Ward 8 Newsletter - June 2024

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This newsletter will take an opportunity to share updates related to a few areas of interest for neighbours, including the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) proposals, median opening along McKercher Drive and proposed changes to the green bin program. 

Please note, this month there are two days of City Council meetings. I will note in the content of each item which meeting the items will be deliberated. 

In addition, if you would like to learn more about my leave of absence, I have prepared a bit of information here.

I appreciate your understanding and patience during my maternity leave.

Sincerely,

Sarina

City Council Meetings

Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF)

Five items will be deliberated at the Public Hearing on Thursday, June 27 beginning at 9:30am. If you would like to request to speak to an item or submit comments, you can do so here before Monday, June 24 at 5:00 PM. Please note that since this is a Public Hearing, you are also able to show up to speak without preregistering. All speakers will be given an opportunity to speak right at the beginning or when their item comes up on the agenda. 

I wanted to take this chance to answer a few of the frequently asked questions regarding these proposals.

  1. What is the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF)?
    • The HAF is a funding agreement between the Federal Government and municipalities across Canada to help speed up development and increase housing supply. It does this by requiring them to undertake transformational initiatives, specifically:
      • Encouraging Missing Middle Housing – Missing middle housing is defined as the gap between single family homes and mid-rise apartment buildings and consists of buildings up to four storeys; and
      • Ending Exclusionary Zoning – Exclusionary zoning is a type of regulation that excludes or does not permit certain types of housing.
    • In February, Saskatoon signed an agreement with the federal government to receive $41 M under this program, and now Council needs to approve the zoning changes required by the federal government in order to continue to receive the funding. The deadline to make these zoning changes is this summer.
  2. What changes are proposed through HAF?
    • These changes can be achieved through changes to zoning regulations, which will be brought forward throughout the next few months. These include:

      • Reducing barriers to the building of Accessory Dwelling Units, like secondary, garage or garden suites. (Approved by Council in April 2024)

      • Allowing up to four residential units on a 15 metre (50 foot) or wider lot in a residential zoning district and applying appropriate development standards, including setbacks and site coverage limitations.

      • Allowing four storey multiple-unit development within 800 metres of a planned bus rapid transit station with appropriate development standards and servicing capacity. A new planning area called the Transit Development Area (TDA) identifies the area within which four-storey multiple-unit development will be permitted.

      • Removing parking requirements from the Zoning Bylaw for development proposals throughout the city*.

    • *Note: This will be part of the one amendment to remove off-street parking minimums throughout the city. This does not include on-street parking, including the Residential Parking Program (RPP). The City will be exploring potential policy considerations to deal with the potential for increased on-street parking pressure.

  3. Why are these changes being proposed?
    • There is an urgent need to build more housing, quickly. It needs to be as simple as possible, for as many people as possible, to build housing.
    • The actions in the Housing Action Plan are a generational shift in what housing looks like. They will make it easier to build various types of homes in our communities. More people will have access to stable and affordable housing, with walkable services and nearby public transit and active transportation opportunities.
  4. Where can I find information about the HAF incentives?
    • These incentives were approved at the May 29, 2024 City Council meeting. The report can be found here
  5. What happens if these items do not pass? 
    • The City of Saskatoon will be unable to proceed with our Housing Action Plan, which includes 940 additional new units (above existing projected new units) in the next three years. 
  6. Will any parks be used for development?
    • No. Residential development is not planned for green spaces such as parks, cemeteries, golf courses or other similar areas.

The reports for the proposed changes can be found here. There is also information on the Engage Page, and an introductory video

I also wanted to flag one more report that is on the Regular Business Meeting of City Council on June 26. This deals the Housing Action Plan for HAF, which makes strategic city-owned land available for developments to increase the supply of housing. There are four sites being recommended:

  1. 1635 McKercher Drive (located within the Lakewood Civic Centre property)
  2. 2401 Broadway Avenue
  3. 155 - 3rd Avenue N & 231 - 23rd Street East
  4. 25 - 25th Street East

Read more about these parcels here.

McKercher Drive Median Opening for Duncan Cres 

In 2010, a Pedestrian Actuated Signal (PAS) was installed at the intersection of McKercher Drive and Mount Allison Crescent. This eliminated the ability to complete a legal U-turn at that intersection. As a result of the Neighbourhood Traffic Review for East College Park and College Park, it is expected a traffic signal will be installed within the next few years at the intersection of McKercher Drive and Degeer Street. This will eliminate the ability to complete a legal U-turn at that intersection. These two changes to the road network impact the mobility of the residents on Duncan Crescent. 

There has been ongoing engagement, dating back to a community meeting in September 2022. Most recently a survey was shared with neighbours regarding proposed options on how to ensure appropriate access to Duncan Cres. 

At the Public Hearing on June 26, Administration's recommendation will be deliberated. It is as follows:

"That Option 2 – Median Opening and Option B – Full Median Opening be constructed at the intersection of McKercher Drive and Duncan Crescent (south) to allow all movement access to and from Duncan Crescent (south), in conjunction with the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of McKercher Drive and Degeer Street."

To read more about the recommendation, the full report is available here. The appendices and additional correspondence is available here.

Green Bin Adjustments  

In May 2023, the City of Saskatoon launched the Green Cart Program, providing city-wide, year-round bi-weekly collection of organics to all residents with curbside collection. This report documents the program’s performance in the first full year of operations and provides options to change collection frequency in both winter and summer.

Based on the feedback received to date, the Administration has developed four options related to the collection frequency of the Green Cart program. Their recommended option is as follows:

"That the Administration pursue Option 2 – Reduce the winter collection frequency to once every four weeks from December 1 to March 31."

The full report, and additional options, are available here

Discretionary Use Application – Residential Care Home - Type II – 334 Taskamanwa Street  

Chuck Hank has applied for Discretionary Use approval to develop a Residential Care Home – Type II, for a maximum of 15 residents and two staff members, at any given time, at 334 taskamanwa Street in the Brighton neighbourhood. Read more about this application here.

Discretionary Use Application – Residential Care Home - Type II – 338 Taskamanwa Street  

Ezajul Chowdhury has applied for Discretionary Use approval to develop a Residential Care Home – Type II, for a maximum of 15 residents with two staff members, at any given time, at 338 taskamanwa Street in the Brighton neighbourhood. Read more about this application here.

Additional reports of interest 

The full agendas for the June meeting can be found here: Regular Business, General Public Hearing and HAF Public Hearing.


 

What's happening in Ward 8!

Here are some other great things happening in Ward 8 soon or put on by members of our community.

  • Rock your Roots Walk for Reconciliation is taking place on June 21 at 10:00 AM. Learn more here.
  • It's Pride month. Learn more about upcoming events, include the June 22 Pride Parade here.
  • Keep up to date with City engagement events by visiting saskatoon.ca/engage.


Sarina Gersher
- Ward 8 Councillor
www.wardeight.ca