Council gave three readings to Bylaw 385, an amendment to the Assessment Review Board Bylaw, and appointed Anne Marie Mullane and Ken Sawatzky as members of the board for a term starting August 15 until December 31. The bylaw allows the appointment of qualified members to the board who are not Banff residents and allows a member to serve for a period of longer than six consecutive years. The Town did not have qualified members of the board who are not in conflict or available to hear a 2017 commercial appeal scheduled for September. While the intention is still to recruit and train local members, by adding a provision to allow qualified trained members from outside of the community to be appointed to the board, it provides council the flexibility to allow for exceptions to be made available for unique circumstances.
Council endorsed the appointment of the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation to the Banff Heritage Corporation as a permanent voting member, and adopted the Heritage Resources Management Policy C5003. The policy provides objectives more consistent with federal and provincial guidelines while following specific direction informed by the Banff Heritage Corporation.
Council directed administration to return at service review with budget options to maintain the Town’s Canada Day event to the same level as in 2017. In addition to the regular entertainment provided this year, town staff also organized the pancake breakfast, which has traditionally been run by a local business or organization. However, the producer of the event for the past several years indicated in early 2017 they would be unable to continue hosting the event due to capacity issues. Federal grant funding available for Canada 150 celebrations was used to offset costs of the breakfast, though there is currently no budget to organize the pancake breakfast in 2018. In addition, after this year’s event, labour shortfalls were identified for the early morning set up, at the zero waste stations, and at night for tear down and clean up. Additional funding will be required to cover these shortfalls while maintaining the current level of programming. Council will review a detailed budget with costs for the event during service review.
Council approved the wording of a resolution for consideration at the annual Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference. Council had previously approved a resolution in June, but rescinded the motion after the AUMA contacted the Town of Banff, Town of Canmore and City of Grande Prairie asking if a joint submission could be made by all three municipalities. The intent of the resolution is the same as before. It reads: “that the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association request that the Government of Alberta make the appropriate regulatory and legislative amendments to allow non-profit housing organizations, foundations, authorities, and other similar entities to borrow directly from the Alberta Capital Finance Authority.”
Council approved recruitment profiles and applications for Town of Banff committees. The Town will begin recruiting volunteers for the Banff Heritage Corporation, Banff Housing Corporation, Banff Community Art Committee, Banff Public Library Board, Municipal Planning Commission, Development Appeal Board, and Assessment Review Board. The deadline for applications is Friday, September 29. Details can be found at http://banff.ca/committees
Council received an update on the Town’s enforcement of unauthorized commercial accommodation units. In August 2014, council directed administration to proactively investigate and enforce on residential properties being used as commercial accommodation units, such as those found on AirB&B and VRBO. That use is contrary to the Town’s Land Use Bylaw and Parks Canada leases, as well as exacerbating housing issues in the community. Since 2014, 19 properties have been enforced on, and in all cases successfully had their listings removed. Four of those properties have since applied for, and revived, bed and breakfast licenses. A fifth one is pending. Council also made a motion directing administration to return at service review with options for further enforcement procedures for unauthorized commercial accommodation units including, but not limited to, VRBO and AirB&B. Investigation and enforcement can be time consuming, because legitimate hotels and B&Bs use services like VRBO and AirB&B to advertise.
Council received the March-June economic impact update as information. Provided by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, the economic impact calculations are from the modeling tool created by Econometric Research Limited as part of the 2016 Banff, Jasper and Canmore Tourism Economic Impact Study. Figures show in-destination expenditure by sector, province-wide economic impact, and destination room nights.
Council met in camera to discuss correspondence with regards to a personnel matter. Following the discussion, council made a motion that neither the mayor, councillors, nor staff respond further on this issue and that any additional communication be handled by the Town solicitor.