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The Hall: What’s happening at city council this week: Jan. 31 to Feb. 4

It’s a light city council week, with only one meeting on the go as we get you up to speed on Calgary’s civic affairs.

There are a only handful of items on this week’s Infrastructure and Planning committee agenda. Still, some of the items are quite meaty.

Infrastructure and Planning committeeFeb. 3, 9:30 a.m.

This week, the I&P agenda looks at a few items of note, including a presentation on the Memorial Drive Parkway, which involves the Sunnyside flood barrier.

Memorial Drive Parkway

This item involves an initial $32 million budget through the city’s Water Utility Stormwater Service budget for the initial technical studies, design and construction of the Sunnyside flood barrier. 

While this project does include other placemaking nodes, the bulk of the project comes as a result of the barrier.  There have been area concerns with the project, particularly the removal of Memorial Drive heritage trees.

RouteAhead 2021 update

The RouteAhead plan is a 30-year document that covers the strategic plan for transit in the city. They are providing a 2021 update.

There are a lot of little nuggets in this report that will likely be discussed at committee. All metrics (safety, cleanliness, informative, easy-to-use, helpful) trended down in 2021 compared to 2018 and 2019. Transit saw a deficit of $24 million, with ridership at 39 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, according to the report.

They also hit on low-income transit passes, regional transit and on-demand transit in the city.

The report also suggests a review of the plan to ensure that it aligns with Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and the Calgary Transportation Plan.

Industrial Action Plan update

In Q1, 2021, the city endorsed a plan to encourage more industrial growth in Calgary. Competitive pressures, including tax regime and bureaucracy, have seen the city lag behind the surrounding areas in attracting and retaining industrial operators.

This is the city’s plan to streamline land use, regulations and reduce development costs for industry to set up shop. 

Building Maintenance Bylaw – Final evaluation

This item provides an update to the city’s building maintenance bylaw. It’s a bylaw adopted in 2016 to ensure building owners maintained the exterior of their buildings to prevent debris from falling from them. Buildings are reviewed every five years.

Since the bylaw’s inception, they’ve had 94 per cent of buildings reviewed show no problems. The remaining buildings identified with problems have since rectified the issues.

City planning policy roadmap

This is an update to show the city planning schedule over the next year and projects the next several years.

Administration said their plan is to “deliver important plans and tools to create a more simple, clear and user-friendly planning system.” They want greater transparency and certainty for communities, they said. 

This projects planning goals over the next several years. It shifts from the annual workplan produced by the city’s planning department.

Calgary Planning Policy Roa… by Darren Krause

There are a handful of items in-camera at this meeting. They are primarily to do with land sales.