Downtown Plan Discussion Postponed

Wednesday's meeting of the Regina Planning Commission to discuss the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan has been canceled. Discussion of the plan will be postponed to some yet to be determined date.

From what I've heard, this probably has more to do with the practice of circulating city reports on the Friday before their discussion on the following Wednesday (when RPC meetings traditionally occur). The Downtown Plan is a huge document and some stakeholders feel they need more time to plow through it.

Fair enough. Still, one wonders who these stakeholders are who've expressed a need for more time to review the document and provide comments. I know that it's been a complaint among some in the community that they aren't given enough time to examine the reports that affect them. If, by having the Downtown Plan held up, the message gets through to city admin that community members, councillors and anyone affected by city decisions need more lead time before engaging in official discussion of reports, well then that's great.

Sawyer's Series

Huh! Apparently, Canadian science fiction author and frequent visitor to Saskatchewan Robert Sawyer has a TV series a-coming, as one of his books, Flash Forward, just scored a 13-episode run on ABC. Nifty! (CBC)

Anyone who wants more Sawyer can check out the author's blog, here. Link goes to the Flash Forward post, from Friday. And what the heck, here's a self-serving link to his recent Blog Post on his April 9 Planet S cover interview.

Sawyer will beam into Regina on Saturday, June 20 at Book and Brier Patch for signing and socializing.

Six In The Morning

1 THEY USED TO CALL HIM LYIN' BRIAN Former PM Mulroney will take the stand tomorrow at the Oliphant inquiry. Here's a preview in the Globe And Mail. Meanwhile, the Toronto Star's Chantal H├ębert contrasts the Karlheinz Schreiber scandal with the Sponsorship shenanigans that led to a full-blown public inquiry.

2 ROUNDING UP Apparently, the passing grade in Saskatchewan high schools is 45 per cent. Which wouldn't have helped certain prairie dog editors who once scored a 26 per cent in Math 300. But we won't talk about that. (StarPhoenix)

3 PIRATE PALS Somali pirates use British informers for tactical information about the ships they're attacking, according to a report. (Guardian)

4 MASSACRE AT CAMP LIBERTY A U.S. soldier in Iraq shot five fellow soldiers at a major U.S. military base in Baghdad. Yikes. (New York Times)

5 I GUESS IT'S TOUGH TO BE THE KING OF A COALITION Recently-acclaimed federal liberal leader Michael Ignatieff gives his spin on last fall's coalition between the Liberals and the NDP--he says it would've divided Canadians. (CP/Toronto Star)

6 CITY SUPPORTS SYMPHONY Regina reaches for its wallet to help fund a free RSO show scheduled for August. (Leader-Post)

This Week at City Hall

Monday, May 11
City Council (5:30 pm): Highlights include proposed alterations to the exterior of the Leader Building, a condo conversion on Froom Crescent, an extension of seasonal taxicab licenses, special event funding, and a change to the Official Community Plan so that the city could charge development levies. At the end of the schedule -- so you can bet it'll sail through without any problems -- is a proposal to convert a Warehouse District building at 1916 Dewdney into offices. Wouldn't be such a bad idea, except the applicant will be demolishing a building to the north of 1916 Dewdney to make way for -- you guessed it -- more paved surface parking! Joy! Once again, instead of an old building being restored or a new one being built to attract more business into a community, we get a swathe of asphalt. Nice work. Apparently, based on its square meterage, 1916 Dewdney would usually require 73 parking spots but since it is within the historic Warehouse District that requirement is dropped to 37 stalls. The developer, however, is proposing 84 stalls.

Wednesday, May 13
Regina Planning Commission (4 pm): This meeting will be devoted to the Regina Downtown Neighbourhood Plan. I suspect there'll be a presentation by Jennifer Keesmat and the Office for Urbanism crew. I'll admit that so far I'm pretty pleased with how the plan looks, though I must confess I haven't read it closely. The one section I'm especially impressed by is the Built Form Framework, which lays out guidelines for any new construction or building renovation work. Hope it's passed without alteration but I suspect it'll be the most contentious part of the plan. As mentioned earlier, finding the plan on the city website can be a challenge so you can avoid the frustration of searching for yourself by clicking here.

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