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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week Fourteen

I started working on the Parking in Historic Downtown Policy. To start off, I examined the Camrose Traffic Bylaw #2481/06 section 3. This section provides regulations for how parking should be conducted in the city as well as the city downtown. In addition, I examined the Land Use By-law #2567/07 pp 74 to 76 as it provides guidelines for communal parking. Next, I gathered that it was the Camrose Police Service that enforced parking regulations in the city. I held a meeting with the deputy police chief to discuss section 3. I came out of the meeting with more questions and they include some of the following:

I. I am curious as to why the need for this policy since there is a governing by-law already in existence. I may need to clarify this with Engineering and Camrose Police.
II. I need to talk to the Camrose Police Enforcement Officer next week to get a better understanding of the enforcement aspects of parking.
III. Also, there is no clarity as to what Engineering wants for this policy. There is the need to talk to Engineering to determine if the Parking Policy just wants to focus on enforcement only or should the policy include parking stalls development.

I worked on my group research prooject examining how important it is to involve all relevant stakeholders in sustainability initiatives.

The follow-up review meeting on the surveillance policy with the City Manager and the General Manager of Community Services went well. We concluded that I call the FOIP office in Edmonton to get some feedback on some surveillance concerns we discussed at the meeting.

Learning Outcomes
• Discuss policy issues with different department staff to get a uniform picture for the need for the policy
• Provide compelling suggestions to Department why there maybe no need for a policy review or draft in cases where a policy works very well.
• Ensure department heads and other associates do not have issue with policy before proceeding to the next level of policy implementation

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Week Thirteen

There was a bit of misunderstanding as to whose project the Directional Signage Policy was. The misunderstanding arose out of the discussion I had with Public Works and the direction they asked me to take; nevertheless, my consultation with Municipal Planning and Infrastructure Protection clarified certain aspects, not all, of what might be expected for a Directional and Informational Signage Policy. In our consultation, we examined the current City of Camrose Map and the various city landmarks and locations that maybe essential to have directional signs to; the need to redo the City’s current map to assist residents and visitors to their intended destinations, as the current map is not informative enough to provide precise directions; there is the need to improve the map for businesses within the City to help their operations as well as serve their customers and clients better.

Some additional information that I incorporated into developing the Directional Signage policy includes the following:

Alberta Transportation Off- Road Facility Signs
Camrose Land Use By-law #2567/07 Section 7.12
Canadian General Standards Boards Specifications 62-GP-11M
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada

The rational behind this is to have engineering specification that are consistent with and adheres to a Canada Wide Standards for Informational Signage. The Coop Student conducted the research on specific standards, and I developed the policy itself. I presented a copy of the policy to the Municipal Engineer for review. I hope to hear from him by tuesday, next week.

I submitted a Report to Committee—Surveillance Policy—to department heads for their feedback. I had one feedback from a department head to address some video surveillance issue at his department. I responded to it and we, Legislative Coordinator and I, might have to meet up with the Department Head next week to discuss his concerns a bit more. The surveillance policy was intended to be on council agenda this coming Monday but I believe it’s been removed from it to address the Department’s Head concern.

We had our last internship meeting with our community partners on friday, August 12, 2011, to discuss the success and challenges of the internship program. Lots of good ideas was floated around and discussed. The downer of the day was there might be no funding for the program next year. We are hoping the folks at Alberta Rural Development Fund change their position and provide the funding for this program, as it is a meaningful, helpful, and practical program for both interns and community partners. Moreover, the benefits of this program goes beyond the dollar figure. I am hoping all community partners petition the Alberta Rural Development Fund to reconsider this program for future interns.

Learning Outcomes
• I utilized resources at the engineering department to develop the directional signage policy despite the misunderstanding at the start.
• It is better to get everyone’s concern addressed, most importantly department heads, first before proceeding to the next stage.
• Do not discount anyone’s view.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Week Twelth

I worked on four policies – Roadway Signage & Inspection Policy, Dust Control Policy, Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy, and Directional Signage Policy- at the same time this week. The reason being they all overlap in a way as these policies are implemented by Public Works. I held consultations with Ray, the supervisor in charge of administering these policies, to get an understanding of how these policies were implemented by his department. Meeting with him at the Mirror Lake Center (MLC), I gathered that all the policies, with the exception of the Directional Signage Policy, seem to be working well for Public Works. Areas that might need improvement for these policies include the following:

• Creating a Curb & Sidewalk Database for Public Works to notify them when maintenance and inspections are due on existing and new sidewalk developments.
• Review the ‘language of instruction’ in the Dust Control Policy to reflect contemporary needs, and also include the use of calcium chloride as the substance of choice in dust control by the municipality
• Continually contrast the various policy with other municipal policies to identify maintenance areas that can be improved
• Find creative ways to expand the current Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy to include winter months, if possible, as there are several complaints and calls made to the City for maintenance work in the winter.
• Increase the budget if extra work needs to be done.

