Two public information sessions have been scheduled for June 4th and June 6th regarding the proposed changes to implement the City's Action Plan for the Housing Accelerator Fund. These are city-wide proposals that involve significant zoning changes. Please take time to read more about HAF and the info session at the link and below.

The Council agenda package this month is a full one. Full listing of items can be found at the bottom of the email, and I've highlighted a few items under the Meetings section for your review.

Housing Accelerator Fund - proposals & info sessions

The second package of proposed changes related to the Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan are being brought forward to Council in June (June 26th). This is the most substantial package of proposed changes. The Federal Housing Accelerator Fund aims to accelerate and increase the development of housing across the Country, and zoning changes that allow for greater density in all neighbourhoods is a part of that. Is accelerating and increasing housing development needed in Saskatoon? Read the FAQ posted under the 'related documents' section here.

This second package includes: 

  • OCP amendments
  • Permitting 4 dwelling units per site in all residential zoning districts
  • Corridor land use map amendments (built on the Corridor Planning engagement)
  • Corridor zoning district amendments
  • Permitting multi-storey multiple unit residential development within 800m of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations - the "Transit Development Area"
  • Streamlining zoning regulations for Supportive Housing - Residential Care Homes

Full details on Housing Accelerator Action Plan can be found here. There is a tab at the top of the page for each of the core elements of these proposals.

Information Meetings 
Tuesday June 4th  4:00pm-8:00pm - come-and-go : Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Idylwyld Dr) Cafeteria
Thursday June 6th  4:00pm-8:00pm - come-and-go : Saskatoon Field House (College Dr) Lobby
Full details including parking options here.

As above, the decision reports will be in front of City Council at the end of June.

At Wednesday's Council meeting, we're confirming a plan for creating incentives for the development of affordable housing using the bulk of the funds allocated to Saskatoon from the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund. This will compliment the plans to make City-owned land available for the same purpose. Investing in below-market affordable housing is critical to addressing the gaps we have in our current housing continuum and improving/maintaining affordability overall long term. The Incentives report is item 8.3.2 here.

Meetings & Upcoming Decisions

City Council meets on Wednesday May 29th. 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.

Washrooms & Water - expanding access in core
A proposal to expand access to public washrooms and drinking water in Pleasant Hill and Riversdale is in front of Council for decision this week. This is an urgent gap for all residents, and in particular, residents without housing. There are no publicly available washrooms at night in the core, and agencies have expressed no capacity to provide additional access. The report proposes a number of initiatives for this summer: a staffed washroom trailer, piloting the staffing (existing hours) of a permanent riverbank washroom, funding drinking water for distribution through partner agencies and installation of three additional water bottle filling stations. No temporary solutions are ideal and these basic services require new funding, but there is no doubt solutions are required for this summer given the number of people without homes and the current level of pressure the agencies who are providing services in the area are already under.  Funds are proposed to be allocated from the reserve for capital expenditures for this summer. Improved coordination continues to be needed along with a commitment for joint government funding - both for permanent access to these basic services in areas where they're most needed and more complete solutions. I will be inquiring about operating funding for future permanent sites and partnership planning with consideration for an all-season navigation center. 

Update on Shelter siting
An update from the City Manager outlines that two options are proceeding through a due-diligence review for temporary and/or permanent shelter locations and that the Province and civic administration are also considering proposing a 60-bed shelter rather than two 30-bed shelters as originally proposed given the challenge in finding suitable locations/sites/buildings. Once a site(s) are assessed as viable, neighbourhood/area communication can take place including information sessions. No timeline is provided, but there is a commitment to regular updates. The report also provides information from the Province and operator about how the site(s) will operate and a draft integrated operating plan that outlines the roles and integration of various agencies including the operator, province, and civic agencies such as police and fire.

Solar Farm - full scope
City administration have proposed a multi-source funding plan to move forward with full scale installation of the planned solar farm on Parcel M, between Montgomery Place and Circle Drive. This proposal retains and utilizes the Federal funding granted, an electrical utility reserve, and internal borrowing. With a 13-year payback, inclusive of interest, non-grant funds will be returned to source through energy revenue over time. Estimated GHG emissions reduction for the full scope is 20,900 tonnes of Co2e over 30 years.

Freeway Alignment
The request for endorsement of the alignment of the Saskatchewan Government's Saskatoon Freeway alignment - Phase 2 is in front of Council again. At last consideration we requested further information about the principles guiding the approach to implementing environmental mitigation measures. The report includes a letter from the Minister outlining some further detail about the Province's project process. The main concern I continue to hear from residents relates to the project's anticipated impact on the environmentally sensitive Small and NE Swales and worry that it would contribute to irreparable damage and discontinuity of this important and increasingly endangered habitat.

