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Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans

May 2024 Newsletter

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Hello Ward 6!

In this edition of the May newsletter, you will read about street improvements, foam packing pilots, neighbours day and much more.


COUNCIL UPDATES

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vote

Advocating for voting rights to permanent residents

I voted in favour of the notice of motion to request that Alberta Municipalities advocate to the Province to extend Municipal voting rights to permanent residents. I believe that permanent residents, who are tax-paying contributing members of their communities, should be allowed to participate in the democratic process on municipal local issues. If the Province considers this conversation, I will ensure that voting rights don’t evolve into the right to run for local elected office or voting in Provincial and Federal elections.


single use plastics

 

Single Use Items Bylaw Repealed

On May 7, 2024, along with most of my Council colleagues I voted to repeal the Single-Use Items Charter Bylaw (1H2023). Effective immediately, the Bylaw is no longer mandatory to any businesses providing new paper or reusable shopping bags and/or foodware accessories to customers. As a result, businesses will no longer be required, as part of a bylaw, to:

  • Charge a minimum fee for new paper and reusable shopping bags,
  • Provide shopping bags by request only,
  • Provide foodware accessories by request only.

Council’s vote only impacts the City of Calgary bylaw. The Government of Canada’s Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations still applies, which impacts business use of plastic shopping bags, cutlery, and straws.

While the City bylaw is no longer in effect, Calgarians can expect that some businesses may choose to voluntarily charge a fee for paper and reusable shopping bags or ask if they require any foodware accessories before providing them.

 

Single-Use Items Bylaw Repeal Q&A

Why is waste reduction important?

Reducing single-use items waste remains important for several reasons.

  • It helps in cutting back on garbage, which is essential for managing waste effectively and minimizing litter in our surroundings.
  • By reducing the amount of waste produced, we can also preserve existing landfill space longer, delaying the need for creating new landfills.
  • From a business perspective, it can be a cost-effective waste management efficiency.

 

Why are some businesses still charging for shopping bags?

  • From a business perspective, waste reduction can be a cost-effective waste management efficiency. Businesses can voluntarily continue with the requirements if they have already been practicing some of these initiatives or adopt other waste reduction practices that best fit with their operations.
  • Calgarians can expect that some businesses may choose to voluntarily charge a fee for paper and reusable shopping bags or ask if they require any foodware accessories before providing them.
  • The bylaw did not require businesses to charge for foodware accessories, but they are free to apply a fee to these items as part of their business operations.

 

Will stores be able to use plastic bags or straws again?

  • The decision only impacts The City of Calgary bylaw. The Government of Canada’s Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations still applies, which impacts business use of plastic shopping bags, cutlery, and straws.

 

Has the federal plastics ban been overturned?

  • In November 2023, the Federal Court issued a ruling overturning the federal government’s Ministerial Order designating all plastic manufactured items to be “toxic substances” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This ruling has raised questions about the federal Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations; however, the regulations are still in effect. Businesses who manufacture, distribute, sell, supply or use the six categories of single-use plastic products should continue to comply with the regulations and not make any changes to their existing plans.

housing

 

City-Wide Rezoning for Housing Approval Position Statement

Council approved the city-wide rezoning for housing. I want to thank all the Calgarians who submitted written responses, spoke, participated in town halls, emailed, and phoned in to my office. It is truly evident how passionate you are about living in our great City. I also want to extend my gratitude to the City’s Planning & Administration staff for providing the groundwork to allow us to provide our city with more options in housing.

My decision to vote for the city-wide rezoning was based on the possibility of enabling a more diverse housing supply to respond to the ever-growing demand we are facing. Calgary’s population is increasing yearly, and by changing base zoning we will now be activating more opportunity for faster development, approvals, and housing choices. I heard from many people wanting to stay in their community regardless of what phase they are in life. We now have inclusivity in our neighbourhoods across the city with these lifted housing restrictions. People have more variety of choice, including single-family homes or row houses. Change is hard for everyone. I can confidently say that single family homes will stay the predominant build form in Calgary. This land use change is only if the owner or neighbour of a home either has the desire to redevelop or change the type of structure on their parcel.

