As with every December as well as the excitement of the Christmas season there is also budget planning to do. Council and administration will be working over the next few weeks fine tuning the budget and ensuring it will be well balanced and fair.
Council and I are keen to encourage more public engagement and so we started on Monday Dec 5th an opportunity to talk to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. This question session will take place at 4-4.30pm in the upstairs lobby area at Town Hall. It will take place every second Monday.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the two new Christmas events held this year, Light Up Drumheller and Trail of Trees both went wonderfully and I can't wait to see how these develop in the upcoming years.
I want to remind you about the Light up the Night Contest. We encourage you to either register yourself or nominate a friend to win incredible prizes including Eric Church and Rosebud Theatre tickets. We want to see this valley completely lit up with Christmas lights from one end to the other! http://www.dinosaurvalley.com/light-up-the-night-contest
The deadline to register or nominate is Dec 16 at noon and judging will take place the following week. New this year is the People's Choice where everyone can vote for the best display you can see the great displays at http://www.drumhellermail.com/light-up-the-night Winners will be announced Dec 21.
In closing, have a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours and I hope you have a happy New Year!
Mayor Terry Yemen
Town of Drumheller remains proactive in response to Federal and Provincial environmental taxes
As the provincial and federal governments look to introducing carbon / environmental taxes the Town of Drumheller are looking to implement programmes to deal with the impact of future changes.
The Town relies on the consumption of power, natural gas and gasoline for our daily operations. While the consumption of fossil fuels is necessary for us to deliver quality programs and services to our residents, we are taking steps to ensure that our carbon footprint is reduced and the impact on our ratepayers is minimized.
We expect that the impact of the implementation of the Federal and Provincial measures could result in a 3% increase in the cost of our operations, myself and Town Council are keen to identify strategies that will generate the best results for reducing energy consumption, managing our budgets and taking steps that make us greener in our day to day operations.
Our “Green Team” is always looking at new ways to achieve this and to make everything we do more energy efficient. A couple of examples of the programmes that I want to highlight are:
There is no denying in the short term the carbon tax will pose challenges to the work that we do, yet we remain committed to delivering programs and services that our residents have come to expect. At the end of the day, we continue to position Drumheller as an attractive place to live that is worth investing in and Council is committed to building on our success in the face of these challenges.
If you have any questions feel free to contact myself or the rest of Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about these new Federal and Provincial Taxes visit:
Details of the Alberta Carbon Tax and associated rebates can be found here: http://www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx
The process for Amending the Land Use Bylaw for a proposed Development
As discussed last month The Land Use Bylaw is a policy document that regulates land use. It is approved by Town Council and is required by the Province of Alberta in the Municipal Government Act. The Land Use Bylaw is a highly detailed set of rules used by the Development Officer to guide land uses and development that occurs on specific sites. The text of the bylaw describes specific land use districts and their requirements. Examples of details include the land uses that are allowed, required setbacks from property lines and other buildings, minimum and maximum density, height requirements and parking requirements.
Any changes to the Land Use Bylaw must be completed through the public hearing process, and be presented to Town Council for the final decision.
It is wise for anyone with a development/business idea to meet with the town Development Officer. If required this meeting may include the CAO. This helps both the applicant and staff to determine what would be required to make your application a reality.
If the idea does not fit with the existing land use district, an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw may be required. A Land Use Bylaw Amendment may include changing the text of the Land Use Bylaw to allow for a specific land use or development to occur. It may also change development standards or change the land district designation that applies to a particular parcel of land (also known as rezoning). An amendment is required if the property does not currently allow for that particular development, land use, parcel size or density. An amendment must be adopted by council. According to the Municipal Government Act there must be a public hearing to discuss the proposed amendment which is advertised for 2 weeks prior to the hearing.
On October 17 there will be a public hearing at on a proposed development in Rosedale. The meeting will take place at 4.30pm at Town Hall which is at 224 Centre Street. This is your opportunity to offer support or state your concerns over this development.
Details of all public hearings (along with all Council meeting agendas) can be found in the council agenda package which is posted on the town’s website http://www.dinosaurvalley.com/published-agenda a few days prior to the meeting. For more information on bylaws, and public hearings contact the CAO’s office at email@example.com
This month I wanted to talk about Bylaws, what they are and the process involved in approving and amending them. On September 6 Town Council will be discussing amendments to the Land Use Bylaw. This bylaw determines how land can be developed in Drumheller.
So firstly what is a bylaw?
Bylaws are the laws a municipality devises. The 'by' in bylaw is an old norse word meaning town. A bylaw is simply a town or local law.
Bylaws can't be created out of thin air. Canadian municipalities don't have constitutional status of their own so they can only pass laws authorized by other levels of government. The Municipal Government Act and the Traffic Safety Act delegate authority for local bylaws. The 'Whereas' clause you see at the beginning of bylaws usually explains where the authority for the bylaw is coming from.
Some bylaws are mandatory for example every municipality in Alberta must pass a land use bylaw. Some bylaws are only required if a municipality wants to carry out a certain type of activity such as designating heritage buildings in their area.
What is a bylaw reading?
You will read in the paper or hear on the radio that a bylaw has received "first reading" or it has passed "third reading". All bylaws must pass three readings before they can become law. This means that council has three separate chances to consider the pros and cons on a particular bylaw. This regulation is there to ensure that every bylaw is carefully considered before it is passed. First reading is a test of whether or not council wishes to consider an issue at all. It is not usually an indication of whether or not council supports the bylaw. Second reading is when council can debate the issue, make amendments and vote again. This time council is voting on whether or nor they support the bylaw. Third reading is the last chance for debate, amendments and voting. If a bylaw fails any of the readings it dies.
Does the public have opportunity for input?
Lots of things can happen in between bylaw readings. In some case like Land use Bylaws, municipalities are required to hold a public hearing after first reading has passed, but before second reading is considered. The first reading must be passed so that council can decide if they support continuing with the debate at all. After the public hearing council will call for a second reading which is when they can debate the bylaw, consider public input, propose changes and ultimately vote on whether or not it should pass.
Council can decide to hold a public information session or gather public input in other ways even when it is not required by legislation. Sometimes Council will ask municipal staff to provide more information before a final decision is made. This usually happens after a second reading when council has had a chance to debate the issue and determine if they need more input before continuing.
September 6th meeting
Here are the details of the September 6th meeting about Amendments to the Land Use Bylaw (bylaw 10-08).
The purpose of Bylaw 10-16 is to consider amendments to Land Use Bylaw No. 10-08 to provide clarification for existing land uses as well as new definitions; amend portions of the general regulations; and refine standards pertaining to front setbacks within the Town of Drumheller.
Oral and written comments and suggestions are invited and should be addressed to the specifics of the proposed amendment. They may be made by any persons or group of persons or person acting on his/her or their behalf who claims to be affected by the proposed amendment, and by any other persons that the Council wishes to hear at the hearing. Written submissions may be made by the persons above, and may be received in the TOwn of Drumheller office by 4.00pm on September 6th 2016. Oral presentations may be made at the hearing by the persons above whether or not they have made a written presentation. The time limit of oral presentations is subject to the direction of the Chairperson.
So September 6 is your opportunity to be part of the discussion. If you have any questions feel free to call the CAO's office on 403 823 1339.
As with any Bylaws under consideration details can be found in the council agenda package which is posted on the town's website http://www.dinosaurvalley.com/published-agenda a few days prior to the meeting.
For more information on any of Drumheller's bylaws again contact the CAO's office at firstname.lastname@example.org