COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, September 20, 2021

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
September 21st, 2021

Progress on the old Drill Hall; more infill zoning in the works; water restrictions still in place; traffic analysis results; end-of-season Rossland Market event . . .

Council members present:  Mayor Kathy Moore and Councillors Terry Miller, Andy Morel, Dirk Lewis, Janice Nightingale,  Stewart Spooner and Chris Bowman.

Public Input Period:  No one spoke.


The old Drill Hall– Council gave first and second readings to Bylaw # 2764 that will, if adopted, expand the activities allowed in Rossland’s Public and Institutional Zone to include “leisure activities,”  to enable the drill hall to become an arts centre. There will be a Public Hearing on the matter on October 18, 2021.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2765 – 1723 Victoria Avenue:  Council discussed a motion to change the zoning of the property from R1 Residential to R1-Infill Residential, to enable the large lot to be subdivided.  The motion to give the bylaw first and second readings CARRIED, subject to a condition that there be no driveway from Davis Street, and that the driveways of the two lots must be adjacent to each other to make more room on the boulevard for snow storage.  There will be a Public Hearing on October 18, 2021.  Questioning recent activity on that lot, Councillors heard that the owner has been in contravention of the Cut and Fill Bylaw for some time, and there is a Stop Work order on the property now.  

Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2768 – 2444A Third Avenue:  A motion to give first and second readings to a bylaw to rezone the property from R1 residential to R1-Infill CARRIED.  There will be a Public Hearing on October 18, 2021.

Tree Management Bylaw # 2769:  A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED, with only Nightingale opposed.

Policy Review:

Council reviewed and approved the following policies:

          Community Contributor Award

          Information to the Media

          Utility Water Leak Adjustment

          Community Events Sign:  Moore suggested amendments, which included clarifying that groups using the sign could not only be from Rossland, but also include those that operate within Rossland; and that City Staff can add messages without prior Council approval when a municipal, regional, provincial or federal emergency is declared, for information purposes.  Those amendments, and the amended policy, were approved.

Staff Updates and Reports:

Rossland Curling Club Agreement – A motion to enter into an extension of the current Facility Use Agreement with the Rossland Curling Club for a period of one year, with the intent to extend a long-term agreement during negotiations next year based on clear operating cost data, CARRIED, with only Nightingale opposed. Nightingale expressed an opinion that the agreement with the curling club is disproportionately favourable to the curling club at the expense of skaters and other rink users.

CBT Community Outdoor Revitalization Grant — a motion directing staff to apply to the Columbia Basin Trust Outdoor Revitalization Grant for upgrades to RossGlen Park CARRIED, with only Lewis opposed; he preferred an application directed at active transportation. Nightingale pointed out that there are few grants available for replacing playground structures, and the ones in RossGlen are in poor condition, and that they are the only playground facilities in Lower Rossland for young children.

Traffic analysis for Washington School Zone and Thompson Avenue — Council discussed the findings from the traffic analysis.  Lewis moved to support option #4 – removing the delineators and returning Thompson Avenue to its previous state. Nightingale felt that the delineators made a noticeable difference and is in favour of leaving them in place; Spooner agreed. Miller asked whether complaints about the delineators have decreased; Manager of Public works and Infrastructure Scott Lamont said there haven’t been any lately.  Miller noted that he thinks “we pay far too much homage to the automobile” and he approves of keeping the delineators; Bowman said he’ll “choose safety over aesthetics any day.”  The motion to go with Option #4 FAILED with only Lewis in favour.

Morel moved to keep the delineators on Thompson and to purchase a second “smiley face” speed sign.  That motion CARRIED.

Nightingale moved to maintain the delineators on Washington Street; she noted the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at Washington and Jubilee by at least 20 km/hr.  The motion CARRIED.

Morel expressed concern about the winter-time volume of traffic on Washington going to and from the ski hill while school children are going to and returning from school, and hoped Staff would continue to monitor and act to reduce it.

Council perused the following regular reports:

Building Permit Report August 2021;  Building Permit Inspection by Type Report August 2021;  Step Code Energy Rebates August 2021;  Public Works Report August 2021;  Water Production Report August 2021;  Bylaw Enforcement Report August 2021;  Updated Task List.

Questioned about Rossland’s water supply and the Star Gulch Reservoir, Lamont noted that Staff have begun putting out information about the reservoir; the City has won a grant to improve the safety of the dam.  He pointed out that we don’t have a lot of water – we’re not ready to relax water restrictions even though we’ve had a bit of rain, and Ophir is currently in good shape.

Rossland Market Request:  A motion to approve the closure of Spokane Street from First Avenue to North of the Sourdough Alley entry on October 6th during the afternoon/evening, for one large end-of-season market event, CARRIED, subject to the market group notifying all residents and businesses on the block of Spokane Street impacted by the road closure, and providing a Covid-19 Safety Plan addressing all items in the Provincial Health Order and Interior Health guidelines, and providing event insurance naming the City of Rossland as ‘additional insured,’ and working with City staff to mark off the road closure with barriers and signage.

Members’ Reports – selected highlights:

Lewis reported that the Rossland Arena Society is regrouping and getting down to work, and that they have a new website, and have a new plan for opening the concession for the next season.

Miller noted that his vehicle and another one were both damaged by flyballs while parked on the street near the ball diamond, and wondered about warning signs.

Nightingale reported on various meetings, and on work being done to enable expansion of child-care offerings in Rossland.

Bowman talked about work being done at the old cemetery, he also noted that the old clubhouse at the golf course was once an inn for travellers on the old Dewdney Trail, and praised Tourism Rossland for the work they’ve done to keep Rossland on the map during restricted travel times.

Moore reported on the UBCM virtual conference and other meetings she had attended, and noted that as far as COVID goes,  unvaccinated people are 34 times more likely to require hospitalization if they contract the illness, and that there are now quite a few seriously ill hospital patients who are under 40 years of age.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm, and your reporter waddled away from her computer, having eaten just a bit too much delicious risotto for dinner, and spent the rest of the evening avoiding the angst of following any news at all about the federal election; time enough the following day to learn the results.

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