With the rezoning, Council will be ensuring that the owners of neighbouring residences, along with local community associations, will now be involved in the Development Permit stage for RC-G parcels.  Their voice(s) can mitigate the impact of the build form through input on criteria such as window placement, shading, height, setbacks, and landscaping. I also brought forward a motion to direct Administration to track Development Permit applications on RCG parcels city-wide to identify areas where increased densification could possibly require infrastructure investment (including but not limited to water, roads, and parks), and bring forward the most appropriate funding tool to ensure growth is supported with proper infrastructure. This report will come back to Council through Infrastructure and Planning Committee once a year at the end of Q4.

An additional consideration that resonated with me was that a critical aspect of the housing strategy relates to our economic development work and goals. We compete with more than 1000 jurisdictions worldwide for the talent that drives our economy. An important part of our success in attracting new talent is the quality of the housing that we offer - both the variety and price are important. Much like the cities of Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, who already have rezoning in place, this strategy now enables Calgary’s continued growth without driving costs to the level of our competitors- a terrific advantage.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of why I voted in favour of the city-wide rezoning for Calgary.  I believe that it is a necessary move which is in the best interest of Calgarians, not only immediately, but looking ahead into the future.

- Richard

 

Council made 20 amendments related to issues such as parks, parking, and backyard suites associated with rowhouses and townhouses. These amendments will have positive implications for neighbors and their involvement in local development. Opportunities for community and neighbours input that did not previously exist.

Informed Decision-Making

  • By participating in the public hearing and submitting feedback, neighbours contributed to informed decision-making. Council has now taken steps through these amendments to ensure that zoning aligns with community needs and character of the neighbourhood.

Increased Privacy Measures

  • These amendments enhance residents’ ability to implement privacy measures on their properties.
  • Neighbors can now protect their privacy as new developments occur, which wasn’t possible previously.

Mitigating Impact

  • Council involves owners of neighboring residences and local community associations in the Development Permit stage for RC-G parcels.
  • Their input helps mitigate the impact of the build form. Again, this wasn’t previously provided to residents.

Balancing Density and Community Character

  • In response to concerns raised by some neighbors about excessive density in certain neighborhoods, the recent amendments carefully strike a balance.
  • They address housing options—such as duplexes, triplexes, and row houses—while preserving the unique character of existing areas. By doing so, the aim is to accommodate growth without compromising the essence of Calgary’s neighborhoods.

Economic Development and Talent Attraction

  • This housing strategy plays a pivotal role in attracting talent to Calgary. By enabling growth while maintaining competitive costs, we position ourselves advantageously in the market.
  • Calgary’s economic growth relies on attracting young, bright minds. Initiatives like these contribute to making the city competitive and appealing to skilled individuals. 

Infrastructure Investment and Proper Support

  • To ensure sustainable growth, I directed the Administration to closely monitor Development Permit applications for RC-G parcels city-wide.
  • This proactive approach identifies areas where densification may necessitate infrastructure investment. Properly supporting growth is essential for our city’s long-term success.

Transparency and Accountability for All Calgarians

  • The amendments prioritize transparency by involving residents and providing opportunities for input—something previously lacking in the process. This accountability ensures that rezoning decisions align with the best interests of all Calgarians.

Parking

  • The new rezoning requires .5 parking stalls per unit and suite. This ensures adequate parking availability for residents.
  • For properties without access to garage or parking stall, storage units are now required. These units will accommodate items like bikes and scooters.

Garbage and Recycling Storage

  • A screened waste storage location must be identified on the site plan for each property to ensure proper waste management.

 

This policy reflects a forward-thinking approach to urban planning and economic vitality. Keep in mind that this rezoning is just one of many strategies aimed at shaping Calgary’s future. These amendments promote neighbour involvement, privacy and community-driven decision making in the rezoning process. This balanced approach aims to create a more equitable and responsive policy framework.


DID YOU KNOW?

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mobility program

 

Street Improvements

The City's Various Street Improvement Program team manages the construction of miscellaneous operational and safety improvements to existing infrastructures for other departments such as water, parks, and mobility. Work includes but is not limited to, turn bay extensions and/or widenings, intersection improvements, traffic calming features, sidewalks, pathways, transit facilities, and drainage solutions.

The priority of most of these projects is to improve safety, service levels, quality, and accessibility of existing infrastructure. These projects are often related to development, transportation optimization capacity, Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP), safety, and other community issues.

We anticipate our 2024 projects to start in May 2024 and continue through to November (weather dependent). We understand that this work may cause some disruptions to your community, and it’s our goal to do what we can to minimize these impacts and manage expectations with communications efforts.

