Starting 2015 off with… collaboration!

For the past few months, I’ve been quietly working on a few new projects and connecting with great groups in Regina and beyond. Now that we are into 2015, I’m happy to say that these projects are taking shape and I can start talking about them.

The most exciting collaboration is with the folks at Queen City Hub and Regina Advocates for Design. They’re launching a lecture series called Urbanity 101 which will explore topics related to urban planning, design, and citizen engagement. The goal is to provide a space for citizens to improve their understanding of urban issues and planning concepts, ask questions, and engage in a more social dialogue. The specifics of the series are still under development, but more information will be coming soon!

I don’t know about you, but I’m already excited about what 2015 has in store!

Starting 2015 off with… collaboration!

Transit Changes

A Bus

There are changes happening to the Regina transit’s route system. There will be five public meetings for the Transit Route Review if you want to share your thoughts or ask questions about the transit changes.

Wednesday, January 30, 3 to 8pm at the Cornwall Centre

Thursday, January 31, 3 to 8pm at the Northgate Mall

Saturday, February 2, 11am to 3pm at the Victoria Square Mall

Monday, February 4, 5:30 to 8pm at the Albert Scott Community Centre

Tuesday, February 5, 10am to 2pm at the U of R Riddell Centre

Continue reading “Transit Changes”

Transit Changes

Design Regina Meeting

Tuesday there were three design Regina meetings at the Artesian on 13th Avenue to discuss Strategic Priorities from the OCP process.  You can view the slide deck for the presentation on the Design Regina website (here).

If you want to participate in the discussion, there is a survey you can fill out(here).  Survey’s are due by April 3rd, any submitted by the deadline will be included in the report to Executive Committee on April 25th and then on to City Council on April 30th.  If you want to present at Council, contact the City Clerk’s office by calling 777-7000 or submit an Online Request Form, the Clerk’s office will contact you with information. You can find information on presenting as a delegation from the City website (here).

For a review of the meeting, continue past the jump.

Continue reading “Design Regina Meeting”

Design Regina Meeting

Design Regina: Community Priorities

There will be three follow-up Design Regina public information meetings tomorrow at the Artesian on 13th Avenue.  The meetings will look at a refined list of eight community priorities developed during the Design Regina workshops held last October (here and here).  The meetings will start at noon, 5pm and 7pm.

The list of eight priorities that will be presented tomorrow is below:

  1. Develop Complete Neighbourhoods
  2. Embrace and Invest in Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation
  3. Support the Availability of Diverse Housing Options
  4. Create Better Ways of Getting Around
  5. Promote Conservation & Environmental Stewardship
  6. Achieve Financial Sustainability
  7. Foster Economic Prosperity
  8. Optimize Regional Cooperation

The priorities last October after the first day were:

  1. Design Complete Communities
  2. Embrace and Invest in Arts and Culture
  3. Affordable and appropriate housing for all
  4. More and better options for movement
  5. Conservation and environmental stewardship
  6. Adopt life-cycle costing
  7. New revenue generating tools
  8. New strategy for engagement and collaboration

With the last two priorities added after the second day.

Design Regina: Community Priorities

The Crescent Apartments: Now and Soon to be

We have known for some time that the Crescent Apartments at 1550 14th Avenue are not long for this world.  The tenants have received their eviction notices.  The building appears to be empty.  Over the last few weeks, the property owner attempt to remove the Crescent Apartments from the Heritage Holding bylaw to expedite the removal of the building and allow construction of a new structure.

 On February 29th, Regina Planning Commission met to review the application (RPC 12-11) from Westland Ventures Inc. and Granite Developments Inc.  This meeting usefully highlighted some of the limitations of the City’s ability to preserve heritage buildings.  Owners must apply for heritage designation, with the City only notifying property owners of potential financial incentives with designation once a potential change to a property/building is in the works.  There’s one person dedicated to reviewing buildings on the heritage holding bylaw list.  Any changes that trigger a permit will come across their desk. With only one person, the city seems to lack the capacity to take a pro-active approach with property owners before changes get underway.

Continue reading “The Crescent Apartments: Now and Soon to be”

The Crescent Apartments: Now and Soon to be

February 21, 2012 City Council Meeting

Update: Ward 4 councilor Michael Fougere announced he will run for Mayor (Leader Post).  I wonder if this will come up in council?

The Municipal Heritage Awards Presentation will proceed council this evening at 5:30pm.  

6:00pm tonight there will be a meeting of City Council at City Hall. 

The 13th Avenue Safeway redevelopment is being recommended (see CR12-16).  Planning commission raised some concerns about screening the South side of the parcel adjacent to houses on Robinson and Retallack.  The matter was refered to the proponent, city administration and the residents to discuss.  A supplementary report, CM12-2 suggests the residents’ concerns have been addressed.