I conducted some research with an Engineering Coop student on the Directional Signage Policy. Our research showed that the City does not have a policy for Directional Signage, even though the Land Use Bylaw and the City Development Standards does include and explains how various signages should be set up on City lands. To add to this, I found out that Directional Signage is under the administration of Municipal Planning and not Public Works or Municipal Engineering. I intend to meet up with Municipal Engineering and Municipal Planning next week to clarify the expectations of this project.

Learning Outcome:
• Try not to ask for a budget before developing a policy. It should be the other way around.
• Meet with department heads to always clarify project expectations, as well as consult with relevant stakeholders who are directly engaged in working on projects that are guided by policies you may possibly be developing. Meeting with all stakeholders helps define and shapes your policy development. Also, such meetings could reduce potential tensions that could impact the policy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Week Eleven

I submitted a draft report on the Surveillance Policy for the Committee of the Whole to the legislative Coordinator for her comments. The reason for the report is to have the committee review it before it is recommended to council and the Mayor. I also submitted copies of the policy to the acting City Manager and the Director of Community Services for their input.

I handed in the completed policies- Highway 13 development Standard & the Paving policy- on Monday to the Director of Municipal Planning. She requested me to draft a report for the Committee of the Whole for the Paving Policy. I might need to talk to her again on the exact time she wants it done. I had discussions with the General Manager of Engineering about taking on additional tasks. I was assigned six policies to work on and they include the following:

1. Curb and Sidewalk policy
2. Dust Control policy
3. Roadway sign inspection policy
4. Local improvement policy
5. Parking in city historic downtowns
6. Wayfinding/directional signage in cities

Regarding the local Directional Signage policy I will be working with an engineering co-op student at the Engineering Department to develop it. He will do most of the research and I will draft the policy. I already issued him a list of sources he could look at to get the project going.

I did some comprehensive research on the local improvement policy and made some recommendations on areas that could be improved in the future for the existing policy. One area that could be explored is finding creative and alternative ways to finance local improvement project and maximising local improvements to better serve the community as whole instead of the designated locality. An area that may be worth looking at is the Special Business Units.

Learning Outcomes:
• Learnt how to juggle multiple projects
• Continued to understand the municipal process of decision making

Friday, July 22, 2011

Week Ten

Highway 13 Entry Corridor Development Standard

I completed my work on the Highway 13 Entrance Corridor development Standards.

Working on the development standards project, I conducted extensive research on the various corridor enhancements underway in Alberta and other provinces, and discussed aspects of the development standards that are unique to Camrose with the heads of Municipal Planning and Infrastructure Protection. As well, I contacted the Economic Development Department of the City and the City Chamber of Commerce to ascertain what “theme” or “brand” Camrose advertises to the public. I gathered that there is no consistent theme or image that is promoted. In light of this, I did make some recommendations to the Director of Municipal Planning on how to proceed with branding for the city to contribute to the visual aesthetics of the entrance corridors. I attached copies of specific bylaws and policies that maybe useful in consultation with potential developers and brochures for the type of horticultural standards that meets the city standards. Furthermore, I compiled a collage of various Rural and Urban Municipal Highway Corridors in Canada and U.S. and made recommendations as to what a visually appealing rural municipal entrance corridor could look like.


Bowmanville. Bowmanville East Town Centre; Appendix-Urban Design Plan and Guidelines.

City of Anchorage, Alaska. 2010. Land Use Planning

City of Austin, Texas. 2009. Subchapter E: Design Standards and Mixed Use.

City of Camrose. Engineering Services: Projects Plans & Initiatives.

City of Camrose Entrance Corridor Design Research.

City of Edmonton. Yellowhead Corridor East Design Guidelines for the City of Edmonton Planning and Development.

City of Edmonton. West End Corridor Urban Design Guidelines for the City of Edmonton Planning and Development.

City of Highland. Community Design Element.

City of Milwaukee. 2009. Northeast Side Comprehensive Plan: Land Use Policies and Strategies

Daniel Scott. 2010. Township of Langley, BC: An Overview of Development Trends

David Gillen, Grahm Parsons, Barry Prentice, Peter Wallis. 2007. PACIFIC CROSSROADS: CANADA’S GATEWAYS AND CORRIDORS

Fort Wayne, NewHaven, Allen County. 2006. Access Standard Manual: Appendix E – Roadway Design Standards.

Infrastructure Systems Ltd. 1994. City of Camrose Development Standards.

Lovatt Planning Consultants Inc. 2007. Yellowhead County: Draft Edson Urban Fringe Intermunicipal Development Plan.$File/Intermunicipal%20Development%20Plan.pdf

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Commercial and Industrial Land Use.

Region of Waterloo. Visualizing Densities: Part 11- Future Possibilities.

Sample Interim Development Control Bylaw for a Rural Municipality.

