City of Waterloo Council summary - November 2, 2020

Posted On Monday November 02, 2020

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

More help for local businesses from city council

Council has unanimously approved additional support to local businesses who are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

Through the city’s S·O·L·E·R (Support Our Local Economic Recovery) initiative businesses can apply to temporarily expand their commercial business to their second floor, subject to obtaining a SOLER licence and compliance with applicable laws, including the Ontario Building Code. This provides temporary zoning relief by removing locational restrictions that prevent some businesses, such as restaurants, from utilizing available internal space to increase occupancies (which have decreased due to physical distancing requirements). This temporary use may assist some businesses in the winter months, when outdoor patios / sales areas are less feasible. This also temporarily permits semi-permanent structures, including tents, on commercial lands; and accessory structures in yards.

Sidewalk snow removal service level

Council has approved a new two-year pilot program to monitor and enforce the clearing of snow from sidewalks throughout the city, as well as continuing to provide additional support to seniors who need assistance with sidewalk snow clearance.

Municipal Enforcement Services (MES) staff looked at their sidewalk snow/ice enforcement model to determine what the resource requirement would be to establish a more robust inspection and enforcement plan. As a result, staff have identified an enforcement model that is likely to provide the best opportunity to improve the program in a reasonable and responsible manner. This model involves the establishment of three zones or areas within the city with one officer assigned to each zone. Previously the city used a two-zone model. The net result would be three officers seconded for the full four months of the program. The required incremental cost to achieve this service level increase of coverage is approximately $32,500 per year.

The city is partnered with Home Support Services (funded by the WW LHIN/Ontario Health West) for seniors over 65 and adults with disabilities who live in the City of Waterloo. This service has been in operation for over 35 years. Eligible clients are matched with a brokered worker who will assist the individual with snow removal throughout the duration of the winter season. All workers are self-employed, recruited, and screened by Home Support staff. The program accepts self and agency referrals. In order to meet our eligibility requirements, all household members must be fully retired from employment, are over the age 65 or are an adult with a disability. These individuals must be physically unable to clear the snow and the property cannot be income producing. It should be noted that this program delivers snow removal service on individual’s private property (i.e. driveway and walkways) in addition to the sidewalk. Space in this program is limited and is usual full by November.

New Roger Street Park moving forward

Council has approved the release of $50,000 this year and an additional $338,000 in January for the development of a new Roger Street Park.  The new park on Roger Street is being developed by the City of Waterloo on lands given to the city from the Spur Line Common residential development; formerly the Canada Tool and Die Company land. The first phase of the Spur Line Common development construction is targeted to be underway in 2021 and the park design and construction schedule will keep pace with the development. The City of Waterloo and the developer are working in a collaborative effort on the park design and construction to ensure the site grading, storm water drainage and pedestrian links are coordinated and are implemented seamlessly. The play amenities for the park will be based on input from a public engagement process as well as a focus on maximizing play value and providing new opportunities within the neighbourhood park system.

 

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