Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 06:00 am
Coun Morgan Nagel will see his motion for an “additional tool in the planning toolbox” included in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) review, that begins next month.
Nagel advised at the previous council meeting he would be bringing forward a motion looking to add another residential zoning – Residential-Estates (R-E) – in order to provide larger lots and homes to the market.
He asserts that in order for Cochrane to have a truly diverse choice in housing options, it has to include the broad spectrum of potential buyers and that those seeking “Monterra-style housing” are often forced to seek outside of the town.
Couns. Marni Fedeyko, Susan Flowers and Tara McFadden were skeptical the demand exists and feel the existing single family (R-1) designation allows for larger lots.
CAO Dave Devana said he had no concerns with the added designation.
Mayor Jeff Genung, along with Couns. Alex Reed and Pat Wilson were in favour of adding choice for buyers.
The LUB was last updated in 2004.
A 4-3 vote struck down Nagel’s motion to rescind the 2016 bylaw prohibiting garburators in new homes.
While Nagel maintains that garburators will encourage clean plastics and help Cochrane divert organics from garbage bins, as mandated by the City of Calgary by 2020, the lack of support was centered on the belief that this was not a problem worth spending time on, it has the potential to take away from the organics (green bin) recycling program and that putting material into the wastewater system is potentially more harmful than helpful.
Genung joined Couns. Fedeyko, Flowers and McFadden in opposition.
Through the modernization of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Town of Cochrane will be adopting a new budget process for the 2019-2021 budget years and onwards.
Moving forward, Cochrane will run a three-year operating budget and five-year capital planning budget – this ahead of the provincially-mandated adoption deadline of 2020.
For town CAO Dave Devana, the “cost neutral” move will allow for better planning and potential cost savings.
“The most significant challenge is anticipating growth, however our Ten Year Financial Strategy for capital projects assumes four per cent annual growth, so we will use that as our assumed growth rate at this time.”
Devana is familiar with this model, as his former administrative work was in B.C., where multi-year budgets are legislated. There will still be annual budget adjustments and increased opportunities for the public to engage and provide feedback each fall.
The Building Industry Land Development (BILD) Calgary region association presented to council to share their Smarter Growth Initiative.
BILD is a unified voice for the building industry - a result of the amalgamation of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) – Calgary Region and Urban Development Institute (UDI). The town looks to continued engagement with BILD as the LUB review gets underway.
Coun. Fedeyko was interested in the regional demand for micro-housing.
Coun. McFadden spoke of offsite levy collection for major projects.
Coun. Nagel was concerned with how engineering standards have evolved, with reference to the historical issues of slope stability in Cochrane.
Nagel was also interested in how the town can attract more commercial and industrial development – this was met with the answer that businesses typically follow residential growth, where their client and labour bases reside, and that businesses are more apt to move to a centre that is business-friendly, with “less red tape.”
Genung was pleased to see a regional aspect on growth from the presentation.