What Odds at City Hall: 27 March 2023

By-Laws for pools and signage are updated, an upcoming race gets the roads cleared, and a yoga studio might be coming to Water Street.
St. John's City Hall on New Gower Street.
St. John’s City Hall. Photo by Elizabeth Whitten.

It was a pretty empty chamber today, as Cllrs Maggie Burton, Sandy Hickman, Debbie Hanlon, Ophelia Ravencroft and Ian Froude were absent.

Joining virtually was Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary.

Mayor Danny Breen started off council with a proclamation that March 30 will be Global Meetings Industry Day.

It is “the international industry’s most important annual event showcasing the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities,” said the mayor.

On that day he also said the St. John’s Convention Centre will also light up blue to mark the occasion. He also highlighted the revenue these events bring in.

Mayor Danny Breen listens to Destination St. John’s CEO Cathy Duke speak to Council on Monday. (Screencap.)

Destination St. John’s CEO Cathy Duke was present, who thanked the mayor for being here and spoke about the economic power that these meetings industry bring in.

Mayor Breen also remarked that these meetings don’t only benefit the city or region, but also the whole province.

As promised by Cllr Jill Bruce in last week’s regular council meeting, she moved to amend the St. John’s Pool By-Law to update its definition of ‘pool’, and to address location compliance with respect to the Canadian Electrical Code.

So now “pool” means swimming pool, in-ground or aboveground, a landscape water feature, fountain or decorative fish pond, outdoor hot tub, outdoor whirlpool, or swim spa.

Last week, Cllr Ravencroft announced she’d moved to amend the St. John’s Sign By-Law to update its provisions as they relate to mobile signs located at home occupations and home offices, as well as update the provision that relates to signs located outside the site of the business advertised.

In her absence, Cllr Bruce also made the motion, which passed.

Cllr Bruce said at the next regular council meeting she would make a motion “to enact the Adoption of Updated Codes – 2023 By-Law which will have the effect of amending various by-laws so as to adopt the updated versions of the National Building Code, the National Fire Code, the National Plumbing Code and the Life Safety Code.”

Council then approved road closures and lane reductions for the 2023 Boston Pizza Flat Out 5k Road Race on April 23.

The RNC will be implementing lane reductions.

On April 23, there will be lane reductions at:

  • Aberdeen Avenue – Close Curb Lane (North) 8:00 am – 9:15 am
  • From the former Princess Auto to Stavanger Drive 8:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Stavanger Drive – One Lane
  • From signalized intersection with Aberdeen (north end), easterly lane as it curves clockwise around the loop back to signalized intersection at Aberdeen (next to old Princess Auto)  8:00 am – 9:15 am
Road closures and lane reductions for the 2023 Boston Pizza Flat Out 5k Road Race on April 23. (Photo via City Agenda, 27 March 2023.)

Council then voted to consider a text amendment to the Envision St. John’s Development Regulations to accommodate a pilates studio at 801 Water Street.

“The City has received an application for a pilates studio at 801 Water Street. The subject property is within the Commercial District of St. John’s Municipal Plan and is zoned Commercial Mixed Use,” said Cllr Ron Ellsworth.

801 Water Street. (Photo via Google Street View.)

“Under the St. John’s Development Regulations, yoga and pilates studios are considered under the Health and Wellness Centre definition,” Cllr Ellsworth continued. “Currently, Health and Wellness Centre is not a listed use within the CM Zone and therefore a text amendment to add this use to the CM Zone is required to consider the proposed studio.”

So Council has agreed to consider adding ‘Health and Wellness Centre’ as a permitted use to the Commercial Mixed Use Zone, Commercial Kenmount Zone, Commercial Office Zone and Commercial Office Hotel Zone. In addition, they will advertise the amendment for public review and comment. 

The Go Round

Deputy Mayor O’Leary said tomorrow evening is a big night for the city because of the Applause Awards. It will be webcast on NTV plus at 7:30 p.m.

As well, last Saturday the Religious Social Action Coalition Newfoundland and Labrador was scheduled to host a vigil for basic guaranteed income but she said it had to be postponed due to the weather and it will be rescheduled for a later date.

Cllr Bruce reminded everyone that the Business District Winter Parking Restriction and Outside the Downtown Winter Parking Restriction are still in effect and a further announcement on these restrictions will come sometime in April.

Cllr Jamie Korab had some sports news, congratulating the Waterford Valley High School’s girls teams. A week or so ago the girls hockey team won the tier two hockey championship in the inaugural season, as well as claimed the basketball title. The boys teams, he said, weren’t so successful.

He also wished good luck to Team Gushue, who will be competing against Switzerland on April 1 at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Ottawa.

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