Rossland arena's importance; a video surveillance policy; toward that Forest Park; water restrictions? And more . . .
Rossland City Council Meetings, July 16, 2018
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore and Councillors Lloyd McLellan, John Greene, Andrew Zwicker, Andy Morel, and Aaron Cosbey. Absent: Marten Kruysse.
1. Public Hearing:
Council invited members of the public to express their opinions on four bylaws: the bylaw on Cannabis Regulation (#2670), a bylaw to split-zone the property at 1820 Planer Crescent (#2671), a bylaw to rezone the property at 2235 Fifth Avenue to R1-GS, and a bylaw to remove short-term rental zoning from properties without business licences.
No one spoke to any of the items.
2. Regular Council Meeting:
Public Input Period:
Laura Petit spoke about the water meter issue, and thought that some things had not been addressed, because a number of residents didn’t understand Council’s decision to spend all that money, and suggested that a detailed explanation to the public would be helpful.
Cosbey and Moore both agreed that the City owes the public a better explanation.
Jackie Drysdale brought good news from the Heritage Fund grants by Columbia Basin Trust and announced that Rossland will receive four grants: to the United Church for $35,000; to the RLOP for $20,000; to the City of Rossland for a Heritage Management Plan; and $2,700 for a monument to Ross Thompson. Drysdale was emphatic about the need for heritage buildings to be brought up to current standards, maintained, and used; and she expressed appreciation for the long-term perspective of the CBT adjudicators in their decision-making.
Terry Van Horn and Wes Startup of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation and Bill van Beek, chair of the Lower Columbia Development Team Society, spoke about their successes, including the development of Metal Tech Alley, and future priorities.
Some of those include addressing housing needs, transportation, and ensuring future power supplies for expansion of power-hungry blockchain and “industry 4.0” businesses – the industrial Internet of Things. LCIC is seeking letters of support from local municipalities urging Fortis to upgrade the Beaver Creek substation for 2020, to provide enough power for future expansion, not just confirmed existing needs; “You’ve got to build for future potential.”
Readers can view some very brief video clips advertising Metal Tech Alley’s potential at:
Darin Recchi of the Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association (GTMHA) presented facts about the role of hockey here and the importance of the Rossland arena to the region; he stated that participation in hockey is not declining, and that participation in the GTMHA catchment area is above the national average; that hockey in this area is actually growing, with the return of the female peewee team and the major midget program; that the Rossland arena provides 25% of the GTMHA ice; and that the GTMHA must maintain its current ice allocation to meet the guidelines of Hockey Canada.
“I’m not asking for some magical solution,” he said. Another speaker explained that it isn’t feasible to try to find ice in other nearby communities. If the Rossland arena closed, it would have a severe impact on young hockey players in the whole Lower Columbia region, and the figure skaters as well. She offered to help the City write grant applications for arena funding. A young father praised the female hockey program, and said the Rossland arena is a big part of that. Recchi asked for the City’s support in helping the public to understand the importance of the Rossland arena.
Cosbey and Moore both thanked Recchi for gathering the information and bringing it to Council.
Staff Recommendations for Council decision:
A Development Variance Permit Application for 1870 Planer Avenue to reduce front and side setbacks, to enable the owner to build a large flat-roofed two-car garage with storage area, conditional upon using the existing driveway. A motion to approve the application CARRIED unanimously.
A Development Permit Application for Phase II of the Caldera subdivision, with numerous conditions. McLellan asked who would ensure compliance with the conditions; Planner Stacey Lightbourne said that is part of her job. After a few questions from Council to clarify details of trails status, trees and so on, the motion to approve it CARRIED unanimously.
Council adjusted the agenda and dealt with most of the Bylaws next, starting with #2671 – a bylaw to split-zone the property at 1810 Planer: Moore asked for the staff responses to the letters that the City received; the height restriction for a new building is 8.5 metres. A motion to give the bylaw third reading, and the next motion to adopt it, both CARRIED unanimously.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2672 to rezone 2234 Fifth Avenue; Council voted unanimously to give this bylaw third reading, and then to adopt it.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2673 to remove short-term rental zoning from the following properties:
2085 Davis Street, 2410 Fourth Avenue, 2406 Fourth Avenue, and 1610 Nevada Street; these properties will all revert to R1 Residential (Single Detached).
1506 Kootenay Avenue, 2074 Butte Street, 2461 St. Paul Street, and 2549 St. Paul Street; these properties will revert to R1 Infill Residential.
3040 Happy Valley Road will revert to R1 Rural Residential.
Council voted unanimously to give this bylaw third reading, and then to adopt it.
Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw #2674 reduces the amount of time that successful applicants can enjoy a tax holiday after improving their commercial, industrial or recreational properties from ten years to five years, and sets out a schedule of the portion of the tax that must be paid in each year. Another change requires (rather than merely encouraging) applicants to meet at least two of the City’s listed objectives, which include conserving water, conserving energy, and reducing Greenhouse gas emissions, inter alia.
