Objections to new cabins on Red; 300-year floods coming? New development to shade four homes; signage for Josie Hotel problematic -- and more.

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 8th, 2018

Rossland City Council held its regular meeting on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Present:  Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Lloyd McLellan, Andrew Zwicker, Andy Morel, Marten Kruysse, and John Greene.  Absent:  Aaron Cosbey.

Public Input:

A resident said she had noticed a lot of time and effort going into the arena for the past year, and wondered what revenue generating activities are scheduled for this summer season; Recreation Manager Kristi Calder responded that lacrosse, indoor soccer, events such as the circus, and some lounge rentals are all scheduled – and there may be more.

A resident who had parked his motorcycle in the little striped triangle beside the parking row to save a parking spot, got a ticket for it; he suggests that those spots should be made legal for parking motorcycles.  He mentioned the motorcycle parking spots in Nelson, and similar spots in other parts of the world. Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo commented that in hot weather, the pavement can soften, kickstands can sink in – and the motorcycle can fall over. He worried about liability.


1.        Scott Leyland presented his concerns about Red’s plan to built up to ten small overnight cabins near Paradise Lodge, and his requests of Council – asking that Council ensure that a new environmental review be done; he was informed that the Province requires a new, and more specific, environmental review be done; but that it will not take in the entire Little Sheep Creek Valley. He indicated that he thinks it will not be meaningful because the streams are non-fish-bearing at that elevation.  “The very presence of humans, 24 hours a day, during the summer and fall, makes human-bear interactions so much more likely, not to mention the effects on the vegetation.”

Red Mountain’s Don Thompson said that once the environmental assessment is done, Red will prepare a management plan based on the results; that it will guide such things as trail routes, whether or not dogs will be allowed, and so on.

Moore noted that Council is concerned about the effects on wildlife, and has high expectations of Red’s planning. 

Thompson clarified that people will not be allowed to come in on ATVs or motorbikes; staff will have a vehicle for summer transport.

Planner Stacey Lightbourne explained the process; that zoning is only the first step, then the environmental assessment, then the provincial approval if it is forthcoming, then an application for a building permit.  She explained that the Province has already approved various activities as part of the Commercial Recreation tenure.

Leyland said that he is feeling overwhelmed by the cumulative negative impacts on our biosphere in general and wildlife in particular, and that he wants governments at all levels to just “put the brakes on” and exercise the Precautionary Principle when it comes to further encroachments on the natural world.

2.        Mark Andison spoke about the RDKB’s workplan and financial plan for 2018 to 2022. Andison has been CAO of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary since September 22, 2017; before that he was the General Manager of Operations, and has served in other roles with the RDKB.

Andison explained that there have been several recent staffing changes at the RDKB; his former position will be filled soon, and a new General Manager of Environmental services has been recruited since Alan Stanley retired, and there is a new Manager of Financial services, as well as some other staff changes.

He spoke about current emergency management measures:  flood monitoring for the Kettle & Granby – forecast indicates potential for a 1 in 300-year flood, with this year’s snowpack.

Andison then moved on to the workplans. The RDKB has 69 services operating in the region; they cannot transfer funds between services and they now do a separate workplan for each service that the RDKB manages. Andison explained, “The intent of the workplans is to get a common understanding between the board, staff and the community, in terms of what the priorities of each service are for that given year. Then we can align the resources of the Regional District with the needs of those projects.”

He noted that the 911 dispatch service for the RDKB will now be performed by the City of Kelowna.

Moore asked whether cost containmentis one of the significant issues for Fire Services; Andison replied, “Oh yes, absolutely, that’s why we have to limit the projects we undertake.”

Then he spoke about the detailed plan for secondary sewage treatment at the new plant and are hoping to have the design complete by this fall, and to get funding for building it as well.   The cost is estimated at $34,000,000 at this point.

The City of Rossland’s assessment to be paid to the RDKB went up by 12.18 % this year. Rossland participates in 15 services of the Regional District. 

McLellan asked about organics diversion; Andison explained that there’s no space for it at our local landfill site, but the Boundary area is doing it, and people are very happy with it there.

Council members again referred to the high cost of Fire Services, and Andison pointed out that improved insurance rates are a result of the good (and expensive) service. Moore pointed out that most calls — 59% — are for “first responders” instead of fires, and Andison commented that it’s a Province-wide issue.

Easier to apply for TRP reimbursement now

Council examined a new, more streamlined application form for reimbursement of a portion of TRP fees; instead of the former 29 questions, some of which required “essay” answers, this form consists of only 12 questions, and the last one is optional – just an opportunity to provide more information.

A motion to approve the amended policy and revised application form CARRIED.

Youth Action Network set to carry on.

