Airdrie's 2024 Streets Bylaw was passed by City Council on Tuesday, representing a major revamp of the current bylaw.

City documents stipulate that the current Streets Bylaw 910 was adopted by Council on June 6, 1988, with several amendments having been made with the last consolidation done on May 8, 2015.

"The age of the bylaw and the changes and other legislation that support this bylaw has changed significantly over time, necessitating the need for a complete rewrite of the bylaw to modernize wording structure and add some new content to the bylaw," said Brian Rayner Team Leader, Municipal Enforcement.

Rayner added that the Streets Bylaw 910 references outdated provincial acts, such as the Highway Traffic Act, which was replaced in 2000 by the Traffic Safety Act.

"In 2023, the Traffic Bylaw B-30/2023 was approved by City Council. The Streets Bylaw supplements both pieces of legislation regarding the placement of temporary obstructions on roadways. Thus, given the age and out-of-date content located within the current Streets Bylaw, a thorough rewriting of the bylaw was undertaken," a council agenda report added.

While general changes include adopting and using meanings that are consistent with the Municipal Government Act, and Traffic Safety Act, there is also the adoption of more clear language for ease of reading and understanding, other, more noteworthy changes include permit requirements for mobile vendors.

aaAirdrie's 2024 Streets Bylaw was passed by City Council on Tuesday, representing a major revamp of the current bylaw. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie) 

"We're talking about regulating mobile vendors that park on the streets or have to use the sidewalks. It is not about park spaces. It is not about public property. It is strictly the streets and thus why it fits well in the streets bylaw," Rayner explained. "Having the permit allows us to control how they're using our roadways to conduct business."

The council agenda report underlined that the permit will be free in the first year, which will allow administration time to educate vendors regarding the new bylaw.

"After the first year, permit fees will be set according to the finance policy and will be located in the Fees and Charges Bylaw."

Rayner said that the mobile vendor permit process is like the process that is in place now.

"... If you were to get a storage pod, the citizen contacts Municipal Enforcement [M.E.] for the application, M.E. admin verifies that they have a business license before we proceed with anything; and if required, clearly identify the use that is being proposed, whether they need a license or not."

A one-time city-sanctioned event would not require a license.

aaaaAirdrie's 2024 Streets Bylaw was passed by City Council on Tuesday, representing a major revamp of the current bylaw. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie) 

Rayner also added that there are exemptions within the bylaw. Rules for mobile vendors include that they can be situated where a roadway has a maximum speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour or less, and this does not include playground or school zones, or an area where the maximum speed has been temporarily lowered to 30 km/hr.

"You couldn't set up on a thoroughfare, you couldn't set up on Yankee Valley Boulevard; we want to make sure that it is very safe -that you cannot get an exemption for," he said. "The mobile vendors [have to be] located at least six meters from adjacent roadways, and driveways, unless otherwise authorized within the mobile vendor permit."

He added that mobile vendors will be located at least 50 meters from school property boundaries unless authorized within the mobile vendor's permit; mobile vendors will also be located at least 10 meters from a residential development unless otherwise authorized by this permit. 

"This would be the ice cream vendor or a special event going on within a neighbourhood. The mobile vendors [will not be] parked in one location for a period greater than four hours unless it is part of a larger event that has been approved. Mobile vendors do not interfere with or reduce the line of sight for vehicular or pedestrian traffic."

Other rules include that a mobile vendor will not occupy any space in time-restricted parking or stopping area unless the mobile vendor is part of a larger city event.

"All the equipment associated with the operation of the mobile vendor is located within two meters of the vehicle," Rayner added. "We don't want things spread all over the place. This really won't have any exemptions to it, because we want it very centralized and very well located to the actual mobile vendor itself."

Councillor Tina Petrow queried whether local mobile vendors were consulted throughout the process when the new bylaw was being drafted. Willow Czaban, Senior Planner with the city said that while mobile vendors were consulted when it came to the amendments being drafted for the Land Use Bylaw, there was no consultation for the streets bylaw portion.

What is the Land Use Bylaw amendment component that will impact mobile vendors? 

Following council passing of the Streets Bylaw, Council also passed the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) amendment in relation to mobile vendors.

Czaban underlined that the changes in the amendment were meant, 'to remove reference to regulating Mobile Vendors on municipal roadways since these are not land use districts.'

"... Will allow Mobile Vendors on municipal roads, to be regulated under that bylaw, while those on private land will be regulated under the LUB," council documents stated.

Updates include shifting the LUB to work in conjunction with the streets bylaw and refining its scope to be a specific application to individual sites or properties.

"We are updating some of the areas where a development permit for a mobile vendor would be exempt and making sure that that is a lot clearer and easier to administer. If a mobile vendor meets the provisions in the land use bylaw, it would be exempt across all districts and removed from the permitted and discretionary use tables accordingly."

Other details include that a mobile vendor would now be considered a permitted use in all districts.

"This allows somebody to apply to have a mobile vendor on any property in the city. However, they are only exempt from requiring a development permit if they meet the land use bylaw and all its requirements," Czaban added. "Where it requires a variance to any standard or something is outside of the box of the typical process that we've laid out, it would be considered a discretionary use and require a development permit application and approval."

What else is changing under the new Streets Bylaw?

Other changes to the bylaw include, 'obstructions placed on a street (i.e. construction containers for homeowners use and moving / storage containers) will require permits.'

aaAirdrie's 2024 Streets Bylaw was passed by City Council on Tuesday, representing a major revamp of the current bylaw. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie) 

"This will ensure consistency with the application of the bylaw across the city and allow for easier tracking by Municipal Enforcement. Currently, these permits are free of charge, however, permit fees may be reviewed and be set according to the finance policy and will be in the Fees and Charges Bylaw," Council documents added.

Rayner also went through some of the details regarding obstructions.

"What we will do, is direct people where to put that; it's not to exceed 30 days unless the permit states otherwise. [Residents must] ensure the bin or construction receptacles are always covered and keep the area around the bin clear of objects and debris. It must also adhere to all provisions of the Traffic Bylaw and display proof of permit on the street side of the moving container bin or construction receptacle," Rayner said.

Another revamp is how litter is defined.

"Litter is more clearly defined in sections 17 and 18 of Bylaw B-09/2024, which will assist in prosecuting these types of offences.  Section 18 (1) allows for the charging of an owner of a vehicle from which litter is thrown."

Councillor Ron Chapman however asked how the littering provision might work in a hypothetical situation that is more nuanced.

"Let's say it's Joe's construction company. Joe owns the truck, but his employee is driving the truck with Joe's permission; stuff flies out of the back of the truck. Is that considered littering?"

Rayner said that in such a case, it is possible to charge both the driver and the company for the offence.

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