There's a lot going on and a very busy agenda Tuesday, so let's jump in.
First, a few items on the agenda that I don't have space to provide outlines for but that may be of interest are: the Water Conservation strategy, the scope change for the Recovery Park project art, a pause in Civic Naming, approach to a future East Side Leisure Center, noise concerns at Rotary Park, and bylaw amendments related to Campaign Disclosures and Contribution limits. Full list and links at bottom under City Council > Regular Business Meeting.
In the Engagement section below you'll find the rezoning request in Nutana to facilitate a 30-storey mixed-use development. A Discretionary Use application in Montgomery can be found in the Ward 2 section.
Finally, property tax notices have been going out this month. If you have questions about the process or what you've received, this page is a good place to start.
As always, if you have feedback on any issues on the Council agenda (list at the bottom of this email), I commit to reading all emails I receive before Tuesday's 1pm meeting. To have all of Council read your feedback, correspondence needs to be received by the Clerk before 10am Tuesday.
Connecting Avenue C
The City is looking to enhance mobility and safety on Avenue C. The Active Transportation plan identified Avenue C (from Spadina to 45th Street) as a strategic route to establish safe and inclusive space for all that connects both people and destinations with 'all ages and abilities' infrastructure. Please consider filling out this questionnaire to help us identify challenges, opportunities, and future expectations with the walking and cycling facilities on Avenue C!
Mountbatten St. Care Home
Engagement on a Discretionary Use application in Montgomery for expanded capacity at a residential care home is underway. I've been hearing from neighbours and am keen to understand all perspectives on the proposed expansion. Background and engagement process here.
Victoria Park Recreation Facility
Discussions between the City and a group of Ward 2 neighbours and organizations known as the Core Community Collective are solidifying a partnership for use of the Victoria Park Recreation Facility that will replace the unrepairable lawn bowling facility. The facility will be a similar sized one where the Core Community Collective will host recreation and educational programming for the community. Council approval is being requested on Tuesday.
Zoning Bylaw review - infill housing
Amendments to the zoning bylaw are being proposed related to the standards for infill development of one-unit, two-unit, and semi-detached dwellings in established neighborhoods. A review was conducted to evaluate the effect that regulations have had on the built form of infill dwellings and to do a technical analysis of regulations. Recommended changes include changes to setback consistency, yard encroachments, sill (doorway) height, and allowable side wall area (which serves as a proxy for building massing/size). Ward 2, 1 and 6 residents, in particular have weighed in as has the development industry. I continue to hear some concerns about the sidewall changes proposed and am reviewing this carefully ahead of Tuesday.
Temporary Shelter - bylaw amendment (Wellness Centre)
An amendment to the zoning bylaw to allow approval for emergency residential shelters to operate up to 18 months (from current 6 month limit) based on temporary nature and demonstrated need of use is being presented based on last month's direction. These amendments are being considered by City Council and are recommended on grounds that it is an urgent need as reflected at the Wellness Center being operated in a civic building downtown by Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC). We will hear from STC about the temporary nature and progress toward permanent solutions on Tuesday.
Downtown Event and Entertainment District
On Tuesday we will consider site selection evaluation criteria as the next step in the development in the new Downtown Event and Entertainment District. Two external advisory firms that have recently fostered development with entertainment districts of similar sizes advised on the creation of these evaluation criteria. All site options will be measured and assessed on their ability to be suitable size for the 15,000 seat capacity arena. City staff will report next on the arena site options and public engagement approach.
Downtown Grocery Store
Arbutus Properties has requested support from the City of Saskatoon in developing a downtown grocery store in Midtown Plaza. Arbutus is requesting a 5-year tax abatement or a potential one-time grant from the City in addition to an upgrade to Idylwyld Drive/Auditorium Ave. The Transportation Committee has recommended to City Council that Administration and Arbutus Properties identify a build-out complete threshold that provides certainty of a Downtown grocery store, and that once the threshold is met by Arbutus, that the upgrade to the intersection be funded and implemented through capital reserves in the amount of $220,000. Committee and administration are not recommending any further abatements or grants. This project collaboration is exciting progress on a longtime goal of the City's and a longstanding community need.
Right of way closure - Spadina Cres
City Administration has requested approval to close an undeveloped portion of Spadina Crescent East in the 400 block that is not used for traffic. This closure will facilitate planned development of a public outdoor festival site with the aim of transforming the block into the headquarters building of the festival site. Some concern has been raised by nearby residents and the closure will be considered at the evening public hearing on Tuesday.