Below is a list of 2024 projects for your ward – project locations can also be found on the Calgary Roadway Activities Map. We will share 2024 project information as it becomes available. Please note, locations may be added, removed, or delayed due to weather and resource availability and coordination with other City projects and initiatives.  

 

Location

       Project Description

14 Ave S.W. Strathcona Blvd S.W. & 69 St S.W.  

       Pathway

17 Ave S.W. near 77 St S.W.

       Pathway

17 Ave S.W. & 73 St S.W. 

       Adaptative pathway conversion to permanent infrastructure

26 Ave S.W. (77 St S.W. to Elysian Cr S.W.)

       Adaptative pathway conversion to permanent infrastructure

336 Discovery Ridge Blvd S.W.

       Curb extension

45 St S.W. & 5 Ave S.W.

       Curb extension

73 Grafton Drive S.W. (Glamorgan School)

       Curb extension

85 St S.W. (Broadcast Ave S.W. to 8A Ave S.W.)

       Left turn lanes

Old Banff Coach Rd S.W. & Coulee Wy S.W. (73 St S.W.)

       Crosswalk improvements

Strathcona Dr S.W. (West of Strathridge Gv S.W.)

       Curb extension

Wentworth Dr S.W. & Wentworth Rd S.W.)

       Curb extension

*Along with these projects, Sarcee Trail SW from Richmond Rd SW to Westwood Dr SW will also be repaved.

Once work begins, nighttime and weekend work may be required to minimize disruptions, and to ensure there is minimal impact to commuters, businesses, and emergency services. Projects may take a few days to a few months to complete, depending on scope. We will provide regular project updates online at Various Street Improvements Program (calgary.ca) and other communication channels, so you and your community can stay informed about our progress.


foam packaging

Foam Packaging Recycling Pilot

Beginning May 13, Calgarians can bring their foam packaging, also known as Styrofoam, to any City of Calgary landfill location for recycling as part of a six-month pilot project free of charge.

 How will the pilot work?

  • Residential customers will be able to bring their foam packaging to any of the three staffed City landfills.
  • The pilot is free of charge unless other garbage or chargeable materials are in the load, then disposal charges will apply.
  • Once at the landfill, customers will be directed to a designated area to drop off their foam packaging for recycling.
  • Calgarians can bring clean foam with no food residue, tape, glue, or labels. Examples include:
  • Shipping foam packaging (often foam that protects new electronics);
  • Foam egg cartons;
  • Foam meat trays with absorbent pads removed;
  • Foam take-out containers; and
  • White and coloured foam. No black polystyrene foam.

If Calgarians can’t take their foam packaging to the landfill, then it should go in the black cart as garbage. The pilot project is for residential customers only. Businesses who generate foam packaging as part of their operational waste can contact Styro-Go directly to inquire about recycling.


dog

Yard security: keep your dog safe

Securing your yard to prevent your dog from escaping is crucial for both your pet's safety and the well-being of your community. Not only does it ensure that your furry friend stays out of harm's way, but it also minimizes the risk of accidents with neighbours. Here are some measures to safeguard your yard:

  • Inspect your yard perimeter for any existing gaps, holes, or weak spots in the fence or barriers. Reinforce these areas by repairing fences, filling in holes, or adding additional barriers like chicken wire or lattice. Ensure that gates are securely closed and consider installing locks or latches.
  • Assess potential escape routes such as low-hanging branches or objects near the fence that could be used as leverage for climbing. Remove objects that could assist your dog in scaling the fence.
  • Supervise your pet while they're outside and provide ample mental and physical stimulation to deter them from attempting to escape out of boredom or frustration.

Moreover, licensing your dog is not only a legal requirement but also aids in their safe return if they do manage to escape. Proper identification, including tags and microchipping with current contact information significantly increases the chances of being reunited with your pet as well.

Securing your yard keeps your dog safe and contained and is part of responsible pet ownership. By taking proactive measures to prevent escapes, you're ensuring the well-being of your furry companion and fostering a safer environment for everyone.

Learn more at calgary.ca/petlicences.


senior

‘Aging is more…’ Seniors’ Week explores the potentials of aging

Seniors' Week is celebrated annually across Alberta and it will be held this year from June 3 to June 9. It is a time to show appreciation for older adults and the significant contributions they make to our communities. They support their families and friends, volunteer their time and resources to various charities and play an essential role in making our communities better places to live.

