COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council meetings, January 9, 2023
More Tourist Cabins in the works; Winter Carnival needs event insurance; a streamlined Development Permit process; community involvement in Health Care Initiatives; Black Jack hoping for a day lodge; Sustainability Commission is seeking new members; and the latest report on RDKB activities …
Present: Mayor Andy Morel, and Councillors Eliza Boyce, Jeff Weaver, Maya Provençal, Lisa Kwiatkowski, Stewart Spooner and Craig Humpherys. Staff: CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, Executive Assistant Rachel Newton, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, Manager of Recreation and Events Kristi Calder, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 3980 Old Red Mountain Road
The applicant is seeking to rezone two parcels from R1-R – Rural Residential – to CD-1-MFR-1, Multi-Family Residential. The plan is to subdivide the two-acre property into seven parcels plus a no-build zone; the proposal was described in detail in the December 12, 2022 Council materials, at pages 52 to 100, and was given first and second readings at that meeting.
No one spoke so Council adjourned the Public Hearing.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING:
Public Input Period:
Red Barn Lodge owner Anthony Bell spoke regarding the past and current bylaws regarding short-term rentals, and the difficulties and costs of enforcement. He encouraged the City to enforce the current bylaw – to “put more effort into applying the bylaw.”
Angela Price, owner of a B&B and a guest house, offered to share her knowledge gained from long experience to assist the City. She pointed out that enforcement of the bylaw depends on having the software that detects non-compliance checked regularly. She mentioned the needs of professional people and workers who come into town to work for varying lengths of time, and said, “We want to help.”
Delegation: Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation: Rebecca Richards, LCIC Director; Jacomien Van Tonder, Metal Tech Alley Director; Morag Carter, President of sister organization LCCDTS and Dino Dorazio, LCIC Board Chair, presented an update. Van Tonder said that on February 14, there will be a Zoom presentation on Metal Tech Alley’s activities; and that the Canadian Standards Association interviewed her about the Circular Economy. The Province has provided funding for a feasibility study for making Metal Tech Alley into Western Canada’s “battery hub” to recycle batteries. She warned Council that when that happens, there will be a greater need for housing, and pointed out that the project will strengthen the local economy. KC Recycling was able to present to Minister Heyman about new plastics recycling capacity.
Rebecca Richards noted that there is a new Internet Service Provider in the area – Ten Four Networks is established on the CBBC network and is beginning to supply internet service to local businesses.
There is a Supply Chain Resiliency Project, which has developed a detailed supply chain map to show distribution patterns across the Columbia Basin.
LCIC is beginning to build a case to present to Canadian Border Services regarding an improved Waneta Border Crossing.
Carter of the LCCDTS spoke about the “IncrEdible” market in Trail, and the new market in Fruitvale, and the Christmas Market held at Waneta Plaza over a longer period than previously. She spoke on the topic of attainable housing; Fruitvale has a multi-unit project in the design phase, and she acknowledged that “market housing continues to be a significant gap.”
Request that Rossland join the British Columbia Rural Health Network: At the December 12, 2022 meeting, representatives of the British Columbia Rural Health Network (BCRHN) appeared as a delegation and asked the City to join the network and add to its roster of municipal members.
Council did not respond to the BCRHN request at this meeting, but Teasdale and Spooner both noted that health care is not a municipal responsibility.
Request for a community volunteer and letter of support for the Lower Columbia Community Health Centre Network Society: This group sent at delegation to the December 12, 2022, Council meeting, and had requested that Rossland’s current Council provide a letter of support, and appoint a volunteer from the community to serve as a director and represent Rossland on its board. Provençal moved to direct staff to put out a call for a volunteer to joint the LCCHCNS, and the motion CARRIED.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw, 990 Black Bear Drive: The applicant wants to change the zoning of the property from R1 Residential to Comprehensive Development Zone 9 – CD9 – Commercial Tourist Cabins (CTC), and plans to build two additional cabins on the property, of 540 square feet per cabin, then to remove the current small home and replace it with a third cabin. The plan, as outlined in the submitted materials, will require variances reducing side and rear setbacks. Boyce opposed reducing the setbacks from the wetlands, and Lightbourne explained that those requests would be dealt with during the building permit application. A motion to give the bylaw first and second readings, subject to conditions specified by the Planning Department, CARRIED with Boyce opposed.
A further motion setting a Public Hearing for February 6, 2023, also CARRIED.
Bylaw Amendment – Delegation of authority for Development Permits: The proposed amendment streamlines the City’s Development Permit process by delegating authority to approve such permits to staff, in limited circumstances. The amended bylaw is part of the outcome of a process funded by a grant of $175,000 from the Province, “to conduct a Development Approvals Process review and to implement an improved software to manage approvals and permits.” The City contracted Dillon Consulting to assist. The materials provided for this meeting explain,
“Where a property falls within a Development Permit Area, a development permit must be obtained before the site is altered, building permit is obtained or subdivision approval. Applicants must show how the proposal will comply with guidelines established in the OCP. The development permit is approved by Council and sets forth conditions under which development may take place. Council cannot refuse a DP if it meets the guidelines and cannot require anything that does not comply with guidelines.”
