Email update, 25 January 2013

Hello everyone:

I must apologize off the top, as I’m having my knee fixed on Monday, and therefore will not be at council.  However, this council update will give you an idea of what’s coming up, and I will try to be back in action as soon as possible!


On Thursday afternoon (January 31) at 2 p.m., Council will be holding the public hearing for Bylaw 314 (Banff Land Use Bylaw Amendment – Land Use Bylaw Review Phase 2(b); Formula Business).  This is the bylaw amendment that would put a cap on the number of formula-based restaurants and retail outlets in Banff.  The public hearing is the opportunity for Council to hear input on the bylaw.  Voting on the bylaw will take place at a later date.

You can see the whole package for the public hearing at this link:

And you can see some FAQs about the bylaw at this link:

The package shows you who is scheduled to speak and who has provided written submissions so far.  You can speak at the public hearing by letting the municipal clerk know at the meeting that you wish to speak.  You can also hand in written submissions before the end of the hearing.  However, if you know you want to speak, or you know you want to hand in a written submission, consider providing your information to the municipal clerk sooner – it helps to simplify matters on the hearing day if she has things in advance.  You can reach the municipal clerk at

The question of formula-based businesses has been a hot one in town for some years, with some people passionately supporting a quota, as is proposed in this bylaw, and others passionately opposed to this degree of intervention in the free market.  As is required by law, I’m going into this public hearing with an open mind, ready to hear every viewpoint and to consider what I’ve learned when this eventually comes to a vote at a later meeting.


I learn something new from other Banffites every day, and yesterday’s learning was thanks to an alert citizen letting me know about a town discount.  If you are 65 or over, and your name is on the title of the Banff home in which you live, you can apply for a seniors’ discount on your utility bill.  Ask at Town Hall front desk for an application! 

If you look verrrrry carefully, you can find a reference to this discount on this page of the Town’s website:


You can see the whole package for Monday’s council meeting at this link:

There are several sets of minutes for review, but only two reports requiring Council decisions.  These are about:

One-day business licensing

As you may remember, Council has been asked by out-of-town photographers to come up with a business licence fee that is aimed at their short-term type of work.  If they come to Banff once or twice a year to shoot weddings, they now have the choice of buying a monthly non-resident license for $280, or a yearly non-resident licence at $748.  The proposal before Council is to offer a daily option at $185.  So if you are an out-of-town photographer who shoots four or more weddings in Banff each year, the annual licence is your best option.  If you shoot many weddings, but just in July and August, two monthly licences might be your best bet, and so on.  The idea is that compliance might be increased if people had more choices, but staff questions whether that will actually be the case (and I think they are probably right, unless we are able to dedicate substantial enforcement time to this!).  You can read the full report, starting on page 42 of the package.

Snow and Ice Management

Starting on page 44 of the package, you can learn all about how snow and ice ploughing, shovelling and removal are managed in the town.  Council is being asked to consider several possible changes to the policy, including (among others):
• Simplifying the references to timing for different zones down to “within 24 hours”, “within 48 hours” and so on
• Noting the factors that lead to snow removal, such as narrowing of roads, visibility at intersections
• Making downtown alleys a high priority for clearing, because of their importance for deliveries and for pedestrian use
• Making school bus routes a high priority, regardless of location
• Doing a trial with a “washed rock” gravel product, to cut down on dust in the spring
This report includes the map of snow clearing priority zones.  Take a look to see how your block is prioritized on page 62 of the package.


As always, any opinions expressed in this post are mine alone.  This post is not an official communication of the Town of Banff or of its Council.  I welcome your comments and questions, and I’m always happy to have new folks join my email distribution list.  If you’re inundated with email and you want to be removed from the list, I will comply with regret but without whining.

All the best until next time -- Leslie