Approximately 25 members of Airdrie’s Over 50 Club attended the Aug. 21 city council meeting to request the city look into a new space for the club. The club has existed since 1968 and currently boasts approximately 300 members, most 65 years of age or older.
The club sent a letter to council Aug. 4 outlining the club’s activities and need for a bigger space than what it currently has at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre. The club currently inhabits 3,384 square feet but is looking for a space of 6,000 to 8,000 square feet to accommodate the influx of members sure to happen over the next few years as the late baby boomers begin to qualify for membership.
Club president Myrtle Brewster spoke at the Aug. 21 council meeting and asked what the next steps were. Council voted unanimously to direct staff to begin discussions with the Over 50 Club board to determine the next steps.
Council unanimously gave second and third reading to a request from the city planning department on behalf of Melcor Developments Ltd. to redesignate 102 acres in the new Cobblestone Creek community in southwest Airdrie. First reading had previously been approved July 6.
The redesignation allows for better use of the land in the community, according to the planning department. Show homes in the community are tentatively scheduled to open in 2019.
Council was asked to make a number of changes to existing bylaws for what director of the chief administrative officer’s office Sharon Pollyck called “housekeeping” reasons.
“Over time, we watch for these and try to clear them up,” Pollyck said.
The first was a bylaw dating from 1963, which prohibits the discharge of guns and other firearms within the corporate limits of the Village of Airdrie. Council was asked to rescind this bylaw, which it voted unanimously to do.
The second was the removal of an exemption from the Community Standards bylaw.
“Within the existing bylaw there is an exemption which allows the city manager to make the call as to whether or not a citizen can discharge a firearm within the city limits,” Pollyck said.
“This arose from a request where an individual wanted to shoot pigeons and so, as staff, we took a hard look at this and we did not believe it was appropriate for citizens to be discharging firearms, even if they were pellet guns within the city. We’re asking that this exemption be removed.”
Pollyck said this exemption applies only within the urban limits, not in the annexed lands. Under the bylaw, individuals would be required to have a shooting permit. Staff also requested the definition of a shooting permit be removed from the bylaw as it would become redundant as discharging a firearm would not be allowed.
Council unanimously approved three readings of the bylaw and consequently, the exemption and definition of a shooting permit will be removed from the bylaw.
Council also unanimously approved a request from staff to change the minimum size requirements for no smoking signage under the Smoking Bylaw.
According to Pollyck, the change was requested to adjust the minimum size from 20 by 26 centrimetres (cms) to 10 by 10 cms to accommodate placing the signs in vehicles, including city vehicles.
Council reviewed a letter from Alberta Culture and Tourism inviting Airdrie to bid on the right to host the 2020 Alberta Summer Games and unanimously voted to send a letter declining the invitation as the city is already hosting the 2018 Alberta Winter Games.
Council also reviewed a letter received from a resident asking that late fees of $494 on property taxes be waived due to the death of the property owner.
According to Pollyck, there is no provision in the tax bylaw permitting council to waive these fees, although there is provision in the Municipal Government Act allowing council to do so; however Pollyck said council has not, in the past, typically done so.
After debate, council voted to deny the request, with Coun. Ron Chapman and Mayor Peter Brown voting against the motion.