Sutter County General Plan: Aesthetics and Visual Resources.

Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission. 2006. Mixed-Use Development Ordinances for the Southern NH Planning Commission Region.

Paving Policy

The paving policy was a bit choppy. It was choppy because you cannot find any policies on paving per se, instead you have to examine various Land Use Bylaws to understand what protocols guides hardsurfacing, lot grading, City right-of-way, storm water management and surface drainage. Based on these findings, you may possibly develop a sense of what may work for developing parking spaces and loading lots.

In developing the paving policy I examined the Camrose Land Use Bylaw and other municipalities Bylaws. The Camrose Land Use Bylaw did not have policy on paving; as a result, its been a bit difficult for Municipal Planning to negotiate with developers. Nonetheless, I developed a paving policy which incorporated the maintenance standards for pavings, the need to issue development permits for paving of parking and loading spaces, the submission of a site-plan for any surface drainage, and the possibility of utilizing the city’s storm water policy when consulting with future developers. Additional resources that I utilized was consulting with the Municipal Planning Department, The Infrastructure Protection and Municipal Engineering Department, The Camrose Storm Water Management Master Plan, The Lot Grading Bylaw, and the City’s Development Standards

Learning Outcomes:
• I developed how to produce a comprehensive project. By this I mean delivering a complete package even if some of the work may not be directly useful to the project at hand but may be useful in future projects.
• Asking work associates questions is very helpful, as they can be very useful resource.


City of Calgary. Lot Grading Bylaw.

City of Camrose. Lot Grading Policy for Single Family Dwelling and Duplex Developments.

City of Edmonton. Parking, Loading and Passenger Drop off.

City of Grande Prairie. By-law Library

City of Hamiliton. Hamilton’s New Zoning Bylaw.

City of Lethbridge. Land Use Bylaw.

City of Red Deer. Land Use Bylaw.

City of Spruce Grove.Land Use Bylaw.

City of St Albert. Land Use Bylaw: Parking Regulations.

Strathcona County. Land Use Bylaw 8-2001.

Town of Bashaw. Bylaw 675-2004

The Town of Innisfil. The Corporation of the Town of Innisfil By Law # 011-97

Town of Montague. Zoning Bylaw.

Town of Peace River. Land Use Bylaw.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Week Nine

The purchasing and the credit card use policy were completed on Wednesday. I engaged with almost all city departments to redraft this policy; however with the credit card policy I had to engage the finance department more to ascertain what limit was reasonable and determine who should ensure the compliance with the policy. Through my work on this policy, I have learnt how decentralized the purchasing process is. It is decentralized because of the unique and specialized need of individual departments; nonetheless, certain capital purchases can be centralized because of the level of expertise required in the procurement process. The credit card use review also revealed how important it is to review this policy. It is significant because it confirmed that not all departments needed the maximum credit limit the old policy had, as well as it redressed the existing internal controls for the card use.

I met with the Director of Municipal Planning and Development to discuss my next project: The Development Standards for the Highway 13 Entry Corridor. We discussed the expectations of the policy which includes enhancing the visual aesthetics of the entrance corridor and developing precise specifications for the development that needs to be done in terms of landscaping, lighting, fencing, and signage. As well, part of my task was to design and develop a policy document that will be easily comprehended by the council members for them to go along with the policy.

I conducted research on the following: East Gateway Structure Plan, Government of Alberta Corridor Development, Intermunicipal Development Plan, West End Corridor Urban Design Guidelines for the City of Edmonton Planning and Development, Yellowhead Corridor East Design Guidelines, The Engineering Departments’ in-house research for Entrance Corridors, and some other relevant municipal design guidelines.

Learning Outcomes:
• The five key aspects of urban design and some design elements for entrance corridor designs which includes, but not limited to, edge, nodes, pathways, landmarks, districts, signage, lighting, fencing, theming, landscaping, access and eggres, conservation natural areas.

• The importance of always communicating in a clear, concise, and easy to understand manner irrespective of the target audience you are communicating with. Communication is important because most of the councillors come from different backgrounds and experience. The key here is to sell your policy which entails the councillors understanding the policy and for them to make the right decisions to approve the policy.

• City of Camrose is a winter city. What this means is every design project has to incorporate provisions for the winter weather.

• The need for branding. What is easily identifiable with Camrose as a city and ensuring there is consistency in the image that is portrayed to visitors when they come through the Highway 13 entrance corridors.

Government of Alberta: Corridor Development

East Gateway Structurre Plan

Engineering Services:

Intermunicipal Development Plan

East Gateway Area Structure Plan

West End Corridor Urban Design Guidleines for the City of Edmonton Planning and Development

Yellowhead Corridor East Design Guidelines

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ninth Week

A picturesque view of Highway 13/48 Ave Entrance Corridor:

A collage of how a future entrance corridor for Highway 13/48 Ave could look like as per enhancements for signage, boulevard, and landscaping: