Jeff Luehmann’s plans are in the air. Literally.
A week after a 90-minute session with city staffers, Luehmann still doesn’t know if he has to draft a planning study and greenspace map for his proposed 27-lot housing development.
The lots would sit on land originally slated for a nine-hole extension of his golf course.
“To be honest, it was a lengthy meeting and it was as informative as it could be, but it didn’t really tell me a whole lot,” Luehmann said recently from his Meadow Lakes Golf and Country Club.
His development application is the highest-profile case to test bylaw 2006-11, which squeaked in through a city-wide referendum on June 22nd.
Under it, a developer must draft a planning study and greenspace map for any new development.
But more than two weeks after the referendum, the city hasn’t figured out at what point the bylaw comes into effect during the development-application process.
Luehmann wants an Official Community Plan amendment for his private housing development.
The application is currently waiting to be signed by the Yukon government before it can go to third reading with city council.
But this process began before bylaw 2006-11 came into effect.
“We need to establish the thresholds of when these bylaws kick into place,” said acting city manager Robert Fendrick.
“They’ve got to address this quick — there’s no two ways about it,” said Luehmann.
“I mean, not just for me, for anybody that wants to bring a development forward. You gotta know what you’re going to have to go through.”
Such a study could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000, said Luehmann.
The city’s planning department is currently figuring things out, said Fendrick.
“They’re formulating that right now over there so we can have thresholds for everybody,” he said.
“It’s not just Mr. Luehmann, there’s all kinds of subdivisions out there that are in place.
“What we’re trying to do is come up with a table or a flow chart of exactly where the bylaws will kick in for each individual person depending on what stage of the process their at.”
These guidelines won’t be established until next week, said the city’s planning services manager Lesley Cabott.
“We’re working on that and we’ll take it to senior management, probably next week,” said Cabott.
“We’re going to see which applications we have that are in the process and where they are.”
Cabott couldn’t say how many development applications are currently underway.
“We’re just looking at that right now; our senior customer service representative is just getting that information,” she said.
Luehmann said city administration is not to blame for the delay.
“They’re sort of caught in the middle,” he said. “They’re handed a bunch of legislation and they have to deal with it. They didn’t initiate it by any means.
“But now it’s in their court and that’s kind of where it’s at.
“I’m sure everybody’s kind of sitting on edge waiting to hear what these guys are going to do.”
Contact Rich Maerov at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council enters electronic age squabbling
Will that be cash or charge?
Multiplex users won’t get that choice anymore.
And that has councillor Doug Graham’s sweatpants in a knot.
This week, during a presentation on new Canada Games Centre fees by recreation manager Linda Rapp, Graham aggressively challenged a move to convert all monthly passes to electronic fund transfer.
Under the new system, members couldn’t pay cash for their monthly pass.
Instead, money would be automatically debited from their bank accounts or credit cards.
“We need more options, not less,” said Graham.
“What about people who want to pay cash? Why not make that available?” he said.
It creates too much paperwork, countered Rapp.
“This process is the way that it was originally intended and it is the way that other similar facilities across the country have gone,” she said.
It guarantees an ongoing commitment to memberships, because many members won’t bother cancelling if they don’t go to the gym for a month or two, she said.
Graham called that ludicrous.
“I can tell we were what, $450,000 to $500,000 short on revenues last year? This change, by itself, will add another $250,000 to that,” he declared.
It’s not that big a deal, soothed councillor Bev Buckway.
“It’s not something that you’d be tied to forever and ever; you can cancel if you want and then you can reinitiate it if you want to.
“It’s not that drastic.” (RM)