COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council meeting, November 1, 2021
Pickleball sometime maybe; how long is a block? — stashing some money for policing costs; more progress on the North Jubilee Park; encouraging diversity in local government; more younger unvaccinated people in hospital with COVID . . .
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore and Councillors Terry Miller, Andy Morel, Janice Nightingale, Chris Bowman and Dirk Lewis. Absent: Stewart Spooner.
Staff: Chief Administrative Officer Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, and Manager of Recreation and Events Kristi Calder.
Public Input Period:
Scott Leyland spoke to thank City Staff for having repaired pavement in the alley behind the swimming pool, and noted that it is still very thinly paved and would benefit from a complete re-paving. He also wanted to encourage an upgrade to the playground equipment in the small park beside the swimming pool.
Lewis asked “where we’re at with land recognition.” Moore explained that meetings with local First Nations people are coming up.
Staff suggested a motion directing staff to incorporate future plans to create dedicated pickleball courts in Rossland into the Recreation Master Plan process. Nightingale suggested replacing the word “incorporate” with “consider,” and with that amendment, the motion CARRIED.
A motion to give third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2764, P1 Public and Institutional Zone Leisure Facility Use, CARRIED unanimously. A further motion to adopt the bylaw also CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to give third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2765, 1723 Victoria Ave -R1Infill, CARRIED with the following three conditions: 1. Driveway is not to be located on Davis Street; 2. Driveways for the newly proposed lots will be situated adjacent to each other; 3. Snow storage Statutory Right of Way (SRW) is required in the setback areas adjacent to Davis Street and Victoria Avenue. A further motion to adopt the bylaw, subject to the same three conditions, also CARRIED. Morel and Moore both expressed concerns about safety regarding parking and people backing out of driveways so close to that intersection.
A motion to give third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2768 – 2444A 3rd Ave R1 – Infill CARRIED unanimously and a further motion to adopt the bylaw also CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to adopt Council Procedure Bylaw # 2770, 2021, CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to adopt the 2022-2026 Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw # 2773 CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to adopt the Indemnification for Municipal Officials Bylaw # 2775 CARRIED unanimously.
Council discussed a motion regarding rezoning 811 WhiteTail Drive at Redstone, from R-1 residential to R1-GS, to permit short-term rental of a secondary suite in the home. The applicant is aware that, technically, the application does not fall within the guideline of one guest suite per ‘block’ because there is another short-term rental property at the end of the rather long ‘block.’ But they stated that the usual length of a city block is approximately 260 feet, and the closest short-term rental property to theirs is 853 feet away. Nightingale expressed concern about the lack of long-term rental properties; Lewis felt that rejecting the application would not make the owners rent out the suite on a long-term basis. Miller clarified the number of short-term rentals permitted in the “old town” and Redstone under the City policy, and how many there currently are (85 allowed; 37 already approved). Moore noted that “we need a way to incentivize long-term rentals.” Morel noted that the regulatory atmosphere seems onerous for long-term rental owners. Nightingale wondered when the policy on short-term rentals is due for review; staff answered, in January.
The motion to approve the bylaw to rezone the property, Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2774, CARRIED.
A motion to give first, second and third readings to 2022 Annual Revenue Anticipation Bylaw # 2776 CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to give first, second and third readings to Policing Reserve Bylaw # 2778, to establish a reserve fund for anticipated increases in the costs of policing, CARRIED unanimously. Miller commented, “I think it’s prudent.” Bowman said, “It’s too bad we have to do this, but . . . ”
North Jubilee Park Landscape Design:
Council discussed the series of motions proposed for this project, which involves moving the community garden, extending the wetland rehabilitation into the area formerly occupied by the community garden, improving accessibility, and adding protection for sensitive features.
A motion to approve the Landscape Plan for Jubilee Park as presented, to approve construction of the first phase of the project (the creation of the wetland and preparation of the Community Garden Area), CARRIED unanimously.
A further motion directing Staff to work on developing a budget for future improvements to the park in order for the project to be shovel ready for grant opportunities, and directing Staff to work with the Designer to develop a Park Operations and Maintenance Plan and associated budget for Council’s future consideration, CARRIED unanimously.
Bowman commented that the difference between the “before” and “after pictures of the wetland area is “amazing.” (see below.)
Development Permit Application – 2127 Columbia Avenue:
Council considered an application to erect a kiosk “to display local listings, rental properties and community announcements” in the vacant lot. A motion to deny the application CARRIED unanimously.
Council perused the Trail and Greater District RCMP 3rd Quarter Report, and the Updated Task List.
Bowman proposed a motion to provide a Letter of Support for the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre’s application to the Columbia Basin Trust's Community Outdoor Revitalization Grant, which , inter alia, “be a great outdoor, multi-use, multi-season teaching and learning space for our local schools and serve as a much-needed alternative to indoor classroom space.” The motion CARRIED unanimously, and Council also voted to approve the draft letter in the Council materials.
Bowman also noted that a new Black Jack map will be coming out soon.
Morel said he will be providing an RDKB report for the next Council meeting.
Nightingale attended a CBAL strategy meeting on October 25; she noted that CBAL is a resource centre for many residents, and has setup an online store for fundraising, which will re-open from November 16 to November 30; click this link to check it out. Nightingale gave the meeting a quote from the Harry Measure walking tour: “Cultivating a car culture creates isolation.”
Miller reported that a local person who had called 911 was put on hold for ten minutes; he suggested sending a letter urging improvement to that system.
Moore moved that Council approve the City’s application for a grant to put on a program encouraging more young women, particularly in equity-seeking groups, to participate in rural local government, by identifying and resolving barriers. The motion included permission for the group to use the Lily May room free of charge if they are successful, and it CARRIED.
Moore moved that Council approve moving the bottle bin to a property owned by the City, near the arena. The motion CARRIED.
Moore had met with IHA personnel on the topic of COVID vaccinations; she reported that health-care staff are experiencing more hospital admissions of younger, unvaccinated people, causing delays in medical attention for others who need it. She also attended a Climate Caucus meeting on wastewater heat capture.
Council recessed to an in camera session, pursuant to section 90(1)(b) of the Community Charter, to discuss personal information about an identifiable individual who is being considered for a municipal award or honor, or who has offered to provide a gift to the municipality on condition of anonymity.
And your reporter packed up and walked home from the Miners Union Hall for the first time in many months, enjoying the crisp temperature and the sweet fragrance from all the drifts of fallen leaves.