by Tristan Turner
Council gives first reading to many land use bylaw and related amendments
At their May 26 regular meeting, Council gave first reading to four bylaws related to new development projects both in the Notre Dame and Coeur de Morinville areas of town.
Bylaws 10/2015, 11/2015 and 12/2015 are all associated with a new development in the Notre Dame area of Morinville off Grandin Drive, a medium density development of small multi-floor semi-detached homes with detached and attached garages. Administration compared the new development to more recent Village Champlain developments on the north end of town just off of 100 Street and 105 Avenue.
In order to construct the development, a narrow strip of municipal reserve land that is a part of Notre Dame park will need to be redistricted for the development, with a new section of public open space (POS) of approximately the same size to be opened just south of the development. In order to dispose of the municipal reserve land required for the housing development, council will need to pass 2nd and 3rd reading of bylaw 10/2015 at the next meeting of council..
In order to amend the land use bylaw and the area structure plan to accommodate the new development, bylaws 11/2015 and 12/2015 will both have to receive second and third reading, which will be decided at council’s next meeting following an open forum for residents to raise concern or support for the new development.
Bylaw 9/2015 has to do with a change in a property along Maisonneuve Street and Forget Avenue that is in the Coeur de Morinville area of town, with the property changing from a single family dwelling to a tall duplex structure with a detached three-car garage. Council had received correspondence from a neighbour expressing concerns about the development, and they will get to speak to their concerns at an upcoming open forum at the next regular meeting of Council before 2nd and 3rd reading are given.
Council decides to bury power lines on 99A Avenue
In a unanimous decision, Council has decided to bury the power lines on 99A Avenue, the strip of gravel road behind Shell and between the Ray McDonald Sports Centre and the strip mall with Rednex Bar and Grill. This is being done now because, according to Greg Hofmann, Director of Planning and Development with the Town, it will become more expensive to do so later after the road is paved to accommodate the new development along the road.
The project will cost $50,000 out of Capital Grants and some of that is to be made back through offsite levies placed on developers along the roadway.
Council Compensation Review Committee to give Councilors say on appointees
In a split decision, council has decided to place two councilors on a committee to decide who is appointed to the Council Compensation Review Committee, who will ultimately be responsible for examining council pay and benefits, and potentially recommending changes. Administration will have three members along with their council counterparts who will deliberate between who will be appointed to the new committee.
It is likely, however, that not enough residents will apply to sit on the committee, as not enough applicants have yet applied to fill the committee, and the deadline for applications has already been extended. In the case that just enough qualified applicants are received, council nor administration will have to decide between applicants. Three applications have been received so far, and five total members are required to hold the committee.
The vote on the motion to have two councilors review applicants along with three members of administration passed 2-5 with Councillors Dafoe and Fitzgerald opposing the move. Councilor Fitzgerald spoke to his stance saying “I just think we really don’t need to be there” and that he thought that choosing who was to be on the committee is something that administration was capable of doing on their own. Councilor Fitzgerald also commented on how they are not likely to receive more applicants than they need and that positions on the committee should be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
After the terms for the committee appointment were approved, Councilors Ladouceur and Dafoe put their names forward to review committee appointees.
Town to sponsor seniors week at library again
Council has unanimously agreed to sponsor free coffee and library memberships for seniors 65+ at the Morinville Community Library for the week of June 1st-7th. The required funds will come out of Council’s sponsorship budget and will cost the town $450, the same amount budgeted for 2013 and 2014. All Morinville seniors are welcome to a free annual library membership and coffee for the duration of Seniors Week.
Administration to investigate the costs of a mobile app
The Town is now investigating the costs and potential for a new mobile phone app that will be capable of sending out push notifications and informing residents on upcoming events and notices. This comes after Councilor Ladouceur made the information request proposal at the end of their regular council meeting and was passed 2-5 with Councillor Fitzgerald opposed to the request.
Councillor Ladouceur said his motion was based on the outcome of the Town’s communication survey, and made reference to the Edmonton 311 app for Android and iOS devices that he said would be a good example for the type of app he hopes the Town could have, provided that it is economical to develop.