Community Safety & Wellbeing
Housing Continuum report
As conversations about the need to fill gaps in the housing continuum in Saskatoon continue, we've received an information report to help capture the current state. It outlines current emergency shelter operations in the city as well as information regarding a recent affordable housing inventory. There are currently six facilities operating as emergency shelters in Saskatoon operated by separate organizations with their own operating and funding models. There are 4,500 units of affordable housing units but current and annual rates of construction do not meet our community's growth and corresponding need for additional units. Digesting the current shelter and housing operations throughout the city is a key step and ongoing dialogue is needed to clarify and evolve the City of Saskatoon's role in the housing continuum.
Community Response - Downtown Safety & Wellbeing
In response to Council direction related to development of a safety plan in the downtown and specifically around the Wellness Center, administration is reporting on plans for a whole-community approach through solutions that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders, relatives, and the downtown community. A “Peacekeeper” model is to be introduced and developed by the City and its partners focusing on mitigating any increase in vandalism, garbage, and open drug use around the exterior of the building. The committee is taking a shared responsibility to achieve agreed upon outcomes and will continue to meet regularly regarding cleanliness and safety for the downtown area, with a report back to Council in 6 months.
BRT Public Art - The Bus Rapid Transit Public Art strategy will aim to provide public art at the routes and stations of the BRT when it launches in 2026 with the goal of fostering ideas of inspiration and the feeling of being welcomed and accepted. Contribute your opinion for themes to be presented as art at the locations, and how it could enhance the future BRT system. All suggestions are welcome and can be shared via this survey!
Ongoing engagement opportunities are available at www.saskatoon.ca/engage
Remembering a colleague and community champion
Many people reading this will have had the chance to meet and work with David Godwin. David passed away last month after a battle with cancer. He was a champion for community who worked for the City of Saskatoon for 32 years. In that time he worked as a community consultant with many neighboruhood community associations, including several in Ward 2. I have heard from many Ward 2 neighbours about how much he contributed to their work and success and what a pleasure it was to work with such a kind and dedicated man. I am saddened by his passing, and grateful to have known and worked with him. David will be missed.
Community Association cleanups
I've had a blast joining community cleanups so far this spring. The impact volunteers are having in their neighbourhoods is awesome.
Visit your Community Association's social media or latest newsletter for full details to join in! Contact info here.
Caswell Hill – April 30
Holiday Park – May 7
King George – May 14
Meadowgreen – June 11
Pleasant Hill – May 14
Riversdale – May 14
Westmount - June 11
The Meewasin Cleanup Campaign is also underway. Learn more and register a group here.
- Nutrien Playland at Kinsmen Park is now open!
- Theatre in the Park is touring! SUM theatre has visited a couple of Ward 2 parks already and performances continue through the end of the month. Check out the schedule here.
A number of larger construction projects (roadways and asset preservation such as water main replacement) are taking place in Ward 2 this upcoming season. Project previews are being circulated and impacted residents are encouraged to sign up for regular updates for the projects in their area by email. More information at www.saskatoon.ca/construction
City Council | May 24th
City Council meets virtually on Tuesday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. Council continues to meet virtually. Correspondence on Council items can be made in writing or as a request to speak (accommodated by phone). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.
Regular Business Meeting | 1:00 PM
- Water Conservation Strategy
- Temporary Reserved Parking Program review
- Downtown Grocery Store
- Civic Naming - temporary pause & Policy review
- East side leisure centre - YMCA partnership
- Tax abatements - Rec & Community Development
- Finance - Calgary/Edmonton - services reviews
- Continuous Assurance - terms
- Downtown Event and Entertainment District - site options criteria
- Rotary Park noise - concerns and mitigation
- Housing continuum - shelters & affordable housing inventory - status update
- Downtown Safety - community response
- Municipal Manual
- Traffic bylaw amendments - speed zones & spadina speed change
- Campaign disclosure & spending limits bylaw - various updates + out of country donations
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Zoning bylaw review - Neighbourhood Infill
- Zoning Agreement - Township Road 380
- Emergency residential shelters - zoning text amendment
- Discretionary Use - private school 2228 Herman Ave
- Victoria Park Recreation Facility - use agreement
- Right of Way closures:
- Blaimore development area
- Spadina Cres - for festival site
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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