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Regina City council to vote on community plan

The City of Regina's new official community plan - its "vision for the future," if you will - will be put to vote at tonight's council meeting.

 

And Mayor Michael Fougere says he will be "extremely surprised" if it doesn't pass.

In development since 2009, the plan, Design Regina, deals with a range of issues concerning Regina's growth over the next 25 years, including the use of land annexed from the RM of Sherwood, transportation, financial policies, cultural heritage and neighborhoods planning.

But Fougere thinks it can be more than just a plan for Regina.

 

"We believe this is very much a template for the rest of the province on how regional economic development can be successful," he said last week.

 

"This very aggressive growth we've had over the last four or five years is very new for our province, and we have found a way to overcome a lot of differences and different perspectives compared with the RM of Sherwood and our other regional partners."

 

The relationship with Regina's neighbour hasn't always been so peachy; just a few months ago the RM and the city were at loggerheads when it came to annexing rural land for development. But now the two seem to have kissed and made up, with their plans for the future containing nearly identical language when it comes to development.

 

Because we began to have a positive relationship with the RM of Sherwood, it's really important that we have a coordinated response for regional development.

"It makes it a much stronger document, because it reflects the same issues, the same perspective as the RM of Sherwood ... and we have the same understanding of development, and all that's very important."

 

The 84-page, spiral-bound plan (plus appendices) starts off by explaining the importance of Design Regina, and how it applies to an expected population of 500,000.

It speaks to quality of life issues like parks, housing, walking and cycling routes, environment and building design, but also how the entire plan came together after four years of public consultations.

 

Section B of the report deals exclusively with financial policies, with the overarching goal of "achieving long-term financial viability."

 

That means spending money "wisely to ensure (the city) can continue to manage its services and amenities both now and in the future."

The city's combined operating and capital budget in 2013 - which included increases in both the mill and water rates - was $584 million, up from $378 million in 2012 and $373.3 million in 2011.

Although some delegations have already registered to speak at tonight's meeting, it might not make a huge difference to the outcome.

 

"I would be extremely surprised and I can't imagine saying 'no' to any of this, because we've worked through this so long in the public domain," Fougere said.

"This really is the ratification of all of that work." Also on the agenda for tonight's meeting are the discussion of a report on the Planning for Growth Summit, a recommendation to ratify the collective agreement with Regina's transit union, and the implementation of the city's boundary alterations, which are set to come into effect on Jan. 1.

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Aaron Habicht
Cell:1-306-536-2454
Sutton Group - Results Realty
3904 B Gordon Road
Regina, SK
S4S 6Y3 CA
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