The Pulse: Aug. 30, 2021

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  • 22°C: Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud in the morning. High 22. (forecast)
  • Aug. 27: The Treaty Six flag was raised for the first time in two years on Friday to commemorate Treaty No. 6 Recognition Day. (details)
  • 5: Edmonton runner Marco Arop bagged his fifth podium finish this season, placing third in the men's 800 metre in Paris on Sunday. (details)
  • $100,000: Lemonade Stand Day raised nearly $100,000 for the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. (details)

Boulevard tree stump.

Public boulevard trees to get some protection with new bylaw

By Andy Trussler Andy Trussler and Mack Male Mack Male

City council's urban planning committee has endorsed an updated bylaw aimed at preserving and protecting public trees.

The Public Tree Bylaw was first proposed in May and introduces fines of $1,000 for failing to obtain a permit or not adhering to approved tree preservation and protection plans.

"From a forester's perspective, the ability to actually enforce lack of compliance will be great," said Melissa Campbell, operations supervisor for the city's urban forestry team. "We hope that it incentivizes people to really take that proactive approach and prevent damages."

The new bylaw's limited scope was one of the topics discussed in Episode 144 of Speaking Municipally, co-hosted by Troy Pavlek and Mack Male.

While Edmonton's urban forest includes approximately 380,000 boulevard and open space trees, as much as 80% are trees on private property, which the new bylaw does not protect. Additionally, the City Plan calls for two million new trees to be planted by 2050.

"This is such a small fraction of the trees we want to plant to be in alignment with our City Plan and climate change goals," said Pavlek.

City council will vote on the new bylaw on Aug. 30.

Photo: A boulevard tree stump in the Oliver neighbourhood. (Mack Male/Flickr)

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By Michelle Ferguson Michelle Ferguson

The proposed 106 Street Downtown Tower.

Coming up at council: Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2021

By Mack Male Mack Male

Here are some of the items city council will consider this week:

  • Administration has proposed significant increases to the city manager's financial signing authority. Among other changes, the city manager would be able to approve budget adjustments of $5 million per adjustment, up from the current limit of $2 million, and would only have to report on non-competitive procurements of $250,000 or more, up from the current limit of $75,000.
  • The Safe Passing Distance bylaw is ready for second and third readings. If approved, drivers must leave one-metre of space when travelling past cyclists at speeds of 60 km/h and below, and 1.5 metres when above 60 km/h. The bylaw passed first reading in June.
  • Implementing the policy on remuneration for advisory committee and task force members that council approved in July could cost as much as $350,000 per year and would require a tax increase to fund, administration says. Council will also consider establishing a code of conduct for committees.
  • Westrich Pacific Corporation proposes an upzoning for the 106 Street Downtown Tower project, more than doubling the intensity of development with a maximum height of about 45 storeys and total of 550 residential units.
  • EDGAR Development proposes a seven storey mixed-use building with ground-level commercial at 102 Avenue and 123 Street in Oliver. The project would replace a surface parking lot.
  • Potential amendments to the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw will be considered given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

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

Photo: The proposed 106 Street Downtown Tower would have a maximum height of 45 storeys. (Supplied)

A photo from the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit.

Coming up this week: Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2021

By Andy Trussler Andy Trussler

  • Book Clubs of EPL will discuss Home From the Vinyl Café by Stuart McLean on Aug. 31. Before attending the Whitemud Crossing event, it's encouraged to register to reserve a copy.
  • The Edmonton Data Science Meetup invites data scientists and enthusiasts to a social gathering where they can network and learn about data science on Sept. 1.
  • The Pixel Blue College Student Showcase, a show within the About Light exhibit, debuts its gallery night on Sept. 2. The art space will highlight the work of students in graphic design and photography, 3D animation and visual effects, 2D animation and illustration, and digital audio production.
  • The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is offering a free drop-in on Sept. 2 to help people with technology. Visitors can bring their own laptop or use one of the computers provided at the YMCA.
  • Imagine Van Gogh, the immersive art exhibit at the Edmonton Expo Centre, is fundraising for Autism Edmonton on Sept. 2. Tickets for the event also provide a free drink, hors d'oeuvres, and a charitable receipt.
  • Alt After Dark Night Market will fill the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre with over 25 unique vendors on Sept. 3.

Photo: Imagine Van Gogh/Instagram