City Council Highlights
Below are some of the highlights from the April and May 2023 Council and Committee meetings. The full reports can be found at saskatoon.ca/meeting.
Housing Accelerator Fund Application
The City of Saskatoon will be submitting an application to the Federal Government for the Housing Accelerator Fund. If successful, it will add approximately 1300 units of housing beyond what was already planned.
As soon as the Fund was announced, City staff worked quickly to engage with community partners to identify ideas that could accelerate increasing the housing supply across the entire housing spectrum, including affordable housing options.
Rapid Housing Initiative Funding Contribution Agreement
City Council approved a funding contribution agreement with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that will allow for the construction of 33 badly needed affordable housing units in our community.
This follows on the success of a previous round of funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative in late 2021 that provided 32 units of affordable housing between two projects that have since opened and are being operated by Cress Housing and CUMFI.
More details on the project will be announced in the months to come with completion and occupancy expected for November of 2024. Thank you to the Provincial and Federal Governments and local partners that continue to work collaboratively on the Rapid Housing Initiative projects to get more vulnerable people into affordable housing.
Official Community Plan Bylaw Amendment – High- Density Mixed Use
City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the Official Community Plan Bylaw that would allow for High-Density Mixed-Use buildings in an expanded area outside of the downtown, but within the city centre. The 400 metre boundary from downtown, accessible to transit stations, will help to meet a vision of growth. It also recognizes the need for common sense checks and balances in established neighbourhoods.
As we continue to move towards a city of half a million people, we need to facilitate more predictability in infill and efficient growth. This change does not guarantee development applications as those would continue to be considered by City Council at Public Hearings.
Landfill Gas System Expansion and Optimization
Due to site readiness, The City will proceed with work on elements of the Landfill Gas Collection System, cover, and surface water management. The completion of Stage E of this landfill gas infrastructure will help reduce 30,000 tonnes of C02e per year.
This number represents 14% of the City’s corporate emissions. Completion of all associated landfill gas upgrades that are planned, would eliminate 80,000 tonnes of C02e per year which is more than one third of the City’s corporate emissions based on 2021 inventory.
The City continues to implement and pursue options that will help achieve a newly updated target of being net zero by 2050. This new target aligns Saskatoon with other orders of government and municipalities across the country.
“Pawâtêtân Court” (Pah-Wah-Tah-Ten) is a Cree word, which has a meaning of “let’s dream together”, has been selected as the name for the outdoor basketball multi-court project. This name was recommended through a planning process with Jumpstart and Hoist the Hoops, consulting the National Survivor Circle, local Elders, and a Cree linguistics professor from the U of S.
The City will consider funding options for adding specific Transit Support Workers to patrol terminals, stops, and rotating targeted bus routes. Cities across the country are facing rising safety related issues on their transit systems, and unfortunately, this is also true in Saskatoon.
We want to make sure that our transit system can be safe and reliable for the tens of thousands of people that rely on transit, daily.
Council approved climate budgeting work to be used in future budgets, starting with the 2024/2025 budget cycle. This will lay out the costs of climate in(action) within our budgets so that there is more transparency on project impacts and items that will help progress the city’s goals of becoming a more sustainable city.
City Council unanimously approved a 6 story development at the corner of Broadway and 8th street featuring 90 residential units. Most of the land has been vacant for a number of years and will bring a mix of residential on floors 2-6 and commercial on the ground level.
This is the type of development that is well suited to be placed along our future Transit Corridors and helps work towards the city’s goal of having 25% of future population growth from infill. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2024 or early 2025.