Rossland has six Development Permit Areas; the amendment would authorize staff to approve Development Permits in only two of them – the Wildfire Interface Development Permit Area, the Steep Slope and Hazardous Lands Development Permit Area, and also for “Minor Form and Character” development permits (>50sq m building facade area). Any permit requiring a variance, or which staff assess as potentially contentious, or for other DP areas, would still come to Council for a decision.
Motions to give the bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.
Recreation Bursary Policy – a motion to reconfirm the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Development Permit Application:
HUB Insurance signs — 2076 Columbia Avenue; the applicant sought permission to replace signage on the door, window and awning of the insurance office, and to replace a large sign on the outer wall on the east side of the building. After discussion, a motion to approve the door window and awning signage, and to deny permission for the signage on the east side of the building, CARRIED unanimously.
Information Items Reviewed:
Council then reviewed and approved the register of payments made by the City in the previous month, and examined the regular monthly reports: the Corporate Management Work Plan Report, the Building Permit Report, the Building Permit Inspection by Type Report, the STEP Code Energy Rebate Report, the Public Works Report, the Water Production Report, the Eye on Water Report, the Rossland Midtown Status Report, the Bylaw Compliance Report, and the Updated Task List.
Morel commented that he hopes more residents will read the Corporate Management Plan Report, and understand more of the work the City does.
Rossland Winter Carnival!
Kwiatkowski, as chair of the Rossland Winter Carnival Committee, left the room for this item.
The Committee requested permission to close Queen Street for one block south of Columbia Avenue, and one block north, for the ice palace and the rail jam respectively, from January 25 to January 29 inclusive; and to close Spokane Street from Highway 3-B to Third Avenue, for the duration of the Sonny Samuelson Bobsled Race. The Committee noted that if they are unable to secure event liability insurance coverage, some or all of the Winter Carnival events may be cancelled. Calder explained that the bobsled race is very unlikely to happen, in spite of everyone’s best efforts – but efforts are still ongoing.
A motion to approve the requests for Winter Carnival CARRIED unanimously.
Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Club request:
Black Jack requested a letter of support for a grant application to the BC Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program, to build a day lodge at Black Jack. A motion to send the letter, already drafted and signed by Morel, CARRIED unanimously.
Morel, Rossland`s current rep, submitted the following report:
RDKB BOARD ACTIVITIES:
December 1 & 2, 2022 Board Workshop – 2023 Workplan Orientation for new Board Prestige Resort and Trail Board Office
• Senior Managers and new and returning Board Members spent 1.5 days reviewing the services of the Regional District and the primer for the upcoming budget process including the 2023 Workplans for each service. More details forthcoming in the future on workplans and proposed budgets. New Board members very surprised at breadth of services provided throughout the Region to it’s approximately 33,000 residents from Fruitvale in the East to Bridesville in the West and Big White Resort to the North.
Regional Connectivity Committee Meeting – December 12, 2022, by Zoom
• New connectivity mapping developed by CBT Staff highlighting the areas of good, poor and zero connectivity throughout the Columbia Kootenay Region. With more up to date information being available ongoingly, more accurate assessments and micro mapping being produced to help highlight underserved regions and individual neighbourhoods and homes.
• More information being made available to the provision of fibre to last mile residents. LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite technology being explored as a more cost-effective option for isolated and spread-out rural residents.
Board Meeting December 14, 2022
• Provided a verbal report of above RCC meeting information to Directors and Staff.
• Delegation: Michael Zimmer, Biologist – Okanagan Nation Alliance. A very interesting presentation on the Alliance’s many efforts to advocate for the return of salmon to the Columbia River System. Higher #s of fish are now providing the opportunity for sport and food commercial fishery in some areas – mostly Okanagan at this point. Salmon have been released on both sides of the Canadian and US borders in the Kootenay Regions and are showing up in different parts of the Columbia River through Trail and Castlegar. 13 schools in the RDKB have been highlighted to support an Eggs to Fry Salmon program with a public release in the Columbia Rivers as an educational tool. Thus far very successful on numerous fronts.
• 2023 RDKB Meeting Calendar moved by Directors. Now available on RDKB website.
• Staff Report from Janine Dougal Re: Recycle BC’s intent to close numerous rural recycling depots making it difficult for residents and businesses to access and utilize convenient drop-off locations, reducing compliance of recycling and adding to landfill tonnage and reduced lifespans. A letter has been drafted and sent opposing Recycle BC’s initiative to close these depots in the rural RDKB areas
• Christmas gathering following the Board Meeting at Prestige Inn, Rossland with Directors and Staff. Thank you to staff for organizing a very good seasonal evening.
[END of RDKB Report]
Other Members’ Reports:
Provençal met with the Sustainability Commission (SC) and the SC is looking for new volunteer members to join them in their work for the community.
The meeting recessed to an in camera session, explained in the Council materials as “Pursuant [to] sections 90(1)(a), personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality, and Section 90 (1)(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public; of the Community Charter.”
So your reporter packed up and walked home in the fog and mushy snow, contemplating the increasing unpredictability and variability of our weather, and hoping we will have better winter weather for Winter Carnival – not to mention the necessary insurance. The bobsled race was always such great fun … and the rest of the Carnival, too! Anyone who hasn’t seen the video with Rick Mercer, click this link.