Development companies take parking dispute to council

By Taylor MacPherson
January 10, 2017 - 6:36am Updated: January 10, 2017 - 8:28am

An existing development company has taken issue with a new builder’s plans for parking, saying without adaquate spots patrons will be forced to use their's. This issue, among others was debated last night, Jan. 9, in city council.

Development debate

Rock Developments Inc. had initially proposed a five-unit community shopping centre to be built at 621-801 15th St. E. Their application was appealed by neighbouring landowner Carlton Spur Development Corporation on the basis that the proposal included an insufficient number of parking stalls.

“The sole reason we’re here today is the matter of parking allocation,” Kim Anderson, lawyer for Carlton Spur, told council. “Adjacent properties take up the parking excess.”

Because parking requirements are calculated based on leasable floor space, Anderson argued Rock’s estimate of 85 per cent leasable space would result in 330 parking spaces being built, but should be 362.

Christopher Masich, council for Rock Development, argued Rock ensured its full compliance with local bylaws “far more than would normally be required in the circumstances” and noted due process was followed at each step. Leasable space, he noted, does not include areas such as shared lobbies, access halls and restrooms.

After some scrutiny, council voted to approve the new development, on the condition of full compliance with all zoning bylaws.

Deputy Mayor terms to be extended

After the Nov. 21 council meeting, city administration was asked to bring forward a report outlining new options for deputy mayor appointments. The deputy mayor, city clerk Sherry Person explained, acts as mayor in the absence or incapacity of the sitting mayor, and councillors currently hold the position in one and a half month terms.

The changes proposed by Person at last night’s meeting would see the terms extended to three months, and assigned based on seniority. The current appointment process, Person said, is a long process, and deputy mayors often complete their terms before getting comfortable with their duties.

“What I’m proposing is, it goes by the length that you’ve been on council,” Person said. “Everybody would have one term every two years.”

Person further recommended that if the mayor can’t attend an event, rather than the duty being passed on to the deputy mayor, he could simply delegate a councillor to attend.

Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick said he supports the three-month terms, but argued the responsibility to attend events should be shared among all councillors, not just the mayor and deputy.

“I think we should all be attending events together,” Ward 1 Coun. Charlene Miller said, echoing Ogrodnick’s comments. “I think it’s a responsibility as elected officials.”

The council agreed with Person’s suggestions, but amended the motion so the deputy mayor has the option to attend any events in the mayor’s absence before passing the responsibility along to other councillors. A bylaw to that effect is expected to be voted on at the next executive council meeting Jan. 30.

 

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