Information | Rezoning for Housing

Public hearing on April 22, 2024. Proposed rezoning will support more housing options in all communities.

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Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans

September 2023 Newsletter

 

Hello Ward 6!

After Council break in August, September was an exceptionally busy month of committee and council meetings, focussed on moving our City forward.  I hope you are easing back into the routine that September always seems to bring. In this edition of the newsletter you will read my thoughts on the Calgary Housing Strategy, Griffith Woods trail closures, changes to residential parking permit program, the Ward 6 open house, and much more.


COUNCIL UPDATES

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Wildlife Bylaw in Affect

On September 12, Council unanimously approved the Waste Bylaw Wildlife amendments. The new bylaw directs communities such as Discovery Ridge, which exist in a “wildlife affected area”, to store residential carts and extra waste in a garage or secure enclosure and set waste out for collection no earlier than 5:00 a.m. on collection day. For more information go to http://www.calgary.ca/bearsmart

Thank you to the Discovery Ridge Community Association - DRCA for providing their research efforts and engagement skills in collaborating with City Waste & Recycling management services to propose and implement solutions.

I would like to recognize and thank Director Julie Radke and her Waste Management team who brought significant talent and resources to ensure a comprehensive plan was successfully developed.

Finally, for those residents who may not be able to comply with the bin pick up schedules, perhaps we can copy from the snow angel program and implement a bin buddy program!


 

Home is Here- The Calgary Housing Strategy: My Thoughts

After two days of public hearings and listening to the concerns of numerous Calgarians at the Community Development Committee, and then discussing the issues with my Council colleagues, I voted to support the Home is Here -The Calgary Housing Strategy. Knowing that some of you agree with my decision, and some of you don’t, I would like to clarify why I chose to vote as I did.

Council heard compelling reasons from many residents why the task force’s recommendations were the right action for moving forward on the housing crisis in Calgary. I feel this comprehensive plan is crucial for addressing housing related challenges in our city and improving the quality of life for residents.  I put forward an amendment to the Strategy recommendations which passed unanimously. It will commit to infrastructure upgrades, services and amenities related to increased housing opportunities by:

  1. Using existing tracking systems to identify which communities city-wide are receiving applications for land use change, development permits, and building permits to facilitate more housing;
  2. Using the data from the tracking systems to understand the additional funding needed for these communities to have appropriate infrastructure, services and amenities to accommodate housing and population growth;
  3. Seeking opportunities to equitably share the costs and benefits of housing-enabling infrastructure, services and amenities amongst impacted groups, including the public, the private sector, and the Provincial and Federal governments; and
  4. Building upon Council approved investments in the amount of $259 million made through the Citywide Growth Strategy, leverage the standing item on budget at Executive Committee to provide projected investment amounts reflective of anticipated acceleration of housing development and population growth, facilitating the need to deliver infrastructure, services, and amenities in growing communities.

We have all seen the statistics on why the situation that many Calgarians are facing is unacceptable, and why the City must move quickly to provide safe, stable, and affordable housing options for all Calgary residents.  They are compelling reasons, as you can see below:

  • One in five households are unable to afford their current living situation, and 75 per cent of households are unable to purchase a single-family home.
  • Calgary housing rental rose as high as 28% from February 2022 to 2023, which is the highest in all Canadian cities.
  • 5,500+  households are on the Calgary Housing Company Waitlist as of September 2023.
  • The total number of people experiencing homelessness in 2022 in Calgary was 2,782.
  • Calgary’s population has grown by over 42,160 since April 2022. This means we require the construction of more than 138,000 additional housing units, with an additional 110,000 units expected to be needed by 2027.

As an elected official, and seeing these alarming numbers, I feel it is prudent that we provide solutions for Calgarians by acting now.  I understand that change is challenging for many people, but it is inevitable that our communities will change.  Many of our established communities have experienced population declines from their peaks.  The Strategy will encourage renewed growth in neighbourhoods experiencing declines.

Council has ongoing conversations on how we diversify our economy and attract talent to our City. The key to attract labour and increase capital is to prioritize varied affordable development. As a municipality we cannot solely rely on taxpayer money for financing, but must turn to higher orders of government for funding to help us in this time of need. The City applied for the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund. Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser sent a letter to the City with his conditions on our application. He stated, “in order to receive a positive decision from me on your application – you must end exclusionary zoning in your city”. Granted this is a radical departure from what many of us are familiar with, I could not in good conscience allow funding that will help accelerate development construction to slip through our fingers.

I have heard concerns from the Ward 6 communities which are under the Westbrook Local Area Plan and I want to address what the implementation of R-CG would look like, including the timeline.

