What Just Happened?

News and horror from the last two weeks

CITY HALL: SET PHASING AND FEES ON STUN(NING AGREEMENT!)

Council has crossed a significant milestone by passing a new phasing and financing plan at a special meeting on Dec 14. It covers the way that the city will pay for greenfield development and control the rate of residential growth.

The guiding principle in designing the plan was that growth would pay for growth. And one way this will be achieved, says administration, is by shifting the way that greenfield developments are paid for. Developers will now be expected to cover the entire cost of infrastructure that directly serves their development.

Meanwhile, the city will charge servicing fees that will cover infrastructure needed for new developments that also benefits the wider community. Those servicing fees will only cover a percentage of the new infrastructure’s cost, with the city covering the rest.

The new servicing fees will be phased in over three years and start at $346,000 per hectare in 2016 and rise to $451,000 per hectare in 2018.

As for the phasing plan, it limits the areas in the city that will be made available for development to allow an orderly outgrowth of the city as the population grows.

Representatives from Dream (formerly Dundee) Developments, Harvard Development and from the Rosewood Park Alliance Church (who are developing the Rosewood neighbourhood) appeared before council to express their support for the phasing and financing plan.

Great! City council and the development community love the plan. It’s a clear sign that absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong. /Paul Dechene

CITY HALL: WHERE DID ALL THE ADVISORY GO?

Maybe I’m late to the party on this, but it was recently brought to my attention that the City of Regina’s advisory committees haven’t been meeting very much lately. Advisory councils are made up of members of the general public, and while they have no decision-making power, their role has been to provide input and advice to council. However, after reviewing the city’s meeting schedule, turns out most of the advisory committees haven’t met since December 2014. The Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee had one meeting in January 2015 at which it renewed its membership in Heritage Saskatchewan, but nothing since then. And the Accessibility Advisory Committee has maintained a reduced but still semi-regular schedule this year, meeting in January, May, September and October.

As for the Arts Advisory Committee, the Community Leaders Advisory Committee, the Community Services Advisory Committee, the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee and the Environmental Advisory Committee? They’ve all been MIA throughout the now very nearly ended 2015.

What gives?

I spoke with City Clerk Jim Nichol, who explained that the advisory committees have been put on hiatus while administration conducts a review of the committee structure.

Nichol says that the role of the advisory committees needs clarification and they are researching models used in other cities. He doesn’t expect a recommendation to come forward before the fall municipal election and after the new council has survived the crucible of their first city budget that winter. /Paul Dechene

2015-12-23