A public hearing was held on Bylaw 379 – Development Fees Amendment. The bylaw would increase some development fees related to new construction permits, bed and breakfast homes, late application fees, compliance certificates and development appeals. Three residents spoke at the meeting, all in opposition to the increase in development and subdivision appeals from $100 to $200. Council voted to postpone second reading of the bylaw to receive information on whether it was possible to have separate appeal fees for individuals and corporations, and to see options that would allow the Development Appeal Board to issue appeal fee refunds. The bylaw is expected to return to council at the February 13 meeting.
First reading was given to two new waste bylaws. Bylaw 376 – Residential Waste Bylaw – updates wording from the existing bylaw to match current practices and terminology. Bylaw 377 – Non-Residential Waste Bylaw – proposes the mandatory use of clear garbage bags for commercial properties. A number of jurisdictions around the world have implemented the use of clear bags, and have found it to be a valuable tool in reducing the quantity of recyclable materials being thrown in the garbage. It’s suggested the use of clear bags become mandatory six months after approval of the bylaw, and be coupled with an education program. The last full review of the waste bylaw was completed in 2004.
Council gave second and third readings to Bylaw 368 – ATCO Gas Franchise Bylaw. The bylaw allows a natural gas franchise agreement with ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd for the distribution and delivery of natural gas within the Town of Banff.
Council authorized the Town to participate in the Alberta Community Partnership Grant submitted by the Town of Canmore for a Shared Information Governance Service Delivery Feasibility Study under the Intermunicipal Collaboration component of the Alberta Community Partnership Grant. Both towns will apply for a $30,000 grant to assess, develop and design a regional shared services initiative for municipal records management, preservation and storage; and to explore shared information governance service delivery.
Council received a briefing on three trails related projects that have been completed or have reached milestones:
- The Bow River Trail Restoration was done in the summer and fall of 2016 to close an informal trail that paralleled the Bow River Trail between the pedestrian bridge and Bow Falls. The primary reason for closing the informal trail was to reduce the number of people venturing into the sensitive, wet riparian zone at the edge of the river.
- Since the December 2014 train derailment in and near 40-Mile Creek, Parks Canada has been leading work to restore riparian habitat where the derailment occurred, in cooperation with the Town. In the summer of 2016, Parks staff noted that persistent public use of informal trails through the restoration site was compromising the success of ecological restoration efforts. Parks Canada proposed to the Town that a potential solution would be for CP Rail to fund the completion of a Town of Banff neighbourhood trail that previously ended near the restoration site. Through creating the trail connection that’s approximately 20 metres long, trail users going north are now led from along 40-Mile Creek back to connect with the Bow River trail at Gopher Street. Completing this trail connection guides trail users onto the appropriate next segment in the trail system, rather than directing users towards the informal trails through the 40-Mile Creek restoration site.
- In 2016 a net of 94 new bike parking stalls were established and there are plans to install at least 90 more bike parking stalls in 2017. Four surveys of occupancy at bike parking facilities were conducted throughout the summer of 2016. Twenty-two bike parking sites had 75% occupancy or more in at least half of the 2016 surveys, indicating that they require expanded capacity in 2017. Survey data were also used to identify bicycle racks that had no usage, and therefore are candidates for being re-deployed to other locations in 2017.