If Council moves forward with the proposed action to proceed with a base zoning district of R-CG, the following steps would be taken by Administration, commencing this fall, toward consideration of a city-wide land use bylaw change:

  • Preparation: mapping the land parcels subject to change; preparation of notifications; and communication.
  • Notification: Affected landowner mail-out; plain language communication and legal letters; broad public communication on how to participate in public hearing, and advertising.
  • Recommendation: Administration prepares recommendation and report to Council considering public input during the Notification stage.
  • Public Hearing of Council: The public can make their views known to Council, and Council makes the final decision.
    • Timeline: Administration can complete this work by Q2 2024

Several Actions that may impact the Local Area Plans, such as Actions 1.C.1, 1.C.6, and 1.C.7, will require additional approvals at Public Hearing of Council. These Actions could result in future amendments to the Westbrook Communities LAP, as well as other local area plans. These actions relate to enabling more non-market housing across the city as well as implementing the Residential – Ground Oriented (R-CG) district, which permits R-1 and semi-detached housing as well as row houses as the base residential district across Calgary, and Housing-Ground Oriented (H-GO) district in specific locations. Any policy amendments to implement these actions in the Westbrook Communities LAP would be brought forth for Council’s consideration later following legislated requirements around public notification.

Regarding the lifting of minimum residential parking restrictions, Administration’s recommendation is to focus on the desired outcome of the recommendation, which is to ensure that parking minimums do not negatively impact affordability.  Administration wants to evaluate the best approach to achieve this goal; it may look different depending on the location and land use district, including for R-CG.  We expect the new Land Use Bylaw to come for Council’s consideration by the end of 2024.

I want to thank all Calgarians who engaged in the public engagement process and who provided compelling and thoughtful comments, whether they spoke in Council, sent emails, or called my office. The amount of input surpassed my expectations. To all the members of the taskforce and Administration who tirelessly worked on the Home is Here - The Calgary Housing Strategy, your hard work is truly appreciated. Lastly, thank you to my Council Colleagues for a robust discussion and ultimate approval of the strategy. I look forward to helping make Calgary a better place to live.

 


DID YOU KNOW?

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Griffith Woods Trail Closures

Starting the first week of October, undesignated Griffith Woods Park trails adjacent to the boundary with Tsuut’ina Nation will be permanently closed and repaired. This is intended to encourage park users to stick to City of Calgary designated trails, as well as restoring natural areas that have been damaged by frequent use.

In recent months Parks and Open Spaces have been working closely with our neighbours at the Nation, who have observed an increase in trespassing onto Nation land. We continue to work closely with the Nation on their plans to install additional boundary fencing and signage in 2024.

A longer-term effort is also underway in Griffith Woods Park to audit, replace and add additional signage for all parks users.

The locations of the trail closures can be found on the following link: https://www.calgary.ca/parks/griffith-woods-park.html?redirect=/griffithwoods

 


 

Alberta Transportation Announcement

UPCOMING: Bow Trail interchange and Stoney Trail traffic changes

In early October, eastbound and westbound Bow Trail will open to public traffic from 85 Street S.W. to 101 Street S.W. At the same time, Stoney Trail will open to traffic between Bow Trail and the Trans-Canada Highway.

In response the City has gone out to market with a proposal for the Sarcee and Bow Trail Functional Planning Study has gone out to market.  The team is currently reviewing submissions from consultant companies and the preferred proponent will be selected by the end of this month or early October.

We do anticipate traffic volume changes when the Calgary West Ring Road opens to traffic.  Specifically, Bow Trail SW currently handles a significant volume of traffic, and with the opening of the Calgary West Ring Road (CWRR), we do anticipate an increase in traffic volume in the future. For Sarcee Trail SW, we anticipate that traffic volumes will decrease in the future.

The Sarcee and Bow Trail Functional Planning Study will incorporate the above changing traffic patterns and demands.  Specifically, the scope of work includes additional data collection once the CWRR opens. Multi-modal traffic data will be collected along several critical routes, including Bow Trail SW, Old Banff Coach Road, Sarcee Trail SW, 45 Street SW, 37 Street SW, and the intersection of Sarcee Trail/17 Avenue SW. If necessary, we will supplement this data with additional counts to ensure the accuracy of our analysis.  Various traffic scenarios will also be analyzed using The City’s EMME modeling platform to assess the impacts of the CWRR on the entire transportation network in the area.  Finally, land use assumptions will be reviewed and updated to include planned developments not only in West Calgary but also in Rocky View County to ensure that our analysis reflects the evolving landscape.