Natural Areas Management
Relatedly, two Natural Areas Management & Conceptual Master Plans have been drafted for the Small Swale and the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. These plans are the first of their kind in our community and outline an exciting approach to managing and supporting our natural areas. At committee I requested that a map be added to the report outlining the project study area for the Small Swale Plan, the proposed (and former) alignment for the Saskatchewan Freeway, and the City Boundary - appendices 12 and 13. These maps are intended to help consider community feedback around the apparent 'artificial' boundaries used for the study, and also the interaction between the proposed freeway and the small swale's full extent.

Active Transportation
Two AT files came through Transportation committee this month:
The first outlines plans to rapidly deploy cycling infrastructure on Munro as an alternate route to Wiggins for access to the Usask Campus. This general route is one of the most heavily cycled in the City.
The second outlines plans to improve 2nd and 3rd Aves for people walking and biking as well as address some roadway/driving issues. The recommended improvement is outlined in Appendix 5.

P4G Regional Servicing Hub - application
City Council is being asked to approve the submission of an application for funding to the Targeted Sector Support Initiative for an Intermunicipal Investment Readiness Strategy with the RM of Corman Park, and Cities of Warman, Martensville and Osler. This study will explore the creation of a new regional servicing hub with enhanced water and wastewater servicing designed to accommodate a range of strategic economic industries. 

Engagement 

To see all projects open for engagement visit www.saskatoon.ca/engage

Housing Accelerator Fund - Action Plan 
Two information meetings have been scheduled to provide an opportunity to learn about the second package of proposed Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan proposals:

Tuesday June 4th  4:00pm-8:00pm - come-and-go : Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Idylwyld Dr) - Cafeteria
Thursday June 6th  4:00pm-8:00pm - come-and-go : Field House (College Dr) - Lobby
Full details about the sessions including parking options can be found here.

Information will be available on all components of the second package including: Permitting 4 dwelling units per site in all residential zoning district; Corridor land use map amendments and adoption (built on the Corridor Planning engagement); Corridor zoning district amendment; Permitting multi-storey multiple unit residential development within 800m of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations - the "Transit Development Area"; Streamlining zoning regulations for Supportive Housing - Residential Care Homes

Full details on Housing Accelerator Action Plan can be found here. There is a tab at the top of the page for each of the core elements of these proposals.

11th Street West - 6 unit townhouse
Thank you to all who have engaged on this file to date. I do not know the timing of next steps, but will advise through a monthly newsletter once known

Other Updates

Spring Cleanups - more coming up! 
Many neighbourhood Community Associations are doing Spring Cleanups. Several have already taken place, and others are coming up in early June. Please consider connecting with your association to see when it is happening in your neighbourhood and to lend a hand. Many hands = lighter work! 

City Council | May 29th (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
  - Dundonald Ave Solar Farm - scope decision
  - Small Swale & RSBBA Natural Areas Management Plans
  - Flood Control Strategy Update - Cumberland Park
  - Overdose Outreach Team - service level change
  - Connecting 2nd Ave/3rd Ave - walking, cycling, driving
  - Opportunities for Rapid Deployment of Safety on AT routes
  - 2024 Residential parking Program Expansion & bylaw amendments
  - 2024 Recreation & Community Development Tax Abatements
  - Housing Accelerator Fund - Incentives
  - Municipal Reserve & New High School Levy
  - Discover Saskatoon - Annual presentation
  - Utility Billing Delivery Options - ebill default
  - Land for Neault Road widening
  - Capital Project Contingency - Amendment to Budget policy
  - Borrowing authorization - Utilities Capital project
  - Partial Property Acquisition - future 17th St Extension
  - Donation of Riverbank Lands along Central
  - Proclamations limit - extending to two/year
  - Appointments to committees/boards - various
  - Establish capital project - Organics Processing facility
  - Regional Fire Training facility - Contribution Agreement
  - Saskatoon Freeway Planning Study - Phase 2 Endorsement request
  - P4G Regional Servicing Hub - funding application
  - Expansion of Access to Public Washrooms & Drinking Water
  - Municipal Manual 2024
  - Bylaw amendments
    - Election Amendment Bylaw
    - Traffic Amendment Bylaw
  - Update on Shelter Approach & Next Steps

Public Hearing Meeting |  6:00 PM
  - Discretionary Use - retail center - Marquis
  - Rezoning - Wall Street - B3 to B6
  - Rezoning - Marquis Industrial - IH2 to IH 
  - Rezoning - Brighton - FUD to R2, RMTN, RM3
  - Bylaw - Procedures & Committee - delegating Tag Days, etc.
  - Lane Closure - 11th St E, Saskatchewan Cres
  - Intent to Borrow - City owned organics
  - Proclamations & Flag Raisings

 

Hilary Gough

About

Saskatoon #yxe City Councillor - representing Ward 2. Settler on Treaty 6 territory & traditional homelands of the Métis. She/Her