This Week at City Hall

Monday, May 25
Crime Prevention Advisory Committee (12:15 pm)
City Council (5:30 pm): After a long absence from council meeting lineups, the condo conversion is back in full force. Three are being considered this evening: 2151, 2153 and 2163 Hamilton Street.

Things are getting even more convoluted of late. The city is working with developers to impose a requirement that 75% of units in newly condo'ized buildings remain rental suites. The city even has proposed legal agreements with the developer of the Hamilton buildings that'll impose a reporting requirement on them (in which they have to prove they're abiding by the agreement) and penalties if the number of rental suites drops. This has all been done in light the city's 0.5% vacancy rate. Lawyers for the developer are balking at the 75% requirement now that CMHC has released numbers stating the current vacancy has risen to a whopping 1.2% and is expected to escalate to an unimaginably lofty 2% sometime next year. The lawyers will argue tonight that because the rental market has returned to pre-2008 levels (that hearkens way back to last year) they shouldn't be treated differently than developers from back in those days.

That city council probably shouldn't have been approving all those condo conversions back in 2008 when the vacancy rate was 1.5% seems to be immaterial to these lawyers. (City policy says they shouldn't approve conversions if the rate is under 3%.)

Also on the agenda, a review of the RPL's audited financial statements; external financing recommendations for the general capital program and for water and sewer utilities; and recommendations around the 2009 general and utility capital debenture bylaw.

In short, council should be an interesting affair tonight and I can't make it, dammit! So if anyone reading this does go to council tonight, feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section for this post. I'd be curious to hear what goes down.

Tuesday, May 26
Development Appeals Board Hearing (5:30 pm)

As always, you can download full meeting agendas and reports on the city's website.


observer said...

convoluted is absolutely right, paul

saskternality said...

At last months meeting the Mayor, kept on talking about customers and not citizens, he also got upset that all the people who have been around for the condo debates, aren't around for the approval of some new rental apartments being built. He was also whining that some people are ideologically opposed to conversions, after Bryce was the only one to vote against a conversion they passed.

Paul Dechene said...

Interesting... Now, let me see... that'd be the same city council meeting at which they approved a 70-unit rental complex at 3351 E Eastgate Bay. By my map, there's bald prairie across the street from there. City staff recommended denying the application because the building won't be linked up to anywhere or anything. It's a veritable residential island. So, while we're losing rental units in the core of the city to condo-ization, we're gaining new units out on the edge of civilization. Nice work, that.

Paul Dechene said...

Joe Couture at the Leader Post is reporting that council approved all of the condo conversions.


It's a good, critical piece and definitely worth a read. The quotes from Diane Delaney of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services were very interesting.