City Council in Brief - March 2021


In brief, this post highlights five items of public interest that were discussed during the March 2021 City Council meeting. 

Highlights include:

  • information on the amendments to the Brighton Concept Plan
  • welcoming the new City Clerk, Adam Tittemore. 
  • confirmation of the municipal tax policy, including a detailed analysis on best practices. 
  • approval in principle of the Urban Forest Management Plan.
  • update on leaves of absences and supports for member of City Council.

Other items that were discussed during the meeting include:

The full agenda for March 22, 2021 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 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. 

Amendment to Brighton Concept Plan

Dream Developments and BDM Enterprises submitted an application to amend the Brighton Neighbourhood Concept Plan. The proposed amendments consist of minor land use changes and the reconfiguration of streets, linear parks, development sites and service networks located primarily in the western and southern portions of the neighbourhood.

By way of background. the Brighton Neighbourhood Concept Plan (Concept Plan) was originally approved by City Council in May 2014. Since 2014, other amendments have been approved to facilitate minor changes in land uses and parcel layout.

Details of the proposal can be found at They include:

  • Amendment Area 1:
    • Reconfiguration of streets and development sites; and
    • Realignment of the linear parks.
  • Amendment Area 2:
    • Reconfiguration of streets and development sites;
    • Realignment of the linear parks; and
    • Replace three ‘Low-Density Group Townhouse Multi-Unit Dwellings’ sites with ‘Single Unit/Semi-Unit Detached Dwellings’ sites.
  • Amendment Area 3:
    • Reconfiguration of streets and development sites;
    • Realignment of the linear park; and
    • Replace a ‘Low-Density Group Townhouse Multi-Unit Dwellings’ site with ‘Single
      Unit/Semi-Unit Detached Dwellings’ sites.
  • Amendment Area 4:
    • Reconfiguration of streets. 
  • Amendment Area 5:
    • Reconfigure and increase the area of the ‘Low-Density Group Townhouse Multi-
      Unit Dwellings’ site. 
  • Amendment Area 6:
    • Addition of a six metre lane to create two ‘Low Density Multi-Unit Dwellings’
      development sites from the existing site.
  • Amendment Area 7:
    • Amend the land use from ‘Low Density Group Townhouse Multi-Unit Dwellings‘
      to ‘Medium Density Multi-Unit Dwellings’.
  • Amendment Area 8:
    • Revise the Concept Plan Land Use Legend from a previous amendment for
      consistency on mapping for the neighbourhood.

The policy review highlighted the following changes:

  • The estimated population is projected to decrease slightly from approximately 15,490 people to approximately 15,167 people.
  • The amendments deviated from the fused grid pattern which was identified as a key objective of the neighbourhood design in the original Concept Plan document submitted by the Developer and approved by City Council in 2014. The amendments propose to add several cul-de-sacs, which are no longer integrated into a larger pedestrian network and are not connected through green spaces, two of the defining core principles of a fused grid pattern. As such, the plan has been amended to read that the plan is "inspired by fused grid".
  • The proposed amendments were evaluated to ensure the connectivity for non-vehicular modes of transportation were maintained. Information provided in support of the application indicates that proposed amendments ensure safe street crossings, maintains the internal circulation route along a linear park system and street network and provides for additional connection points to the multi-use trail adjacent to the CPR berm.

In December 2020, a notice was sent to registered property owners within approximately 150 metres of the subject sites. Details of the application, along with the amendment process were also posted on the City’s Engage Page. Information on engagement was also posted at and on Facebook.

Appointment of City Clerk

After forty years with the City of Saskatoon, Ms. Joanne Sproule retired as City Clerk for the City of Saskatoon effective December 31, 2020. We would like to thank Ms. Sproule for her dedicated service to the City of Saskatoon. Since January 1, 2021, Mr. Mike Jordan has been serving as the Interim City Clerk until such time as the Personnel Subcommittee completed its recruitment process. We thank Mr. Jordan for serving as Interim City Clerk.

City Council has confirmed the appointment of Adam Tittemore as the City Clerk for the City of Saskatoon, effective April 15, 2021.

