City Council in Brief - August Edition | 2020

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In brief, here are eight items of public interest that were discussed during the August 2020 City Council meetings. The the full agenda for August 4, 2020 can be accessed here, the full agenda for August 17, 2020 can be accessed here and the full agenda for August 31, 2020 can be accessed here.

Please note that in line with the City of Saskatoon’s request for citizens to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we encourage you to email a letter at saskatoon.ca providing comments or requesting to speak as an alternative to attending the meeting. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.

Furthermore, Internet Explorer will no longer work to view agendas. Please use another internet browser. 

Short-term Accommodations 

City Council yesterday approved amendments to Bylaw No. 8075, The Business License Bylaw, and Bylaw No. 8770, The Zoning Bylaw that update the regulations for short-term accommodations; hosts now must obtain a Commercial Business License, abide by occupation limits among other regulations.

Short-term accommodations include vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and AirBnBs. The amendments were proposed by the Administration following extensive engagement with the public, stakeholders and hotel industry. They establish development standards and licensing requirements for short-term accommodations to maintain the amenity and character of the areas they are located in, and minimize potential conflicts.

Highlights of the requirements include:

  • Short-Term Rental Properties - rental property of the host:
  • Application requirements include obtaining a Commercial Business License, as well as submitting a Host Declaration Form, along with written permission of the property owner and/or condominium corporation (if applicable). Discretionary use approval (a form of public consultation) is required in low and medium density residential zoning districts.
  • Regulations include hosting a maximum of six guests in a dwelling and three guests in a secondary suite located within a dwelling. One hard surface parking space must be provided on-site for guests.
  • Homestays - home of the host:
    • Application requirements include obtaining a Commercial Business License, as well as submitting a Host Declaration Form, along with written permission of the property owner and/or condominium corporation (if applicable).
    • Regulations include hosting a maximum of six guests in a one-unit dwelling, three guests in a secondary suite, and two guests in a duplex, townhouse, apartment or condominium. Two hard surface parking spaces must be provided on-site.

For more information on the bylaw amendments and the requirements for short-term accommodations, visit saskatoon.ca/shorttermstays. This report can also be found on the Public Hearing agenda as item 6.1.6.

Saskatoon Transit: Masks

City Council received a report regarding the use of face masks in City spaces. In line with the recommendations of our Administration, Council approved the following two motions:

  • Effective September 1, 2020, the City requires all users of Saskatoon Transit services wear a non-medical face mask; and
  • Effective September 1, 2020, the City recommends that all persons accessing all City operated facilities and indoor City of Saskatoon services wear a non-medical face mask. 

The report focused on the levels of hierarchy used by our health care professionals for COVID 19. Face masks have been recommended for use when 2m distance is not able to be maintained. In civic buildings, our protocols have allowed for 2m spacing, but we are ultimately encouraging folks to wear masks. With Saskatoon Transit, the capacity is capped at 15 people per bus with the 2m distancing. In order to meet demand of riders once school starts, we need to be able to support a few more folks on the bus. As such, the mandatory masks were put in place for Transit.

An education and awareness campaign was also approved. It will focus on the importance of masks, how to properly use/clean them, and how people can support one another through this time in indoor spaces. This will work towards a higher level of understanding of masks and their use.

In addition, Council asked Administration to include more metrics on regular COVID-19 reports, specific to Saskatoon using a framework prepared by the Administration. This is meant to act as a tool to inform the community and Council of how we are doing (i.e. think of how a fire risk is shown). 

Brighton Child Care Centre

This item took place during the Public Hearing meeting of City Council on August 31, 2020. The agenda can be found here.
Discretionary Use approval was granted to Dream Development to operate a Child Care Centre at 115 Secord Way (the old Info Centre). This Centre can host a maximum of 77 children, at any one time, and is being operated in partnership with the YMCA. More information about the project can be found here.

Nuisance Tree Policy Update

This policy has been discussed in various iterations over the past couple years. Background information on discussions can be found in the report (agenda item 8.3.1.). 
The proposed amendments to the policy which would allow for the removal of public trees deemed to be a nuisance did not pass. As such, there are no changes to the Tree Policy and only trees that pose a safety concern, are dead/dying or diseased can be removed (if other interventions do not help).

Brighton: Polling Location Update

Due to COVID-19 impacts the polling location originally planned in Brighton (at Wilson's Lifestyle Centre) has now moved to Holy Family Catholic School (815 Stensrud Road in the Willowgrove neighbourhood).
Options for voting can be found here. Furthermore an interactive GIS map showing all polling locations has been created and will be updated as required.

Good Neighbour Guide

This report was for information but highlighted the first edition of Saskatoon’s Good Neighbour Guide. The Guide is intended to provide a handy overview of the most common bylaws, standards and regulations to help keep Saskatoon neighbourhoods safe, clean and beautiful.

The Guide includes information on:

  • Boulevard and Back Lane Maintenance
  • Property Drainage
  • Fences
  • Fire Pits
  • Garage and Yard Sales
  • Garbage, Recycling and Composting
  • Home-based Businesses
  • Home Development
  • Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools
  • Landscaping
  • Noise
  • Parking
  • Responsible Pet Ownership
  • Snow and Ice on Sidewalks
  • Untidy Properties
  • Making a Bylaw Complaint

For more information and to download a copy of the Guide, visit saskatoon.ca/goodneighbour.

MOU with Meewasin

The City of Saskatoon and Meewasin conduct many projects and initiatives with an aligned vision and purpose. The City has had an agreement with Meewasin since 1982 which is primarily focused on facility (trail and amenity) maintenance. While the current agreement has served both parties well, it has become apparent that a new approach would provide increased benefits. The purpose of a new Agreement is to strengthen communication, innovation, role clarity, and collaboration between the parties by identifying mutually beneficial projects through a joint steering committee and its subcommittees. 
The key values are
  1. Working Together: We work together in a complementary way that reinforces each other’s strengths, and increases the efficiency of our collective work.
  2. Meaningful Engagement: We engage in a meaningful, transparent, and coordinated way with each other, residents, and other stakeholders to improve quality of life and achieve value.
  3. Collaborative Planning and Communication: To achieve our shared vision, we plan ahead together by maintaining collaborative planning processes and consistent communication.
  4. Innovation: We will be flexible, nimble, adaptive, and willing to explore new ideas in order to meet the changing expectations of the community.
  5. Healthy Natural Areas: Together, we will work to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of the river valley corridor, and connected green network to provide a more resilient, healthy community for residents and visitors.

Mail-in Ballots

In follow up to the direction given at the July 27 City Council meeting, the revised bylaw was brought forward for approval. 
The requirement to have a witness is required as per the Cities Act but the Bylaw removes the requirements for witnesses to provide identification for applications for mail-in ballots. In addition, who can act as a witness for the purposes of an application for a mail-in ballot has been expanded to anyone who is an eligible voter in the municipal election. 
Applications are now being accepted for mail-in ballots. See the following link for more information: https://www.saskatoon.ca/election-2020/information-voters/mail-ballot.

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