A public hearing was held on Bylaw 359, a land use bylaw amendment to increase the allowable gross floor area for convenience retail stores/eating and drinking establishments at gas stations in the CA district, going from 10% to 70%. Seven people spoke at the hearing and three written submissions were received. Following the hearing, council voted to postpone second reading of Bylaw 359 so they could receive more information from administration about spot zoning, details on accessory uses and primary uses, standards for service stations in other communities, etc. Councillors are not permitted to receive more submissions from public after a public hearing has closed.
Parks Canada presented this year’s plans for prescribed fires in the national park. Four controlled burns are planned this year, and two of those could have minimal impacts on the Town of Banff. Parks plans to do an 800 hectare burn in Baker Creek, 10km east of Lake Louise, to increase grizzly bear habitat, reduce mountain pine beetle susceptible trees and create a natural wildfire barrier. The burn is planned for the fall. They’re also planning to burn 100 hectares in Moose Meadows in the spring/fall. This will take place 26km west of the town to create a barrier that will help prevent the spread of wildfire. Smoke could be noticeable during these prescribed fires.
Council voted to transfer the 2015 unrestricted surplus of $104,988 to the budget stabilization reserve and transfer $46,437 to the snow clearing reserve following a presentation on the 2015 financial results. The increase in the transfer to reserves is largely due to increased police and bylaw fine revenue, increased capital grant and other revenue, capital reserve transfers offset by reduced utility costs and higher than anticipated transfers to the water & sewer reserves.
Council approved the 2015 consolidated financial statements. They received an in-camera presentation from auditors KPMG LLP in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. All Alberta municipalities must prepare annual audited financial statements and after council approval, the statements are submitted to Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Council passed first reading of Bylaw 364, a borrowing bylaw to finance the purchase of 221 Beaver Street. Council had postponed the vote from their April 11 meeting to receive more information about expected revenues and expenses, land use bylaw implications, potential future tenants, the current shortfall of Town of Banff office space and staff housing, and the status of the current leases for the building. That information was provided as a briefing report prior to the vote. The bylaw will now be advertised for two consecutive weeks.
Council gave three readings to Bylaw 55-10 - 2016 Supplementary Property Assessment Bylaw. Every year the annual property assessments are set based on the property value of the previous year. Supplementary assessments are required to tax any new developments or improvements throughout the current year. The supplemental levy is pro-rated based on when the development or improvement is complete, occupied, or moved into the municipality or began to operate.
Council voted to conduct a monitoring program this summer of on-street and in-facility parking at apartment housing projects that have made use of council Policy C122. The Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) had recommended council proceed with the program to gauge the impact of the policy, which allows site specific criteria for the reduction of required off-street parking at apartment housing. Four projects have made use of the policy and a fifth is currently under consideration by the MPC.
Due to time constraints, council voted to postpone until the next council meeting the review of credit card payment Policy C037, a progress report on housing sustainability, and a briefing on the 2016 wildfire preparedness guide.