At City Hall
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 06:00 am
Boarding house amendments passed
Amendments to the land use bylaw and the community standards bylaw adding boarding house as a definition and implementing a $5,000 fine for running one in St. Albert passed third and final reading on Monday night.
Council had put over the third readings to get information on whether or not bed and breakfasts, group homes and other housing uses might be impacted by the change.
Information from the city solicitor provided to council indicated that four university students renting a home together is not permissible in St. Albert.
A business owner renting a home to a new Canadian family with five members would not qualify as a boarding house, the information said. However it did note if there’s more than two unrelated lodgers, that might shift things into boarding house territory.
But rental suites, hotels, bed and breakfasts and group homes are already provided for in the land use bylaw.
The third reading of both bylaw amendments was passed unanimously by council.
New city website
The new city website is almost ready for launch.
City council got a sneak peak at the new site on Monday, which will fold all of the city-owned satellite websites back into one website, keeping branding and information consistent.
Michael Mitchell, the city’s web co-ordinator, said the new site will allow easy and quick access to information on all of the services and programs.
The website rationalization has been underway since early 2013, and has included surveys, a public workshop and a panel to get input on the design.
“I know that we’re all quite eager to poke around the website ourselves, and I’m sure the public is as well,” said Coun. Tim Osborne.
Public hearing information
Council will consider procedural and policy changes to ensure that when possible, information for public hearings will be made available online at the same time as it is available in hard copy at city hall.
The motion was made by Osborne, who noted sometimes information isn’t even available online via the council’s agenda package before the public comment period has ended.
He pointed out many times information is available in person at city hall. “I feel like there really is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to make that information available electronically,” he said.
While the report noted the city has tried to be flexible in its timeline to review relevant documents in order to be business friendly, Osborne suggested it’s at least equally important, if not more so, to be resident friendly.
Council unanimously voted to go ahead with getting recommendations for such changes to be brought forward. Those recommendations are due back in the first quarter of 2015.
New CFO announced
The city announced a new chief financial officer has been hired.
Mike Dion has been appointed to the post of CFO and general manager as of July 28, a news release from the city said.
Dion is replacing Anita Ho, whose resignation was announced in May.
The release said Dion has previously been vice president of finance and administration at Selkirk College in B.C. for the past seven years.
Prior Alberta experience includes vice president of administration at Grande Prairie Regional College for three years and 12 years as general manager/controller for Sundance Forest Industries in Edson.