Calgary Minute: Remote Meetings, RV Parking, and CTrain Safety Perceptions
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Committee will look to clarify the rules around Councillors participating remotely in meetings. The Municipal Government Act says that Councillors may participate remotely, but the City’s Procedure Bylaw sets out the logistical circumstances for that participation. The Committee will discuss adding that participation remotely can occur “on occasion,” and that such participation must take place in a private and secure location, free from distractions, with cameras on and no artificial backgrounds. In other business, Councillors Demong and McLean will bring forward a Notice of Motion to rename Fish Creek - Lacombe CTrain station to St. Mary’s University / Fish Creek Station in order to recognize the university. Councillors Walcott and Penner will also bring forward a Notice of Motion, intended to expedite work with the HomeSpace Society to find City-owned land suitable for the development of a high complexity supportive housing facility.
The Community Development Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. On the agenda is a discussion about amending the Community Standards Bylaw to remove the existing 36-hour maximum duration for residential front driveway parking of Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and, instead, allow for unlimited seasonal RV parking between May 15th and September 15th. Why bother with a time limit at all? If it’s your RV and your property, you should be able to park it as long as you like. The Green Line Board will meet on Friday at 10:00 am. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
- The effort to recall Mayor Jyoti Gondek continues this week. Calgarians dissatisfied with her governance headed to City Hall on Saturday to sign the official petition to recall her, and are vowing to keep up efforts. The petition has little to no chance of succeeding (more than 500,000 paper signatures are needed - that's more than actually voted in the last municipal election), but we're still pleased to see people paying attention to City politics, and will continue our work to get the provincial government to fix the rules!
Last Week In Calgary:
The City has begun the initial phase of construction for the new event center, with contractor crews focusing on relocating utilities, waterworks, and underground services on Fifth Street SE. The reconfiguration of streets in Victoria Park will include the closure of Fifth Street SE and the development of a temporary road, 5A Street SE, to facilitate construction access for the upcoming 18,000-seat arena. The preliminary work, aimed at completing infrastructure enabling processes, is scheduled to conclude by the beginning of April. While the design work for the event center is ongoing, construction is expected to start later this year.
- A new survey suggested that Calgarians now feel (slightly) safer in and around Calgary's public transit system than compared to six months ago, but the numbers are still shocking. The survey collected data from 500 randomly selected Calgarians, revealing that 72% feel safe riding a CTrain during the day, up from 67% in May 2023, while just 39% feel safe after dark, up from 33%. Overall, the data showed 49% of respondents still avoid taking public transit due to safety concerns. Maybe it's time for the City to finally focus on its core responsibilities - like public safety - instead of still distractions like banning plastic bags?
- At a City Council Public Hearing regarding rezoning, concerns were raised about the potential negative impact of proposed developments on solar panels. Potentially, high rise development could block sunlight from solar panels, causing financial impact to property owners. Councillors questioned Administration about potential solutions, and while there are currently no specific provisions in place for solar protection, the issue is on the City's radar for future considerations in development planning.
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