Councillor’s Corner

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

Welcome to summer Kitchissippi! With longer and warmer days, there are lots of things happening in our Ward and at City Hall. Read on to find out what we’re working on and what’s coming up next.

The City recently posted a report to the May 22 agenda of Planning Committee meeting updating its monitoring of how the new infill rules are working. If you’re interested you can visit my website and give the report a thorough read. The key message is that City staff consider the new rules that control the size of infills are generally working. The rules are intended to protect front yard landscaping, space for trees, and front yard setbacks, among other things. Staff’s conclusion comes from a lengthy consultation with community groups and an analysis of Committee of Adjustment applications and decisions. While the rules are generally working, there is a list of proposed changes that will be the subject of further consultation before being implemented. Overall, Kitchissippi remains the hot spot for infill in the inner and outer urban wards, and our ward also sees the highest number of variances to zoning being sought. I consider that staff have done a thorough job of delivering this report, and I look forward to working with our residents in the coming months to see whether there is room for continued improvement.

In further housing news, in January I made an inquiry at City Council asking staff to look into the tools available to us as a city to address housing affordability near transit hubs. Staff from multiple departments provided their answers at the beginning of May. At the high level, I understand that there are several tools available to increase the supply of affordable housing near transit, but that those require capital dollars. It’s also clear that a coordinated approach among multiple stakeholders is required to take advantage of these opportunities. You can read the detailed response on my website.

The ward is hopping this month. I’ll be holding a pop-up at Freshii on June 5th, from 9 to 12. Be sure to check the Newsletter for more upcoming pop-ups. The Happening ArtsPark is on June 2 in Parkdale Park and promises to be an amazing event. Westfest is having its 15th anniversary this year in Tom Brown Park from June 8-10 with loads of musical acts. Finally, Art in the Alley is happening June 22-24 at Alicat Art Studio. Get out there and have an amazing June!

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