February – Councillor Jeromy Farkas’ Report

Ward  e

Dear Friends,

It was a busy start to the year with hosting the first ever Ward 11 Town Hall. Thanks to all those who attended the forum and a special thanks to the Pump Hill Bayview Palliser Community Association for hosting the event!

Many of you contacted me about the proposed changes to secondary suite reform that City Council debated at the end of 2017. I oppose blanket rezoning, but I believe that the current approach to secondary suites, where homeowners plead their case at Council public hearings, isn’t working. My family chose to live in an R1 neighbourhood for a reason and want to see choice in housing maintained. At present, when City Council decides to approve a secondary suite (which is the case nearly 95% of the time), that decision cannot be challenged.

Next month, Council will be debating changes regarding the secondary suite approval process with the most significant change being that all requests would be reviewed through an objective administrative process (checklist around issues such as parking, safety, traffic) rather than through a subjective decision made by City Council. The proposed reforms also include bringing back fees so that taxpayers are not absorbing application costs and, if a secondary suite is approved, adjacent property owners can appeal the decision through a quasi-judicial and independent board.

I will continue to ask tough questions regarding City Council’s priorities and spending including questioning the need for multi-million-dollar projects like the SWBRT that have no proven ridership. I remain committed to ensuring that taxpayers are getting value for money on everyday services like waste and recycling. I encourage you to continue to share your views on these issues with me and I want to hear from all sides. As your Councillor, my job is to represent you rather than impose City Hall’s view on you.

Finally, please join me at the next monthly Town Hall taking place on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 7:00 to 8:30pm at the Oakridge Community Centre (9504 Oakfield Drive SW). Thank you, Oakridge Community Association, for being this month’s host! Great things happen when we work together. Sincerely,

Jeromy Farkas

City Councillor and Palliser resident