On the agenda: Residential parking program, 99 Street development, homelessness funding

This week, councillors will have their last week of meetings before the summer break. They are scheduled to discuss the residential parking program, services for those who are homeless, and a rezoning on 99 Street.

There is a public hearing scheduled on July 2 and a city council meeting scheduled on July 3 with a continuation on July 4.

Here are key items on the agenda:

  • City council is scheduled to debate hitting pause on the updated residential parking program after critical feedback from residents. City administration had planned to phase out 15 of 19 residential permit parking zones, where parking is reserved for residents who live near major attractions, such as Rogers Place and Commonwealth Stadium. In the remaining four zones, permits that were previously free would now cost $120 per year, and the zones would be smaller. At a meeting on June 18, council's urban planning committee recommended that council pause these changes so that the city can further engage with residents.
  • Pending city council approval at a meeting on July 3, administration may begin creating an exit strategy for all city-funded services, programs, and infrastructure related to housing, shelters, mental health, and addictions that are under the province's jurisdiction. Council's community and public service recommended council to provide this directive during its meeting on June 17.
  • Pangman Development Corporation has applied to rezone an empty lot in Strathcona at 8904 99 Street NW, the former site of the Wild Earth Cafe and Bakery and the Wild Earth Foods grocery store. The rezoning would allow for an eight-storey building with the option to include commercial bays at ground level. The current zoning allows for a 10-storey building with mandatory commercial bays on the ground floor. Several area residents oppose the rezoning due to the proposed shift from mandatory street-side commercial. The site has sat fallow since 2017, when the cafe, grocery store (which dated back 85 years), and other amenities were closed and eventually demolished to make way for a proposed 31-storey luxury tower from Bateman Properties. That project is now scratched.
The Wild Earth Cafe and Bakery in 2018.

Council is set to discuss a rezoning for the lot that once housed the Wild Earth Cafe and Bakery, pictured here in 2018. (Google Street View)

Here are some other items on the agenda:

  • Alcove Custom Homes has applied to rezone a lot in the McKernan neighbourhood at the corner of 114 Street and 76 Avenue to allow for a residential building of up to six storeys with commercial uses at ground level. During public engagement, some residents said the development will exacerbate traffic and parking congestion. Others, meanwhile, said the proposed building is across the street from the McKernan-Belgravia LRT station, so new residents could live without depending on a car.
  • City council is scheduled to vote on whether to adopt a new growth management framework at a meeting on July 3. The framework would limit development in the newest areas of the city until adjacent neighbourhoods have proficient services, such as parks, schools, and fire stations. Developers argue infrastructure for new neighbourhoods takes years to build and that delaying new neighbourhood construction will lead to housing shortages in the future. On the other hand, members of the city's Energy Transition and Climate Resilience Committee say further sprawl to the south contradicts the city's climate goals. Council's urban planning committee debated the framework on June 18 but requisitioned it to council without a recommendation.
  • An amendment to the business license bylaw that would ban the sale of bear spray to minors is scheduled to be debated on July 3. Council's community and public services committee recommended the bylaw update at a meeting on June 17.
  • At a meeting scheduled for July 3, city council will receive a private update on the Edmonton Police Commission, its membership, and recommendations for who to reappoint to the commission. Council will also receive a private update for the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority.

Meetings stream live on YouTube on the Chamber channel and River Valley Room channel.