Mr. Tittemore comes to the City of Saskatoon with a wealth of knowledge, leadership qualities and alignment to the City of Saskatoon’s corporate values. His involvement in municipal government in two prairie provinces and experience from the Rural Municipality of Corman Park No. 344 where he previously served as the Administrator will serve the City well. 

City Council and the Administration look forward to working with Mr. Tittemore as we work together to make the City of Saskatoon a great place to live, work and play.

Municipal Tax Policy

City Council voted to maintain the current non-residential to residential tax ratio of
1.59 to 1 effective for the 2021 tax year and beyond.

The agenda provides a very detailed report on municipal tax policy. This item can be found as agenda item 8.2.5.

The City uses property tax revenues to generally fund a variety of public services that are said to largely benefit the community as whole: police services, fire services, and road maintenance to name a few. Unless otherwise exempt by legislation, every person or organization that owns property in the city directly pays property taxes to help for these programs and services.

The City distributes the property tax burden among different property classes by using a tax ratio approach that pegs the tax rate for non-residential properties at some point higher than residential properties. This ratio is set at 1.59:1. As noted in the report, the City first adopted this approach in 1998 and has maintained it ever since. The original intent of the City’s property tax ratio policy was to achieve (horizontal) equity among residential and non-residential properties of similar assessed values. This was achieved by estimating the amount of property taxes that a business could deduct for income tax purposes. Canada’s Income Tax Act allows businesses to deduct property taxes as an expense for the purposes of filing their corporate income tax (CIT) returns each year.

Saskatoon's ratio is one of the lowest in Canada and is also well below the prairie city average of 2.15.

General information on taxation can be found at

Urban Forestry Management Plan

The City of Saskatoon does not have a unified document that examines the current state of the urban forest and outlines a strategy to plan, grow, manage, and protect the trees and tree canopy. The Urban Forestry Management Plan fills that need by laying out the strategic and structured approach to protecting and enhancing the environmental, social, and economic services provided by the urban forest now and in the future.

Saskatoon’s urban forest, including trees on public and private land, is of great environmental, social, and economic value. The trees sequester over 708,000 tonnes of carbon annually, provide a sense of community, and can contribute to quality of life.

The Urban Forestry Management Plan presents a detailed overview of the current state of the urban forest, the threats and risks, as well as specific recommendations with anticipated timeframes, Key Performance Indicators, and lead accountability within the Parks Department. Overall the 10 year plan includes a total of 20 recommended actions identified across the four high level areas of focus, namely: i) Planning for Trees; ii) Growing the Urban Forest; iii) Managing the Urban Forest; and iv) Protecting the Urban Forest.

Absences and Support for City Council

In follow up to direction provided by City Council in December 2018, a one-time allocation of a contingency fund of $21,000 was created to build capacity for absences and support for members of City Council. The intent of the support follows provincial legislation (e.g. maternity or parental leaves, critically-ill childcare leave or compassionate care leave). At this time, it was intended for a comprehensive review of legislative budget to be undertaken to determine future funding allocations. Furthermore, City Council advocated to the Provincial Government to allow municipalities to create a leave of absence policy. The blog post above provides additional background information.  

While a comprehensive review has not yet been undertaken, Provincial legislation has now been amended to allow municipalities to adopt a leave of absence policy. As such, City Council directed the following:

  • That the consideration and development of a leave of absence policy for members of Council be referred to the Saskatoon Municipal Review Commission to bring back some options with respect to a leave of absence policy regarding short and long term leaves, not later than the June GPC meeting, including options for a hybrid of support.
  • That the Administration report back on options for an Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) equivalent for members of Council, as there are currently no provisions for this.

As a reminder, the Saskatoon Municipal Review Commission (SMRC) was established to be an independent commission to periodically review "the conduct of all matters relating to municipal elections including the disclosure requirements respecting campaign contributions and expenses and campaign spending limits for municipal elections; The Code of Conduct for members of Council; and The remuneration and benefits and any reimbursement or
allowances for expenses to be paid to members of Council".

Adoption of a leave of absence policy would:

  • enable residents to ensure their needs are met in a timely manner;
  • assist in attracting people to run in future civic elections; and
  • assist in achieving a healthier work-life balance for members of Council.