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Hello Ward 7 Residents,

I hope this summer has treated you well and you’ve enjoyed some time relaxing with family and friends. Read on for some updates from City Hall:

Summer construction

Summer is a busy time for all kinds of construction projects around the city, and many of these projects are well underway (if not completed). Commuters may have already noticed that the rehabilitation work on the Idylwyld Freeway (over Ruth Street) was completed ahead of schedule, and the City has just announced that the halfway point in the summer’s roadway rehabilitation season has been met. In the next few weeks residents will notice micro-surfacing projects happening all over the city, including several local streets in Ward 7. The completion of the Stonebridge interchange between Vic Boulevard and Highway 11 remains on target to be complete and operational later this fall.

The city has repaired more than 139,000 potholes, repaired 8,780 meters of sanitary sewer mains, and replaced 3,777 sidewalk panels so far this summer. In order to ensure the safe and efficient completion of the remaining work, please remember to drive carefully in work zones and wherever you see workers.

Market Mall Rezoning

At its August meeting, City Council considered a rezoning application and a discretionary use application to allow for the construction of multi-family dwellings on the north-east parking lot at Market Mall. The proposal would accommodate up to 440 units of new condominiums and the proponent for this development is Fishman Holdings, the company that owns Market Mall.

Council voted unanimously to approve these applications. In my view, this type of infill aligns with the City’s stated objectives to increase density within Circle Drive. This type of project also has the potential to revitalize the mall, which is an important amenity to residents in the area.

This proposal generated a large number of responses, both against and in favour of the development, and I’d like to thank everyone who shared their feedback with me. As a result of the feedback I received, Council made a number of additional recommendations to speak to concerns raised by residents:

  • That the administration work with the proponent to ensure that the traffic signals at Preston and Adelaide are in place to coincide with the beginning of construction and report back with details of construction timelines and financing of the traffic signals (this was a condition of approval).
  • That the proponent update the appropriate city committee detailing plans to communicate with area residents and meet with neighbouring community associations;
  • That the administration report back with additional details of the proponent’s on-site storm-water management plan
  • That the administration coordinate a community meeting and complete a pedestrian accessibility and mobility review in the Nutana Suburban area with a focus on the Market Mall area in a year’s time.

I recognize there are residents who were hoping for a different outcome on this decision, and I know this development will be a big change for the area. However, I believe this type if infill investment will bring positive change in terms of the long-term vibrancy of the neighbourhood and will support the sustainability of transit and other amenities for residents.

Clarence Avenue Fire Hall

At Council’s June meeting the relocation of Fire Hall #3 was officially approved. This hall is currently located on Taylor Street and York Avenue and is being relocated for a number of reasons, including the need to improve coverage and response times to Stonebridge. The relocation of this fire hall will allow the City to avoid building an additional fire hall in Stonebridge and instead use Fire Hall #3 to cover both Stonebridge and older neighbourhoods in Ward 7. This decision will save millions of dollars in both operating and capital costs and will eliminate redundancies in the coverage areas of existing fire halls.

The new location of Fire Hall #3 will be the north parking lot of St Martins United Church (a land purchase has been negotiated with the church), and the land on Melville Street which had been previously dedicated to a future fire hall will be sold by the city. Construction of the new Hall #3 will begin in 2017, and the city administration is preparing to implement traffic calming measures and improvements along/near Clarence Avenue in preparation for its operation.

If you have questions about any of these updates (or any other city issues) please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

All the best,

Mairin Loewen