Council Notes - March 23rd

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
March 26th, 2009

Public Hearing

This week’s council session began with a public hearing on three bylaws relating to fences and retaining walls, and OCP amendment and zoning amendment related to Redstone’s Phase II. Holding the meeting in the Prestige Hotel’s banquet room this week in anticipation of potentially large crowds, ten folks showed up to sit in the gallery.

The uneventful public hearing had just one person from the public step up to voice a concern about whether or not Redstone is planning on building the connecting road through to Queen St this year. City planning manager Mike Maturo replied that the city as of yet has received no plans for this construction.

Following Due Process Bylaw #2440, a zoning amendment bylaw to specifically defined retaining walls in the city of Rossland with a list of regulations pertaining to retaining walls and fences, was adopted.

As discussed in previous council meetings, bylaws #2443 (Official Community Plan Amendment) to amend the OCP such that portions of the properties between Queen St. and Redstone drive be re designated from Parks, Trails, Open Space and Resort Recreation to Resort Residential, was adopted.

In the same general location between Queen Street and Redstone Drive, Sublots 52, 42a, 32 and 51 were rezoned from R1 (Rural Residential), R2(Residential Duplex), P2 (Parks and Open Space) to CD-6 residential. See attached Bylaws for reference.

Golden City Manor Water/Sewer Rates

The letter recently presented by the Golden City manor Board raising their concerns over the adjusted 2009 water and sewer rates at the March 9th council meeting was discussed.

With the water rates already set for this year, Councillor Charlton noted that it was “Unfortunate that this letter didn’t come before us sooner,” as the rates have now been adopted and sent out for 2009. Councillor Smith put forth a question of whether or not it would be possible to raise the seniors’ discount just for Golden City Manor residents for this year. This idea was rejected as the CAO noted that they would not be able to raise the seniors discount specifically for one building and it would have to encompass all seniors. It was also mentioned around that point that if they were to change the rates now for one group every other user group would have to be recalculated to make up the shortfall.

In an effort to move forward, Councillor Moore added that the rates have “already been decided for this year. Let’s work on next year and making it more equitable for all groups,” which was echoed by Councillor Wallace who cited the need for the city to move forward with the new rates that have been decided.

Highway Signage

This discussion was spurred on by an e-mail correspondence with Deanne Steven of Tourism Rossland which supports the city’s letter sent to Rod J Harris of Tourism BC and Keven Kreuger, BC’s Minister of Community Development, to have Rossland upgraded to a “control city” by the Ministry of Transportation. Control cities have increased signage in the form of distance signs along highways depicting the number of kilometres to town.

Control cities are defined as major traffic generators or destination points throughout the province. Such cities are generally known to most motorists and are separated by long distances. As written in the letter signed by Mayor Granstrom, “We have been working…to improve the viability of the local tourism industry. One of the greatest challenges continues to be the lack of signage on the highways in this area. It has been determined that the reason is that Rossland is not a dedicated “control city” by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure…This designations would be a critical support for the continued growth of our tourism industry.”

“Based on the manual(on highway signage from the province) I really don’t think that we’re going to get much more than a polite response if we say we want to be a control city and there is no explanation of why we should be a control city and what benefits that would provide to us,” added Councillor Charlton.

Councillor Smith was in favour of the initiative, explaining that in her years in the accommodation industry, “We had terrible difficulties getting anything done by the Ministry of Highways on signage. There aren’t many ways to get signage and if this is one way to help that I say go for it.”

The motion to send the letter was ultimately carried by council.

Old Fire Hall Hours Extension

An application submitted by Zac Grible of the Old Fire Hall Wine Bar for support from the City of Rossland in its application to the Liquor Control and Licensing branch to extend its hours was unanimously approved by council.

In order to approve a change to hours of sale, application the LCLB requires a resolution from the local government commenting on the application. In this particular case the Old Fire Hall is applying to the LCLB for an earlier opening time of 4:00 PM instead of the current 6:00 PM with closing times remaining the same. The rationale behind the request was that the Old Fire Hall wishes to open the patio to après ski business and also to accommodate family dining in the area currently used for the coffee house.

Partners for Climate Protection

A memorandum from the Planning Assistant asking council to consider that Rossland join the FCM-ICLEI (Local Government for Sustainability) Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program.

The Partners for Climate Protection program is a network of more than 150 Canadian municipal governments (Including Trail, Nelson, Fernie and Kimberly) that have committed to reducing greenhouse gasses and acting on climate change. This free-to-join program includes a five milestone framework and a proven municipal strategy to cut greenhouse gasses. It provides access to resources including case studies, templates, technical assistance and newsletters, networking opportunities and is now a requirement for many federal grants and provincial grants on climate change and the environment.

Council unanimously supported the motion to join the program and appointed Councillor Moore to oversee implementation of the PCP milestones and be the point of contact for the program with the city.

Additional Agenda Items

The above items are only a selection of the agenda items discussed at the March 23rd meeting; for a complete agenda and minutes visit the city’s city’s website and search under the agenda/minutes section.

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