Cosbey had given the wording more thought, and suggested that the wording on objectives simply refer to two of those listed in Schedule “B” – the application, as this would be more clear.
A motion to adopt the slightly amended bylaw CARRIED unanimously.
Official Community Plan amendment Bylaw #2661 (Forest Park): a motion to give first and second reading to a bylaw amending the OCP by designating a block of City property from Resource Management Area, and a parcel of a resident’s property from Rural Residential (with the resident’s active encouragement), to P2 – Parks and Open Space, and to a policy supporting the addition of other parcels to a Forest Park in future, CARRIED unanimously.
Cosbey asked whether the City can “wrap this up” before the end of this Council’s term; Lightbourne said, yes; the public hearing will be on August 13.
A motion to approve Bylaw #2675 amending the Zoning Bylaw to rezone the two parcels CARRIED unanimously.
A motion that the City will cover the cost of the land transfer and the covenant required CARRIED.
Moore exclaimed, “I’m so happy to see that happen! I’ve been wanting us to do that for years, ever since he (Anthony Bell) first brought it up!”
Council carried on with its practice of reviewing four (or so) policies per regular Council meeting, to either reconfirm or amend each policy. This meeting, they reconfirmed the Third Party Charges Policy, the Third Party Call-out Policy, and the Road, Sidewalk, Stair Snow Removal Policy. (Cosbey noted that the asphalt Leroi sidewalk was getting a bit beaten up at the corner of LeRoi and Davis by snow removal operations. Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo explained that staff have to use chains on the Bobcat for that new section of sidewalk, especially at the corner at Davis Street.)
Under Asset Management Planning Policy, Moore raised the topic of Development Cost Charges and asked whether Rossland should reconsider those charges, since we don’t have any now; Chief Administrative Officer Bryan Teasdale thought this was not a good time to look at this tool, and Moore said she just wanted DCCs not to “fall off the table.” Moore suggested it could be added to the Task List; Teasdale said he thinks it’s already included in the policy. Moore wondered about the meaning of the term “pay as you go” and whether it might, as defined, be limiting, and Council discussed the meaning of the term; but Teasdale explained why he doesn’t consider it unnecessarily limiting as written. The policy was reconfirmed.
Then Council discussed and unanimously approved a new policy on Video Surveillance. The Video Surveillance Policy sets out the requirements for installing video surveillance equipment to help protect City staff and assets, and to help identify any vandals, and to comply with privacy legislation. To read guidelines issued by the Government of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, click here.
Then, back to the remaining Bylaws:
Animal Control Amendment Bylaw #2665: A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously. Council discussed prioritizing bylaws for enforcement, and jaywalking was discussed at some length.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2670 for Cannabis Regulation: Council voted unanimously to give it third reading, and then to adopt the bylaw.
Water consumption was lower in this year’s wetter June than for June 2017; but Council made a motion to impose Stage III water restrictions, in order to take proactive water conservation measures, before the current bylaw would require it – that would be when the Star Gulch reservoir is (according to Water Service bylaw amendment #2173) half a meter below full capacity. Albo commented that the reservoirs are both full at this point. Zwicker noted that the item was not on the agenda, and said he could not support a motion to go to Stage III at this time because of that – it should be put on an agenda before it’s discussed and voted on, so the public has proper notice. The motion to impose Stage III restrictions was DEFEATED.
Don Mortimer, for the 2018 FireSmart Program, requested City assistance in the form of transport for a limited number of loads of woody debris from Dunn Crescent and Treadwell Drive to Moon Gravity Farm for hügelkultur composting; a motion to approve the request CARRIED unanimously.
McLellan reported on Regional District issues. He commented that he thinks Rossland is “leaps and bounds ahead” of other local communities on asset management.
Zwicker said he had heard reports of gunshot-like noises recently, and also heard that they were caused by “gopher bombs” in the nearby Trail cemetery.
Greene attended the Fire conference in Nelson; he said Don Mortimer was there and gave an excellent presentation. Greene will provide a summary of the conference later.
Cosbey reported on the meeting he had with the contractor hired to report on recreation, and said the consultation process will begin in August and continue into September.
Moore had “Age Friendly” meetings and will have a report in August. She said over 800 people attended the excellent Canada Day celebration at the Museum, and there wasn’t quite enough cake for everyone; and that the City trucks were a big hit with the “Touch a Truck” event for young children.
Greene reported that he saw “five big guys standing around by the skatepark drinking beer,” but he has asked residents how they feel about the skatepark, and they generally seemed happy with it.
Council then recessed to an in camera session, and your reporter strolled home in the warm dusk, contemplating how much privacy people should be able to expect in a public place, and how many instances of vandalism or other mischief should trigger video surveillance; and deeply regretting that those nastier urges and acts exist, that result in video surveillance anywhere at all.