Escorts, gun owners and security alarm users now have one way to appeal a City of Red Deer decision.
City council this week approved the formation of a third appeal body, the Appeals and Review Board, which will handle appeals from an array of bylaws.
Also approved was the creation of a Municipal Features Naming Committee and making two others — the Community Housing Advisory Board and Heritage Preservation committee — permanent.
The Appeals and Review Board will listen to appeals from bylaws that don’t fall within the mandate of the Assessment Review Board or Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. These bylaws pertain to everything from alarms to taxis to dog control.
The Drinking Establishment Licensing Bylaw Appeal Committee was abolished and in its place, people will go to this new board.
Deputy city clerk Frieda McDougall said a number of these appeals were forwarded to various decisionmakers, from the city manager to city council.
“For some of these appeals to go to city council, it just didn’t make sense,” said McDougall on Thursday. “That’s why we thought we should move all these processes to an appeal board, which can then call in any expertise they require.”
Timelines to appeal also varied. Some appeals needed to start within 14 days, others, within 30 days.
Now all individuals who have a problem with the escort services bylaw or other such bylaws, must appeal within 14 days. The city must hear the appeal within 30 days of receiving an appeal.
McDougall said the city is looking at a councillor and four citizens-at-large for the Appeals and Review Board.
Administration suggests for the first year that members of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board be appointed to this board. Council must decide on this recommendation.
The Community Housing Advisory Board, an ad hoc committee created in 2000 to hand out provincial and federal dollars, will become permanent.
The Heritage Preservation Committee, once a sub-committee of the Museum Society, will become a council committee.
The Municipal Features Naming Committee will set up criteria to name municipal features, including parks, recreation facilities, trails and bridges.
“We’ve often had requests to name parks or a trail after people and we just didn’t have any criteria,” McDougall said.