City of Waterloo council summary for June 22, 2020

Posted On Monday June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020

** The council summary below provides a snapshot of the major items presented at today's council meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

Council embraces safety and active transportation including piloting 30 km speed limit in school zones

Council has approved the fast tracking of several transportation initiatives to enhance safety. Speed limits will be reduced to 40 kilometers in a number of neighbourhoods in the city. The affected streets, located in 11 different areas in the city, are currently posted at 50 km/hour. The city will also be piloting the introduction of a 30 km/hour speed limit in several school zones.

The goal for lowering the speed limit is to enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Highlights include:

-          9 kilometres of slow streets (a slow street is open to all users, with a specific intent to provide more walking and cycling areas during this pandemic. While the streets are open to traffic, they are intended for local traffic only. People will be allowed to walk and cycle in the street, while vehicles will be expected to reduce their speeds. Access for emergency vehicles and waste collection services will be maintained)

-          40km/h pilots in two major neighbourhoods – Westvale and Eastbridge

-          Closure of Willis Way in Uptown Waterloo from King to Caroline from July to September

-          Investigate 30km/hour speeds limits in school zones, within the 40km/hour neighbourhood pilot

-          Reserved cycling lane improvements

-          160 streets are receiving some form of active transportation improvement with an orientation toward overall safety and health and improved conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, with a few more to be added

 

Find all the details on the city’s website: Active Transportation, pg. 163. The city will evaluate these measures later this year. A full list of streets will be added to the city’s website shortly.

 

Financial impact of COVID-19 and extension of tax relief for residents
COVID-19 is taking a financial toll on city finances due to the delivery of needed tax relief to residents who are challenged by the impacts of COVID-19.

The city will lose approximately $5.3 million in tax based lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 15 to July 31. The city has implemented a number of cost cutting measures to reduce the deficit to an expected $2.6 million.

Council also unanimously approved additional relief measures, specifically:

  • 75 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of July 2020
  • 50 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of August 2020
  • 25 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of September 2020

Greater details can be found on the city’s website: Financial Impact of COVID-19 – update #3, page 93.

 

City makes accelerated investments in city parks

Thanks to a Council decision during budget deliberations earlier this year, playground equipment is being replaced twice as fast than if it had not made this a strategic priority. Council has unanimously approved $350,000 to replace playground equipment in six parks over the next three years, as well as amenity improvements at Hillside Park. Greater details can be found on the city’s website: Financial Impact of COVID-19 – update #3, page 139.

 

Council approves new apartment building for Northdale

Council has approved the development of a six storey, residential apartment building with 185 units (222 bedrooms), 79 parking spaces and 56 bike parking spaces. The building will also have indoor amenities, private patios and balconies attached to some units. The building will be located in Northdale neighbourhhood at Albert and Hickory streets.

As the number of bedrooms exceed what is permitted for that area, the developer will provide $1.5 million in community benefits to the city. Benefits include:

  • $700,000 contribution to the city’s Affordable Housing Grant program
  • $400,000 for the construction of a new pedestrian connection between Lester and Philip streets,
  • $300,000 to the Northdale Streetscape Master Plan for streetscape enhances on Larch Street, and
  • $131,400 to community recreation services at Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre and Albert McCormick Community Centre.

Greater details can be found on the city’s website: New apartment building for Northdale, page 174.

 

Council supports local journalism

Council unanimously supported a resolution pledging its support for local journalism and calling on the Federal government to endorse legislation and regulations to support and rejuvenate news outlets across Canada; and Council urges the Federal government to move quickly to pass legislation to ensure an ecosystem for a healthy news media to serve all Canadians.

Council believes it’s important that local news is covered and that an independent media is a critical part of democracy.

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Media contact:
Tony Iavarone
Director, Corporate Communications
tony.iavarone@waterloo.ca