Council considered the YAN program planning and budget for the next year. A motion to approve the plan CARRIED unanimously.

Development Permit Application – “Sourdough Row” will stand tall just south of four First Avenue houses

The proponents plan to build a 3-story-tall building at 2072 Spokane Street on “Sourdough Row,” the narrow property immediately to the south of the narrow lane just behind four homes on First Avenue, east of Spokane Street. The planned development will provide 6 townhouses, and one commercial unit with retail space on the ground floor and offices above. The 3-story-tall building will block views to the south for the four homes on First Avenue and cast them into winter-time shade.  However, as Planner Stacey Lightbourne pointed out, the property has been zoned Commercial 1 for many years, and the proposal meets all the requirements of the zone, so no consultation with neighbours is needed – Council’s hands are tied; they have no legal reason to deny the application, and more housing is needed. The maximum height allowed for buildings in Commercial 1 zoning is 49 feet (15 metres).

Discussion:  Zwicker felt that the amount of metal siding is unfortunate; though it may work for that building, he would not like to see that amount on other buildings in town. The proponent was present, and explained that the cost differential between stucco and metal is “substantial.”

Kruysse asked who they were aiming at; they responded that who they were aiming at is not necessarily who they are getting.

Morel stated that he’d like permanent residents, not holiday homes for absentee owners—because the proponents had mentioned how much money people in Vancouver are willing to pay. The proponents also own the vacant lot at Spokane and Columbia.

Lightbourne mentioned that since the zoning is Commercial all the units could be used for short-term rental. If any of the required parking is located on another property, that must be registered on title.

A motion to approve the application CARRIED unanimously.

Arena Task Force to focus on fundraising

Council discussed the revised Terms of Reference for the Arena Task Force. Fundraising will now be an important focus of the Task Force, and City staff will now be responsible for some items that have been removed from the Terms of Reference.  Kruysse was concerned about overloading staff capacity;

A motion to approve the revised Terms of Reference CARRIED unanimously.


A motion to read Bylaw # 2660 (to rezone the old Block Motel property) a third time CARRIED unanimously, as did a further motion to adopt the bylaw.

A motion to adopt Rossland’s 2018 – 2022 Financial Plan Bylaw # 2662 CARRIED unanimously.

A motion to adopt the 2018 Municipal Tax Rate Bylaw # 2663 CARRIED unanimously.

A motion to adopt the Red Mountain Specified Area Tax Rate Bylaw# 2664 CARRIED unanimously

A motion to adopt the Fireworks Regulation Bylaw # 2651 CARRIED unanimously.

A motion to read the Council Remuneration Bylaw a first, second and third time CARRIED unanimously.

A motion to give Bylaw # 2667 first and second readings, and to schedule a Public Hearing for June 12, 2018, CARRIED; this would rezone 2194 Park Street for short-term rental of a guest suite.

A motion to give first, second and third readings to the Ophir Reservoir Local Area Tax Rate Bylaw # 2668 CARRIED unanimously.


Golden City Days and the Fall Fair both asked for the usual assistance and in-kind contributions from the City; a motion to grant the requests CARRIED Unanimously.

J.L. Crowe made two requests for scholarships from the City; a motion to grant both CARRIED unanimously.

Rossland summit School (RSS) requested that the City donate a pool pass for the 2018 season, to be awarded during Kids’ Carnival; a motion to give one family pass and one single pass CARRIED with only McLellan opposed.

Josie Hotel sign deemed too large; no agreement on how to fix that(yet).

The Design Review Panelsuggested that the proposed Josie Hotel signage be declined, as it looks too large and possibly too brightly lit at night. The panel did agree that the design itself is pleasing – just too big, at six and a half feet tall and fourteen and a half feet long on one side of the building, and on the stair tower, just the letters “Jo” would be eight feet, three inches tall. A motion to approve the signage FAILED with only Greene and McLellan voting in favour.  Morel proposed a motion to reduce the size of the sign by 50%; after discussion, that motion also FAILED. Kruysse was concerned that the lighting should not offend others; a dimmer on the back-lighting should fix the lighting concerns. Zwicker agreed with the suggestion that the sign should be on the first or second floor instead of the top floor.  A motion to implement suggestions of the design review committee FAILED 3 to 3.  McLellan moved that staff go to the Josie Hotel principals and work out a compromise to bring back to Council, and that motion CARRIED.

Council members reported on their attendance at various committee meetings just before the Council meeting adjourned.

Your reporter packed up and walked home in the cool dusk, contemplating the work of City Councillors and wondering who will step up to take it on for the next term. The election will be in October. Will the 40% pay raise starting next term help to bring more dedicated candidates on board, determined to help make Rossland an ever-better place to live?

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