City Council in Brief - January Edition | 2020


In brief, here are five items of public interest that were discussed during the January 2020 City Council meeting. The full agenda can be accessed here.

Facilitating waste diversion for the business sector

The City of Saskatoon refers to the business sectors as the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector. The ICI sector generates 68% of all garbage sent to Saskatoon and area landfills. Approximately 45% (75,800 tonnes) of this waste consists of recyclables or organics that could be diverted. Like most North American municipalities, the ICI sector waste that is generated in Saskatoon is primarily managed by the private sector with the City providing optional services including: the City’s landfill, commercial garbage collections, and the compost depot. The City has prepared regulatory options for the ICI sector to facilitate waste diversion. 

The option endorsed by City Council proposes to require members of the ICI sector to have three separate and labelled containers in place for each waste stream (recycling, organics, and garbage). It also requires that property owners or occupants provide annual education to their employees and tenants, and ensure all waste is removed and taken to an appropriate facility. Exceptions will apply for businesses that do not generate organics. This option was the most preferred option during the engagement process largely because it the simplest to implement and understand, and is considered to be the least expensive to implement and operate by the City.

Program operations will start in 2021 with recycling phase-in the second half of the year, and 2022 for phasing-in organics.

The full report, including the engagement results can be found here as agenda item 8.3.3 on pages 384 - 421. 

Regulation of nuisance properties

City Council received reporting back regarding licensing rental properties and regulation of nuisance calls for emergency services. This has been a long standing conversation within City Hall and the community. 

Reports for further information were requested on the following items:

  1. That Administration report back on options to create a more coordinated system to building accountability and monitoring of both life safety and property maintenance and nuisance concerns of properties and buildings between Community Associations and residents, Community Services, Saskatoon Fire, Saskatoon Police, Landlord Associations, Business Improvement Districts, Housing providers and other associated agencies, and as part of that investigate options such as the success of the Flint Property Portal to use data, mapping and community engagement to support a more coordinated approach;
  2. That the Administration report back on planned expanded public education and programming efforts outlining how these will balance and support both rights and responsibilities of all parties and promote tenant well-being, and therefore, community well-being. That appropriate collaboration be considered with partners engaged in programs and education relating to rental tenancies;
  3. That the Administration report back on opportunities to inform residents of their rights under Divisions 3, 4, and 5 of Bylaw 8175, and opportunities to engage in proactive enforcement of these provisions; and
  4. That Administration be directed to investigate further and report back on the financial implications of implementing increasing staffing to facilitate pro-active property maintenance inspections. 


Corridor Transformation Plan

The Corridor Transformation Plan was endorsed to guide future corridor land use planning activities as the basis for implementing the Corridor Growth Portfolio of the Growth Plan to Half a Million. The Growth Plan established Corridor Growth as a key initiative to help balance future outward growth of the City with infill development opportunities. Specifically, outlined the vision for rebalancing the future growth of Saskatoon through long-term targets of 50% infill and 50% greenfield development, with 15% of the infill target allocated to Corridor Growth. The Corridor Transformation Plan (Transformation Plan) responds to objectives of the Growth Plan by outlining the long-term principles and guidelines to be incorporated into the Corridor Planning Program (Program).

The Program includes a framework of objectives and policies that will guide future detailed land-use activities along the city’s major transportation corridors. The first phase of the Program, beginning in the fall of 2017, included the four stages of Research; Ideas; Concepts and Options; and Transform. The key deliverable of Phase One is the Corridor Transformation Plan.

The Guiding Principles have been organized into the following categories:

  1. Transit Oriented Development Principles – focused on buildings and streetscapes that support the relationship between land use and transit.
  2. Land Use Principles – focused on the types and mix of uses, building sizes and relationships with adjacent neighbourhoods.
  3. Transit Villages Principles – focused on locations that have the opportunity to be re-imagined into mixed-use destinations combining housing, employment and open spaces.
  4. Public Realm Principles – focused on creating public streets and spaces that are visually appealing, safe, inviting, universally accessible and livable on a year round basis.

The Transformation Plan also includes Corridor Design Guidelines and an Implementation Framework that outline the intent and objectives for the Corridor Growth Area.

Phase Two of the Program includes additional work to prepare Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw amendments, a development financing and incentives framework, and the review of current parking standards. The next phase of the Program will include work to prepare a series of detailed Corridor Plans for distinct portions of the Red, Green and Blue BRT corridors over a span of approximately ten years. The intended outcome of each Corridor Plan is approval of the necessary land use policy, zoning, and infrastructure and public realm improvements to enable Corridor Growth to occur in each plan area.

The full report, including the engagement results can be found here as agenda item 8.1.3 on pages 133 - 211. 

Sidewalk infill prioritization criteria

The criteria for prioritizing locations for sidewalk infill has been revised. A review of the inventory of missing sidewalks is substantially complete. The next step is to prioritize sidewalk infill locations based on the new revised criteria. 

The Sidewalk Infill Prioritization Criteria is a tool to help prioritize locations for new sidewalks. The criteria will be used as a guide to identify sidewalk infill locations and additional discretion may be required in determining locations. 

The revised criteria can be found here as agenda item 8.4.1 on pages 422 - 430. The next steps are as follows:

  1. The revised prioritization criteria will be applied to the inventory of missing sidewalks.
  2. Top priority locations will be reviewed to determine construction feasibility. The process for determining feasibility will include identifying right-of-way and existing utilities, site visits to assess grades and landscaping, and potential impacts to adjacent property and/or business owners.
  3. Once construction of the sidewalk is determined feasible, the missing sidewalk location will be placed on the Sidewalk Construction List, and the design and cost estimate of the sidewalk will be completed. The top locations will be reviewed for alignment with other street improvement projects to identify opportunities to combine work.
  4. A list of sidewalk infill projects totaling $20 million will be brought forward to City Council in the third quarter of 2020. 


Downtown Event and Entertainment District - Update

This report provides a short update on where the City is at regarding site selection for a future downtown event and entertainment district. Based on the lessons learned from other cities, additional technical factors need further consideration before a site decision is made. Further to this, negotiations with owners of potential private sites have taken longer than expected. Although positive progress continues to be made, final agreements are not yet in place. In consideration of these issues, additional time will be required to finalize the site selection process.

As negotiations continue, the Administration will provide a further and more detailed update by March of 2020. At this time, the Administration is still optimistic that the sites considered, the technical merits of each site, and the perspectives of external experts can still be made available to the public at some point in 2020. Following that, the City will seek feedback from the public. The feedback gathered will be added to the technical advice in the final report and recommendation on site selection to City Council.