Town to build price-restricted housing on Banff Ave.
Banff’s next affordable housing development will be a price-restricted home ownership project on Banff Avenue. Council directed administration to prepare a detailed scope of work report on the construction of about 29 entry-level units at 338/340 Banff Avenue.
Last year, the Town built 131 units in the new Ti’nu rental apartments. This week, council decided to proceed with a home ownership development due to demand for affordable options to buy in Banff. A 2018 survey with 501 respondents showed 74% were currently renting and looking to enter the home ownership market, and 40% considered it extremely important to buy in the next two to four years. In that same survey, 82% said they have considered leaving Banff to purchase a home.
The recent Bow Valley Regional Housing Needs study estimated that 513 affordable housing units would be required in Banff by 2027.
The two plots of land on Banff Avenue were purchased by the Banff Housing Corporation in December 2013 for the purposes of a future housing development.
Preliminary unit estimates for the project:
- Proposed unit mix is two- and three-bedroom units
- Sizes are proposed at 700 and 900 square feet
- An estimated 29 units could be constructed
- Total project cost to build is estimated at $8,526,416
- Costs would be recovered through the sale of units
- Units would be price restricted below market sale price
As with previous Banff Housing Corporation price-restricted home ownership projects, units would be pre-sold to eligible buyers on the Registered Resale List. Currently, there are over 200 people on the list to purchase Banff Housing Corporation homes.
With a price-restricted purchase model, the Town would retain an equity component on each units.
It is anticipated that construction will begin in the spring of 2020 with a proposed completion date of fall of 2021. Community consultation will occur prior to the design phase.
Revenue from the Ti’nu Apartments will continue to build a reserve for future investment in affordable housing, with the next project proposed for Cave Avenue rental apartments in the future.
Public input on parking options starts in September
Council directed administration to develop a public input program to gather feedback on a parking management plan, which includes a residential permit system and user-pay parking downtown. The public consultation process is scheduled to begin in September.
Residents, stakeholder groups and visitors will be invited to discuss the components of the resident permit system and user-pay parking in a series of activities, including several in-person sessions and online engagement.
Council asked for a range of activities for community-wide conversations about potential ways to ensure greater parking availability in the commercial district, while protecting on-street parking in residential areas near downtown.
Topics the public input sessions will cover include:
- Costs for free use of parking spaces downtown currently
- How costs of a resident permit system could be covered
- Allocation of revenue from user-pay parking
- Locations/zones for resident permits and user-pay parking
- Seasonality/days/hours for both a user-pay system and resident permit requirements
- “Free” periods before charges apply or resident options in user-pay parking
Council is seeking input on parking because a number of challenges and opportunities have occurred since previous consultation on parking. The new 2019-2022 Banff Strategic Plan identified an elevated need to protect resident parking spaces near their homes. In addition, visitor vehicle volumes continue to increase, although Roam Public Transit has proven to be successful. User-pay parking is proposed as a disincentive to driving, and as a way to increase turnover of parking downtown, thereby creating greater parking availability. User-pay parking is also proposed to maximize utilization of Roam and a 500-stall parking lot the Town will begin operating at the Train Station by September.
Fee for recycling paper, plastic, metal containers eliminated for Banff businesses
Council voted to eliminate the fee for the non-residential sector to deliver mixed paper, plastic and metal containers to the Waste Transfer Site for recycling. Council also changed regulations to allow businesses to deposit mixed paper, along with plastic, metal and glass containers in residential recycling collection bins.
The changes were made to increase convenience of recycling for the commercial sector, and increase the town’s total diversion of waste from landfill. Banff has a goal to reduce waste going to landfill by 70% by 2028 and eliminate all landfill by 2050.
The new rules will be implemented to coincide with the placement of new recycling depots in four locations downtown: the Fire Hall parking lot, the laneway behind the United Church, the Bear Street surface parking lot, and the Town Hall parking lot. These enhanced neighbourhood depots will be installed by October.
Businesses will remain prohibited from placing cardboard or food and food-soiled paper in residential recycling collection bins, as there is a convenient Town collection service for these materials already in place.
Public hearing scheduled for road closure of unofficial laneway
A public hearing on Bylaw 416 – Road Closure Bylaw, has been scheduled for September 9 at 2 p.m. The proposed bylaw would deal with an unofficial roadway accessed at one end via Town-leased land (514 Deer Street). The road runs behind 502-512 Deer Street, on private leaseholds, and no agreements are in place for the public to use the access. This access has been brought up many times since incorporation as an outstanding issue. Town staff have met with area residents, and a road closure bylaw requires a public hearing where all residents can comment on the closure.
Street light replacements on Glen Crescent
Council approved funding to support FortisAlberta’s project to replace street lights and associated underground wiring along Glen Crescent. Work is taking place because the existing underground wires don’t meet the electrical code. As part of this, the street light fixtures will be replaced with new poles and more efficient LED lights. Fortis will cover much of the costs of replacement, however, to meet the Town of Banff’s lighting policy requirements, the infrastructure will be upgraded beyond Fortis’ standard, and the Town is responsible for paying that incremental cost. Council approved $31,500 from the budget stabilization reserve to support this project.