City News June 2024

Thanks to everyone who has reached out about the Housing Accelerator Fund. 

I have been a strong supporter of growing our city inward and upward to support a more affordable, efficient and sustainable city, and plans for adding density - especially along busier transportation streets - have long been part of the City's Official Community Plan.

However, last fall the federal government introduced a plan that would see more significant changes.  I opposed these changes at Council due to process, but also deep concerns about how the transformational changes would impact the character of neighbourhoods not only in Ward 6, but across the city. 

The Federal Housing Accelerator Fund is designed to address an urgent need to get a much larger supply of housing as quickly as possible.  Saskatoon added 14,000 residents in 2023 alone. Housing and rent costs are soaring, and every month we have more homeless people in our city. There is urgency to address the housing crisis, but I do not want to see this done by destroying the character of our city.

It is my hope that we can find a compromise and use regulation to limit the intrusion into the interior of neighbourhoods, especially 4 storeys within 800 metres of Bus Rapid Transit.  This is simply an unacceptable requirement. 

Please note there are 2 Public Open Houses taking place — THIS week:

Session 1 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Saskatchewan Polytechnic 
1130 Idylwyld Drive North 
In the cafeteria

Session 2 

Thursday, June 6, 2024 
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Saskatoon Fieldhouse 
2020 College Drive 
In the lobby

The sessions will include information about: 

  • Permitting up to four dwelling units on all residential sites 
  • Permitting multiple-unit residential development within 800m of the bus rapid transit stations 
  • Eliminating minimum parking requirements

The first two proposed amendments will be brought forward to a Public Hearing for Council’s consideration in June. Parking will come to the July Public Hearing.

Visit saskatoon.ca/HAF to learn more about the information sessions and the Housing Accelerator Fund. 

A few more notes from City Council:

  • Council approved safety improvements at College and Wiggins, following the death of cyclist Natasha Fox last year.  The City will also get to work on a rapid deployment project to improve safety and accelerate the All Ages and Abilities cycling connection along Munroe Avenue from College Drive to 14th Street. 
  • Council approved staffed washrooms in the core, to support people who are unhoused, as the City continues to seek appropriate shelter spaces for a growing homeless population in Saskatoon.
  • Processing of organics will be brought ‘in-house’ to save $1.5 million dollars per year.
  • Starting June 5, 2024, residents can drop off their Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) every Wednesday at the Material Recovery Centre. Accepted items include aerosols, automotive fluids, cleaners, cylinders, light bulbs, yard chemicals, and more. Complete lists of acceptable and unacceptable items are available at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste. The Waste Wizard is also a useful resource for determining where waste should be disposed.

HHW will be accepted every Wednesday from 8:00am to 4:45pm at the Material Recovery Centre (MRC), located by the Landfill at 42 Valley Road. This service replaces the previous HHW Drop-off Days held periodically at the Civic Operations Centre. Please note that oil and filters, antifreeze and containers, as well as batteries and electronics can still be dropped off at the MRC 7 days a week.

  •  The City of Saskatoon celebrated indigenous partnerships, including Urban First Nations at a special meeting and Flag Ceremony last week.  There are 10 Urban Reserves within Saskatoon’s boundaries. The first Urban Reserve and Municipal Servicing Agreement was signed in 1988 with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, and the most recent one was signed in 2023 with Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

Thank you for the privilege to represent you at City Council. Hope to see you at the Rock Your Roots walk for reconciliation on June 21st!

Warm Regards,

Cynthia

 

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