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City gives the green light to further development for building on Kensington

Latest news from the Estevan city council meeting
Kensington 418
City council discussed the possibility of residential development for 418 Kensington Ave.

ESTEVAN - Estevan city council gave second and third readings to a zoning bylaw amendment for the redevelopment of the building at 418 Kensington Avenue during their latest meeting on Sept. 7.

The bylaw allows the building owners to develop the main level of what now is a commercial building into a residential property, thus turning the building into mixed commercial/residential.

Since the suggested changes for Sigma Place were brought up in front of council in August, no written inquiries have been made to land development services in favour or against the proposed bylaw. However, there was one phone inquiry.

It was related to dust control and traffic on the laneway adjacent to 308 Petterson Drive. Balconies there are only about three metres from the property line shared with the laneway. The caller was told that this issue was raised in the initial council meeting and would be monitored by the city.

Councillor Lindsay Clark asked that if the rear entrance ties into the back alley, would it result in people using it as a shortcut to Kensington.

“From a shortcut perspective, when I was reviewing this with the city engineer and with the developer, people coming from Sigma Place to go to Kensington, it wasn’t really the shortcut that we're anticipating. Because all those residences that are in Petterson Drive, they're only accessible on the Petterson Drive,” said Richard Neufeld, the land development manager with the City of Estevan.

“The shortcuts we're anticipating are people from Sigma Place going westbound to get to the mall … One mitigating factor possibly is the trail system that the city's implementing this year …  a walking trail that's going to connect Sigma Places directly into the mall. So if people are going to be doing shortcuts my gut feeling is that they're going to be westbound and not eastbound.”

The bylaw was carried.

The next step will be a discretionary use permit application, followed by a building permit application. Adjoining property owners will have another opportunity to provide feedback as part of the feedback process.

The city also looked at the GFL cart reports for June and July. In June they emptied 15,831 trash carts with a total weight of 353,530 kilograms, as well as 4,089 recycling carts with a total weight of 27,760 kilos. In July 15,022 trash carts and 3,779 recycling carts were emptied with total weights of 313,760 kilos and 24,000 kilos, respectively.

Councillor Kirsten Walliser questioned the low uptake of recycling and suggested that the city could potentially do something to stimulate the residents to recycle more.

“We'll talk to GFL. I know it's part of their campaign as well. So we work with them, show them these numbers and see what we can do moving forward,” said city manager Jeff Ward.

Councillor Shelly Veroba also asked for an update on where the city is on having a separate bin for compostable garbage.

“We've talked about composting for a number of years. It's never really taken off. But it's something perhaps we can take this opportunity to look into, for the new council to wade into and see if they're perhaps interested in looking along,” said Mayor Roy Ludwig.

Veroba pointed out that leaves and grass clippings fill up garbage bins very quickly, and she heard that in Alberta compost bins work well for those needs. She suggested that the council should look into the cost of implementing compost bins and make an educated decision based on that.

“It has come up a couple of times. We even talked about it during Operation Clean Sweep, having a centralized bin at the Fifth Street depot and see how much use there is, so I don't know if there's a lot of that type of waste in the fall. I know in the spring it's very useful but I'll talk (to GFL) when we talk about the other bins and see what they say. And maybe we try one for Operation Clean Sweep,” Ward said.

Council confirmed the dates for the next Operation Clean Sweep, which will take place on Oct. 15-17.

The water quality report for August showed that a total of 181,832,200 litres of water were treated and 173,842,400 litres were pumped into the distribution system for the month. There were no plant upsets and all regulated parameters for the drinking water were below government regulations.

However, when the water treatment plant sampled drinking water for their yearly chemical testing, aluminum came in high. It is an operational guidance value under the Government of Canada.

“It is not a guideline under our permit to operate and doesn’t have any health effects at this value,” said Shane Bucsis, water and wastewater services manager in his report. “We will begin to work to correct this. I’m starting operationally to see if there is a solution for this. There are options to correct this, I just have to make sure it’s done in a way that it doesn’t create a different issue.” 

There were no water breaks in August.

During the inquiry period, Veroba brought up an issue of trees hanging too low over main streets. While the city has allocated money in the budget to maintain trees on the back alleys and also takes care of the vegetation on the city properties, if a tree is located on private property then a homeowner will have to take care of it.

It was recommended that if people see trees that are interrupting traffic, but are not sure if it’s private or city property, they should call 634-1800 to consult with the city first. If it’s a citizen’s property, then a bylaw officer should be contacted at 637-4767 to enforce further actions.