3 things to watch at city council today

Land use matters will take up a portion of Monday's meeting before council gets down to the meat of the agenda.

Property tax vote, motion to waive permit fees for flood victims and medical marijuana bylaw on the agenda

Land use matters will take up a portion of Monday's meeting before council gets down to the meat of the agenda.

Final tax vote?

At its last regular meeting, council voted eight to six to approve a combined municipal and provincial property tax hike for 2014 of 2.3 per cent.

Combine that hike with a one-time rebate and the owner of the median-priced $430,000 home in Calgary should see a small reduction in their tax bill.

That should have been the end of the matter but council needed unanimous approval and only Coun. Druh Farrell refused to give that consent.

So on Monday, councillors will again meet for a final vote on the matter.

However, two of the eight councillors who supported the motion — Shane Keating and Jim Stevenson — are expected to be absent while Coun. Ray Jones, who missed the vote on March 31, is expected to take part this time around.

The result isn't likely to change, but this is why we watch.

Waive that fee?

The five councillors who represent areas affected by the 2013 flood have signed a motion to assist Calgarians facing financial difficulties in recovering from that disaster.

They want to set up a pilot project with the Red Cross to cover the cost of permit fees for those people facing financial challenges in repairing their flood damage.

Both the city and Red Cross are set to put $310,000 into this program. The eligibility for the program will be determined by an assessment process run by the Red Cross.

Medical marijuana bylaw

Health Canada changed the rules for medical marijuana on March 31 and now council will pass a new bylaw that lines up with the federal rules.

The federal rules mean patients cannot grow their own marijuana at home for their own needs and must get their medical marijuana from commercial suppliers.

The proposed bylaw outlines that any future legal grow operations — or production facilities, as they're being called — must be 75 metres away from residential areas and all odours must be contained.

A Calgary company has applied to be a licensed producer of medical marijuana. The new bylaw also uses the legal but quaint spelling "marihuana" all the way through it.


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