The theme, Aging is More…, is deliberately open-ended to highlight the potential of aging. Seniors’ Week is not just for older adults, but it's a time when seniors-sector organizations, not-for-profits, businesses and Calgarians from all walks of life come together to organize fun, inclusive, cross-cultural and multi-generational events in our city.

Get involved! Whether or not you choose to attend a Seniors’ Week event, Age-Friendly Calgary encourages you to celebrate aging in your own way. Help spread Seniors’ Week awareness with the social media hashtags #seniorsweek and #agefriendlyyyc.

Seniors’ Week events and updates will be posted at calgary.ca/seniorsweek. Be sure to visit one of the many events during the week!


water leak

Use your water meter to check your home for leaks

Together, we can make every drop count during this drought. Using your water meter to check for leaks, inside and outside the home, is one way you can do your part to use water wisely.

Using your meter to check your home for leaks is easy:

  1. Turn off all taps and water-using appliances – inside and outside your home.
  2. Watch the flow register on the face of the meter. The register could look like a gear or a needle depending on the model of meter you have.
  3. If it keeps turning, you have a leak somewhere in your house.
  4. Check all water devices, such as your toilet, taps, humidifier, hot water heater and water softener.

To learn more about common sources of household water leaks, including some helpful repair tips, visit calgary.ca/waterguide.



community

Celebrate Neighbour Day 2024

Celebrate Neighbour Day in your community on Saturday, June 15! You’re invited to get involved in this year’s event by organizing a block party with your neighbours. Block party and greenspace permits are free for Neighbour Day. Apply for your permits by May 31, 2024 at calgary.ca/Neighbour. Invite Councillor Pootmans, Mayor Gondek, a police officer or book a fire truck to drop by your event. You can also enter to win one of several great prizes, including 30 minutes of live musical entertainment at your block party.

Neighbour Day is our city’s annual celebration of community connection. Held on the third Saturday in June, Neighbour Day is a step toward creating welcoming and inclusive communities where neighbours connect and belong every day of the year. Good things happen when you get to know your neighbours. They can add a friendly visit to your day and you can lend a helping hand when needed. Social connection with neighbours reduces loneliness and isolation and builds strong communities where people feel they belong. 

If you’re participating in Neighbour Day on June 15, show us how you celebrated! Post your event photos to social media with the hashtag #YYCNeighbourDay.

Visit calgary.ca/NeighbourDay to learn more.

 

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Glendale/Glendale Meadows Community Association- 4500 25 Ave SW, www.myglendale.ca

Neighbour Day 2024 is coming! Neighbour Day is an annual event celebrated in Calgary on the third Saturday of June. This year, it takes place on June 15th, and it’s the 11th year! Neighbour Day encourages Calgarians to get to know their neighbours and build stronger, more connected communities. It was first introduced in 2014 as a response to the devastating floods that hit the city the previous year. It was a way of bringing people together to celebrate the community’s resilience and strength. Since then, Neighbour Day has become an important tradition in Calgary, with neighbourhoods hosting a wide range of activities and events, such as block parties, BBQs, community clean-ups, and more. It's time to start planning your event!

June 15 11:00 am – 3:00 PM

 

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SCA Community Association: 277 Strathcona Dr SW www.scacalgary.ca

SCA Neighbour Day Stampede Breakfast

Saturday, June 15 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Pancakes and sausages for the first 1500 people.  Family friendly activities for the kids.  Come enjoy the great fun, food and music – rain or shine!

 

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Springbank Hill Community Association: https://springbankhill.org/

Neighbour Day Event

11:00am – 1:00pm

Springbank Hill Community Park 7541 26 Ave SW (across from Griffith Woods School)

spruce cliff neighbour day

city hall summer
Ward 6 Office Contact
Email Phone

Booking Meetings

Lori Gardner, Executive Assistant

403-268-1646

Community Concerns

Ralph Smith, Community Assistant   

403-268-1035

Communications

Suzy Trottier, Communications & Community Liaison

403-268-1380

Categories: Dog, Drought, Foam Packaging, Mobility Program, Neighbour Day, Permanent residents, Seniors, Single Use Plastics, Street Improvements, Water Leaks

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