Town moves closer incentives for secondary rental suites
Incentives for homeowners to provide rental suites for residents moved closer this week, as part of the Town’s action plan to create more housing. The Governance & Finance Committee directed administration to prepare plans for Council’s consideration at Service Review deliberations this winter that would include financial incentives to homeowners and financial support to condominium bylaw amendments.
Council will also review Land Use Bylaw amendments that would permit secondary rental suites in all residential neighbourhoods and in all housing types. Changes in permitting may also be introduced to bring into compliance rental suites that are not currently approved under existing bylaws. This would help ensure safety and appropriate living space for residents, while adding housing.
Secondary rental suites, also called accessory dwellings, are a form of infill housing that can be added with minor redevelopment, such as rebuilding a garage or redeveloping a basement to create a suite with a private entrance, or adding a unit to larger properties that is secondary to the primary household for the owner.
In June, Council approved an action plan that includes creating incentives for adding more secondary suites in town. Many incentives and bylaw changes will be reviewed in a special Service Review meeting on November 29.
Fenlands staff to provide concession services
The Town of Banff will offer in-house concession services at The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre through the winter season, then reassess tendering again in 2024. Council received a briefing on the food service facility options at the recreation centre. The Town had issued an open call tender for providers to bid on the concession and catering lease at The Fenlands. Only one business expressed interest and said it would not be feasible for them due to labour costs in the area. Other local businesses said they did not bid due to labour shortages and the restriction on providing food delivery from the Fenlands commercial kitchen. The commercial cap in Banff prevents food delivery from the Fenlands land use district.
As patrons to the arena expect concession services, especially during the busy hockey season, the Town of Banff will temporarily operate the service. This will require hiring a small, qualified team to offer these food and beverage services. Based on annual revenue earned by the previous leaseholder, the Town is confident the in-house operation will produce net revenue. In the last full year of operations, the leaseholder reported over $300,000 in revenue in 2022. Vending machines have already been added to the facility.
The Town will work with businesses in the new year and issue a new request for proposals at a future date to see if conditions have changed and there is interest in bidding from an outside source at that time.
Town maintains winter sidewalk clearing service
The Town will maintain its current level of winter sidewalk maintenance though the 2023/2024 season.
At the November 14, 2022, Council meeting, Council approved the winter pedestrian route maintenance expansion of an additional 0.25 kilometers to include a portion of sidewalk on Middle Springs Drive starting January 1, 2023, after a resident made a request for more sidewalk maintenance. Subsequently, another resident requested winter sidewalk maintenance adjacent to their condominium property, also situated on Middle Spring Drive. Expanding sidewalk maintenance would have come with a budget increase for time and wages, and as there is already a section of sidewalk maintained by the town in that area, Council voted not to increase tax-funded snow and ice management on sidewalks.
The Town maintains several sections of sidewalks around town, mainly where there is not private property adjacent the public sidewalk. In all other areas, property owners adjacent to public sidewalks are required to clear sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of snowfall.