Fees and Charges set for 2019
Council approved Bylaw 388-1, the Fees and Charges Bylaw, that sets rates the Town will charge for a number of services in 2019. Council had reviewed the details of the charges at the November 26 Governance and Finance Committee meeting, and gave approval to the new bylaw at this meeting. Fees and charges are reviewed and updated prior to the 2019 Operating Budget because council will be considering a number of service level requests that may be funded through changes to some of the rates in this bylaw. This bylaw deals with the following rates: Administrative, Advertising and Display, Animal Services, Banff Bench Program, Building Permits, Business Licences, Cemetery Fees, Fire Department, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy, Off-Site Levies, Parking, Recreation, Sewer, Special Events, Street and Public Place Use, Taxis, Waste, Water, Youth Programs, and Fleet Services Charge Out Rates. New rates come into effect January 1, 2019.
Land Use Bylaw Amendment in RNC District
Council approved Bylaw 404 - Town of Banff Land Use Bylaw Amending Bylaw – Driveway Width and RNC: North Central District Design Regulations. The bylaw amendment increases the maximum width of a driveway off a lane from 40% of the lot width to 60%, and removes the requirement that 50% of required parking in the RNC District must be in a garage or underground. An increase in driveway width off a lane will facilitate more efficient parking stall design and layout which in turn will enable future housing opportunities. Removing the requirement for 50% of parking to be enclosed in the RNC District will address the barrier that this regulation presents to providing additional residential dwellings on a site. This amendment makes parking requirements consistent with other Land Use Districts that allow Fourplex Housing. A public hearing on this amendment was held November 13.
Birdfeeders could be Banned in Community Standards Bylaw
Council is reviewing whether to formally prohibit birdfeeders in the Community Standards Bylaw. Currently, town bylaws do not prohibit birdfeeders, however, use of birdfeeders in Banff could be considered in violation of national parks regulations which prohibit the feeding of any wildlife within a national park. A birdfeeder is any type of receptacle containing bird feed, seeds, suet, nectar or any other animal attractant. No other changes are proposed to the Community Standards Bylaw, which deals with five elements: unsightly or dangerous properties, graffiti, undesirable public behaviour, unnecessary noise and fire pits. A proposed amended bylaw will be presented to council in 2019 before coming into effect.
New Community Grants Process to be Developed
Council adopted a new Community Grants Process and set terms of reference for a Community Grants Committee. The new process is intended to be an easier, less intimidating way for community groups or organizations to request funding for their projects. A committee review of grant applications follows best practices used by other municipalities for community grants. Under this new process, the Community Grants Committee will review all grant applications in order to complete a ranking process and scoring matrix based on criteria and priorities. Recommendations will be presented to council, who will review them and be responsible for approving grants recommended by the committee.
Capacity of Municipal Infrastructure Studied
Council received a report on the capacity for the town’s municipal infrastructure, which helps evaluate how many visitors Banff will be able to sustain in the future. A number of systems were reviewed in this report, including: Wastewater Treatment, Water Production, Pedestrian Network and Vehicle Roadway Network.
- Wastewater Treatment: On an average day, 61% if the treatment plant’s capacity is used, compared to 66% on a peak day. Projections suggest that the summer peak day could exceed peak day capacity in the year 2035 if a visitor-adjusted population reached 60,000. (Visitor-adjusted population takes into account the number of visitors who use municipal services)
- Water Production: On an average day, 36% of water production capacity is used, compared to a peak day of 74%. Projections suggest that the summer peak day could exceed capacity in the year 2033 with a visitor-adjusted population of approximately 60,000.
- Pedestrian Network: The infrastructure space suggests a physical capacity of 7,500 pedestrians per hour on Banff Ave. sidewalks, and there are 2,500-3,000 pedestrians per hour at peak. This equates to 40% capacity currently being used. If pedestrian wait times at scramble intersections exceed 60 seconds, which occurs when the Town manually maintains longer green lights in certain directions to move through more vehicle traffic, the pedestrian capacity at intersections can be exceeded, and often results in pedestrians ignoring the “no walk” signal.
- Vehicle Roadway Network: The congestion threshold for Banff’s roads is a volume of 24,000 vehicles per day. The congestion volume for the bridge is 16,000-18,000 vehicles per day. Both exceed this capacity already in certain times in the summer months. Modelling conducted for 2016’s Long Term Transportation Study shows that with sufficient intercept parking and shifting people to use transit, vehicle congestion can be significantly reduced/completely eliminated.
- This report considered infrastructure capacity, but did not study perceptions of “popularity” or “crowding” that may be held by pedestrians and vehicle drivers.