Closure of ROW - Brand Rd/Melville St Intersection
- Closure of Lane - Rutter Cres
- Closure of Lane - Anderson Cres
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings - N/A
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