Banff apartment parking bylaw changes approved

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BANFF – A new bus route in town means developers of apartment housing in the area don’t have to build as much required parking as in the past.

Council recently approved a bylaw amendment that affects the number of parking stalls required for certain apartment buildings close to Roam transit corridors. The amendment was needed due to the recent change to one transit route.

The Town of Banff allows a reduction in required parking stalls of up to 15 per cent for apartments in the central district if they are close to transit routes.

But the idea that every time a Roam Transit route changes would require a bylaw amendment was something Mayor Karen Sorensen said she would like to see avoided.

Sorensen said she would support third reading to change Land Use Bylaw regulations around apartment housing parking, but likely wouldn’t again in the future. A better process, she said, is needed.

“I think it is important we look at options to change the language in this part of the incentive so we are not changing the bylaw every time there is a change in transit,” said the mayor. “I would like to see new language before this comes forward again.”

Councillor Brian Standish, who sits on the Bow Valley Regional Transit Service Commission board of directors, indicated a new bus route was in fact in the works and would be announced soon.

Town manager Robert Earl said administration would return to council with a solution.

“Banff has very few, from my perspective, routes where transit might occur,” he said. “We could draw a map with all of those, which would allow for the possibility of a new transit route without the need to amend (the bylaw).”

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Tanya Foubert

Tanya Foubert has been a news reporter at the Rocky Mountain Outlook since 2006, with a brief foray as editor of a weekly newspaper in Whistler in 2012. She won national and provincial news-writing awards for her coverage of the 2013 flood in Canmore.