For more information WCRR Project Update


 

New changes to the Residential Parking Permit Program (RPP)

Starting December 4, 2023, a user fee will be implemented when obtaining a parking permit, and eligibility will depend on your building type.

If you live on a street with parking restrictions and want to park on-street, find out what these changes mean to you, including how to remove parking restrictions at calgary.ca/rpp.

Residents of small multi-residential buildings, and large multi-residential buildings built before 1945, will be eligible for one Select Permit that can be used for either a personal vehicle or a visitor’s vehicle. 

About the Program:

The Residential Parking Permit Program is a service Calgarians can request in busy residential areas where parking is in high demand due to such parking generators as a hospital, post-secondary facility or LRT station. 

On-street space is public property. Without the RPP Program, parking on-street would be available to anyone and residents would not have unique parking privileges. Residential parking restrictions are implemented by resident request if 80 per cent of a block supports the restriction.

Why is The City moving to a user fee for parking permits?

The program is in place to manage on-street parking, not to generate revenue. Charging a user fee for parking permits will help recover the cost of administering the program and be aligned with the User Fee and Subsidy Policy.

Residents may also decide that parking restrictions are not needed on their block.

Requests to remove a restricted parking zone can be made by calling 311 or by filling out a 311 online request.


 

Steet Light Outage

Do you have a street light outage on your street or have you seen one while driving or walking around Calgary? We encourage you to report the street light outage with our online map.  


 

Fall Checklist- Outdoor water restriction still in effect

While recent rains helped locally for the short term, both precipitation and river flows are still below average, and outdoor water restrictions remain in effect.

The below Fall Checklist can help you prepare your home for winter and further reduce your outdoor water use:

  • Consider when its time to stop watering plants, shrubs, and trees.
    • Annuals – when the plant dries & petals fall off
    • Perennials – after the first frost
    • Trees & Shrubs – when the ground freezes
  • Let your grass grow into dormancy – when the length of the day shortens and nights are cool, lawns will start to become dormant and growth will stop.
  • Consult the YardSmart plant list to make any seasonal additions to your garden like bulbs.
  • Leave debris in plant beds over winter to provide habitat for pollinators.
  • Place mulch around perennial plants and trees to protect them from frost.
  • Prune your trees and shrubs.
  • Turn off the outdoor water supply to avoid winter freeze up.
  • Properly winterize and turn off your irrigation system to avoid leaks and freezing.
  • Clean debris out of your gutters.
  • Clean and repair downspouts, and direct stormwater away from your house, ideally towards your garden.
  • Clean and properly winterize your rain barrel.

Remember to follow outdoor water restrictions while watering. To learn more visit calgary.ca/restrictions.


EVENTS

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Ward 6 Open House

On Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 from 6:00-8:00 PM I will be hosting our Ward 6 Open House at the Rundle College- Conklin building gym (7379 17 Avenue SW). The Ward 6 Office Staff and I will be on hand to address any questions or concerns that you may have. Other City of Calgary attendees will include representatives from Mobility, Parks, Waste & Recycling, Transit, Neighbourhoods, the Calgary Police Service and many more. We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow us on our social media accounts and ensure you are up to date on all our community events!


 

Remembrance Day Commemoration

Please join the Ward 6 office and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 10:45 AM for our annual Remembrance Day ceremony at Battalion Park. Originally named Camp Sarcee in 1915, Battalion Park commemorates the soldiers who trained in Calgary for the trench warfare of World War I. Your attendance at this solemn ceremony is appreciated as we come together in a community moment of silence to reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave Canadian Armed Forces.


 

Community Events

Coach Hill/Patterson Heights (CHPH)- www.chph.ca

The perfect date night idea, and just down the hill, the Woodcliff United Church is hosting  "A Night of Italian Wine Tasting" on Sept 29th from 7-9 pm

Taste different wines from various regions of Italy and sample some scrumptious food pairings. Tickets are $45 per person* and can be purchased in person from Woodcliff United Church or by sending an email to office@woodcliffunited.com. All guests will receive 10% off their next in-store purchase at New Discovery Fine Wines and Liquor located in Aspen Landing.

*Proceeds will support Woodcliff United Church.

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

SCA CA will be hosting a dinner and movie night on October 6.  This will be an early Halloween themed dinner.  Hope each of you are able to join our spook-tacular dinner.  Doors will open at 5:45, dinner to start at 6:00.  Costume parade and prizes 6:45 and movie at 7:00.


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: Griffith Woods, Housing Strategy, Open House, Residential Parking Permit , Street Lights Outage, West Calgary Ring Road, Wildlife Bylaw

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