Coming up at council: June 13-17, 2022

Coming up at council: June 13-17, 2022

· The Pulse

City council will continue with its agenda from last week — including the recommendation for a one-year pilot for the pedestrianization of 102 Avenue — before moving on to committee meetings. Community and public services committee is scheduled for Monday, urban planning committee for Tuesday, executive committee for Wednesday, and audit committee for Friday.

  • There were an estimated 2,765 individuals in Edmonton experiencing homelessness as of April 2022. An audit of the city's response to homelessness recommends that the city develop a corporate-wide plan to integrate and coordinate response efforts, with associated recommendations to ensure accountability and evaluation. Administration said the new plan will be developed by Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Implementing Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Strategy — which aims to reduce emissions by 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 — will require $1.2 billion of public funding over the next four years "for urgent, scaled-up action" which is "significantly higher than the City of Edmonton can realistically manage alone." Administration is targeting a spend of $100 million annually, with the balance to come from the provincial and federal governments. Becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 will require significant public and private investment of about $42 billion with a higher front-end investment of $2.4 billion per year over the next decade.
  • The city received 13 applications for the 2021 Edmonton Economic Incentive Construction Grant program, 10 of which were approved and began construction by March 31, 2022. Estimates suggest those 10 projects represent $551 million worth of private investment.

Here are some of the other notable agenda items:

  • Administration plans to spend $45,000 per year on communications and education about biological pest control measures with funds reallocated from the $507,000 aerial mosquito program. The majority of the funding will go towards personnel and monitoring-related costs.
  • Festival and event organizers told the city they would benefit from more flexible funding, more support for capacity-building, leveraging City of Edmonton and Explore Edmonton channels for marketing and communications, and reduced costs to use open spaces and parkland.
  • The city's growth management framework, which is focused on the 1.25 million population milestone, "does not anticipate significant shifts to the growth pattern" but instead will "focus on setting a foundation of policy and practice" so the shift — toward more diverse medium- and high-density development — can happen later.
  • A new private tree bylaw could be a way to protect trees on private property, by requiring a permit for the removal of trees and/or a tree protection or preservation plan when redevelopment is occurring on site. Should council wish to pursue such a bylaw, an unfunded service package would be considered during the 2023-2026 budget.
  • Bylaw 20091 would make non-residential heritage properties that are designated as Municipal Historic Resources eligible for an exemption to increases in non-residential municipal property tax for a 10-year period to a maximum of $50,000 per year, to incentivize the designation of such properties.
  • Implementing all the priority capital projects identified in the Chinatown Strategy will require additional investment, according to administration. Thus far some streetscape improvements have been made and improvements to Mary Burlie Park are planned for construction in 2023-2025.
  • Administration has proposed a series of measures and baselines for each of the City Plan's Big Moves, with plans to return to council early next year with recommended interim targets to capture how far and fast the city will implement the City Plan.

Meetings are streamed live on city council's YouTube channel.

Photo: Inside council chambers on Oct. 26, 2021. (Mack Male/Flickr)