Council faces a much bigger agenda this week than last.
On Monday, Council might just set a record for mind-numbing administrative work as it reviews 26 (count ‘em, twenty-six) Secondary Suite applications. If they follow their usual pattern, our elected officials will spend half a day reviewing what in most other Canadian cities is purely a matter of permits. And we want City Hall to reduce red tape? To be more efficient? Doesn’t feel like common sense to me.
Council will also face a contentious application to redesignate a decades-old parking lot in Chinatown for a possible multi-tower development. When I attended an overview session last month in Chinatown, it was clear to me that the community has serious concerns over the height of the development and the nature of future businesses. Long overdue, Council has proposed to create an Area Redevelopment Plan to build a common vision for Chinatown.
The Green Line project team will report back on its progress to date. Lots going on that I’ve already detailed here and here. The project team will point out that the Green Line needs funding certainty by the fall of this year if it hopes to start construction in late 2018. (Hint: Call your provincial MLA.)
Council will also review the City’s Year-End Accountability report, which will highlight both a fiscal surplus and remarkably healthy debt levels. Sadly, the report will also show that the city is not meeting its casualty collision targets, setting the stage to review (once again) a Pedestrian Strategy later this month. Cold comfort for those victims of collisions along Centre Street, in Beddington Heights and elsewhere. Here’s hoping the Ward 4 Councilor votes in favour of the Strategy this time.