There are only three ( including the applicant) delegations speaking to this proposal; far fewer than at planning commission last month. 

There are two delegations regarding the Taxi Study Recommendations (CR12-19) put forward at Executive Committee last week.  Neither presenter seems pleased with the process.  It’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say.

Also from Executive Committee, CR12-20 recommends the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) contract a procurement team for the stadium project. 

I look forward to hearing our councilors’  take on this step in the RRI.

For the full agenda check out the City website.

February 21, 2012 City Council Meeting

Mayor Fiacco and Executive Committee

The rumours are official, Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco will not run for a fifth term (see Leader Post, Newstalk and Prairie Dog.)  The Mayor will end his 12 years in office before the municipal election this fall. 

As Mayor Pat Fiacco certainly divided opinion.  Many Reginans appreciated his energy and positivity as a great ambassador and civic booster.  There were years without tax increases, which was popular if not short sighted.  Big projects like Wascana Lake improvements, record construction and more recently new office towers and a public plaza downtown.  He also embodied a  more corporate style at City Hall, perhaps taking a page from his time in the private sector.

Detractors often felt he was isolated, combative and too business oriented.  With projects like the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI), the 12th avenue plaza and planned cuts to libraries were some of many controversial plans and projects backed by Mayor Fiacco. 

His stepping down makes this fall election look much more interesting.  Vetting a new mayor should allow the public to raise questions and reflect on the kind of leader they want and what direction they should go. 

In the mean time, there are meetings, plans and projects on the go.  Like today, where at 11:45 there is a meeting of Executive Committee (which may or may not be open to the public).  There are three reports on the agenda:

EX 12-3 Final Taxi Study Recommendations.  There are dozen recommendations for upgrades to Regina’s taxis including GPS units and security cameras in at most three years time, as well as new licensing and inspection fees.  There is also a recommendation for a ratio of one cab for every 1250 residents.   

EX12-4 Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) [Stadium] Procurement Team Contracts.  The City wants to contract a Project Manager, Architectural/Owner’s Engineer and Fairness Advisor to the RRI team.  The positions are part of the P3 process and as such will provide, according to the report, expertise in their fields.

I recommend reading the Background section of the report for a good summary of the RRI process to date.

EX12-5 Comprehensive Housing Strategy Work Plan.  The work plan sets out 5 phases:

Background Review (Now)

Issue Identification (Mar-May)

Policy, Incentives and Strategies Identification (May-July)

 Evaluating Alternatives and Preparing a Draft (July-Nov)

Public Engagement (Nov-Dec)

Housing Strategy (Early 2013)

Mayor Fiacco and Executive Committee

February 8, 2012 Planning Commission

There are four reports today at the 4pm planning commission meeting at City Hall.

RPC 12-7 Will see one of the oldest buildings in Regina receive heritage recognition.  The former Salvation Army Citadel and Christian Apostolic Church, located at 1772 Montreal Street is now (well, as of Jane’s Walks last year anyway) the Core Christian Centre, an after school child care space.

RPC 12-6 A rezoning of parcels around the former Sherwood Village Mall (YMCA and Sherwood Library area) from PUD (MU) Planned Unit Development (Mixed Use) to MS or Main Street.  This MS zoning allows the library to be a permitted use and the subdivision will include the rear parking lot of the library.

RPC 12-5 Lastly, a discretionary use application (11-DU-4) at 215 Winnipeg Street N for a proposed new Robin’s Donuts drive-thru restaurant on the old Race Trac Gas site on the corner of 6th Ave N.  The restaurant will be converted from a car-wash attached to a convenience store/gas station. 

The City’s report included feed back against another donut shop in the area; with the City’s response being that administration doesn’t choose the style of restaurant for zoning approval.

February 8, 2012 Planning Commission

Regina Planning Commission

Tuesday afternoon saw a special session of Regina Planning Commission (RPC)take all of three hours to receive delegations, ask questions of administration and make statements to the proposal.  In the end, despite some reservations, Planning Commission voted in favour of (see RPC 12-4) amendments to the Cathedral Neighbourhood Plan and Zoning Bylaw, closure and sale of the public lane to the South and the Discretionary Use (DU) application for a larger Safeway grocery store on 13th Avenue.

Most of the meeting was spent presenting a variety of views from Cathedral residents both those in agreement and those with reservations.  There was not a lot of new information brought forward since the last public meeting in November(See RUE here and here for background) but there was a great deal of consideration.

Continue reading “Regina Planning Commission”

Regina Planning Commission