This blog post is the first in what (we hope) will be a weekly
series, giving you the rundown of what was discussed in the week's
council meeting. We'll be distilling down the council agenda to
pull some key points from what can be a long read (this week it ran
to 89 pages). If you find this useful, let us know, and we'll keep
A lot of these updates will focus on things coming out of
council's committees; a lot of business is done there, and they
give us all a heads-up about proposals that will be coming up for a
vote at council later (which means there's still time to get
engaged if there's something in there that matters to you).
Here's what came down the pipe this week:
1. Nunnery Hill townhouse decision deferred
A proposal to build 5 townhouses on the south side of Nunnery
Hill has been pushed back; there has been opposition voiced by
citizens concerned with the loss of a public view and council wants to consult
further with the developer (RDG Holdings).
2. Keeping the door open for Harvey Road
The development committee recommended that council's
approval-in-principle for new condos on Harvey Road (across from Tim Horton's)
be extended for another year (nothing has yet happened on the
site). There are some conditions, though - they have to let the
Heritage Committee know what the Long's Hill side will look like,
and commit to using a uniform colour of glass
From the The Public Works & Environment Standing
3. Salmon reintroduction idea passed to
The Salmonid Association of Eastern NL (SAEN) is advocating the
reintroduction of salmon to the Rennies and Virginia Rivers, and
the construction of a fish ladder to help that happen. The idea
(and request for support) was sent to staff for review.
4. No change to snow removal
The Committee considered whether to recommend that the
city require businesses to clear the snow from sidewalks on their
properties. They said no. Here's why (quoted from the Council
- The City has established priority sidewalk clearing routes
based on street classification and pedestrian usage. If all
businesses are required to clear sidewalks throughout the City,
there will be pressure to expand sidewalk clearing routes to areas
adjoining the areas cleared by businesses even if these sidewalks
are not priorities. Resources are currently not available to expand
our sidewalk clearing routes.
- Sidewalks in many areas of the City are the only practical
space available for snow storage both for residents and for City
street snow clearing operations. If these sidewalks have to be
cleared, it will necessitate an increase in the amount of snow
which must be trucked away. Additional resources will be required
for this activity.
- Requiring businesses to clear abutting sidewalks within 24
hours will cause an increase in public pressure for the City to
complete its sidewalk clearing routes in a similar time frame which
is not possible without additional resources.
- Enforcement staff would be required to ensure businesses comply
with the amended Regulations.
- For the revised By-Law to be effective in cases where
businesses fail to comply, the City would need to complete the
clearing work and recover the cost from the business. This will
require additional resources (either in-house or contracted).
5. New bridge for Carnell Drive
The top of Quidi Vidi Lake is getting a shiny new bridge - the
Public Works committee recommends one with a decorative
6. Keeping the racket down from heat pumps/air
The committee recommended a new regulation that would require
these things to be at least 2.4 metres from a property line in a
rear yard. They can go in a side yard or closer if they're quieter
than 55 decibels measured from the property line.
7. New rules for changeable message signs
These things will now have to stay under 1500 lumens for day and
450 for night, dim automatically when lighting changes, and not be
within 30 metres of a residential zone unless the sign stops moving
8. No ads on benches
The committee said no to an individual who proposed to place
benches around the city and bring in money from ads on them (this
was an unsolicited submission, not a tender call)
Planning and Housing Committee
9. What's up with the Municipal Plan
The public consultations have been done, but there isn't much to
present yet other than the summary of them and the statement of
principles. Mary Bishop of CBCL (a consulting firm) is drafting the
new plan. There is no schedule given for its release.
10. More changes for the West End of
The folks who own this building down at 430 Water St want to build a 6
story addition on the back. That means a rezoning and a change to
the heigh limitation. They've offered a payment in lieu of parking
and a small park on the Water Street side. The committee
recommended approval. There's lots going on in the area - a
Steele Hotel is going up just to the east, and the Salvation Army
may also be redeveloping its buildings nearby (as far as Happy City
knows, they're staying).
11. A new hotel proposed - for the top of the Atlantic
A developer is proposing to put a 3 story hotel (or
condos/apartments if that doesn't work out), on top of
the existing Atlantic Place parking garage. They plan to cover the
garage itself with a screening mesh and add lighting to make the
building a little nicer on the eyes. View planes shouldn't be
impacted, since the new part won't go any higher than Atlantic
Place itself. The committee recommended approval of this one.
12. New condos for Torbay Road
A developer is proposing a 6-story, 88-unity condo building
for 315 Torbay Road, with a price range of
$250-300K. The committee recommended that it move on to the land
use assessment report and public meeting phase.
13. Townhouses on Forest Road
The committee recommended that 176 Forest Road be rezoned for
14. No Timmy's for Blackmarsh (yet)
Approval of a Tim Horton's drive through at 257-261 Blackmarsh
was deferred to check for a traffic study
15. Ladysmith Drive rezoning: this won't
move ahead until a land use assessment is done.
16. St. Luke's home: this will be getting
rezoned to allow for future expansion.
From the Finance Committee
17. Support for local artists to go to the Venice
The Committee recommended approval of $10,000.00 to the Terra
Nova Art Foundation, $6,000.00 of which would be to procure the art
series as part of the city's art portfolio and the remaining
$4,000.00 to explore possibilities for promotion of the City at the
2013 Venice Biennale.
18. Money for conferences & events:
The committee recommended donations of $750-1000 for four
conferences being held locally, and $5500 for the NL Darts
Association to host national championships and the world cup of
19. Budget bits
The city is $450,000 ahead on snow-clearing costs, thanks to
less salt being used. There's also a $1.5 million positive swing on
water costs, since Bay Bulls Big Pond costs less to run during this
time of year. Overall, the city is expecting an operating
surplus of around $5 million.