COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council meetings, July 10, 2023

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
July 11th, 2023

Objections to restricting Short-Term Rental zoning at Red effect a change;  trees mourned;  cost of trucks rising; more sculptures coming, also Golden City Days, the Fall Fair, and Huck en Berries Bike Jam;  another award for Rossland’s Finance Department; and the latest RDKB Report.

PRESENT:  Mayor Andy Morel, and Councillors Maya Provençal, Craig Humpherys, Lisa Kwiatkowski, Jeff Weaver (by Zoom, until his internet was lost about halfway through the meeting), Eliza Boyce, and Stewart Spooner.  Staff:  CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo,  CFO Mike Kennedy,  Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont, Deputy Operations Manager Ryan Niddery, Manager of Recreation and Events Kristi Calder, and Executive Assistant Rachel Newton.


1.      Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2810 – 2010 and 2052 Phoenix Avenue:

         The owner of 2052 Phoenix Avenue is purchasing a portion of 2010 Phoenix (an adjacent property) and seeks to rezone 2052 and the portion of 2010 being purchased from R1 Residential to R-1I Residential Infill, to allow subdivision into two new lots.  The materials provided explain that “reasoning given with the application is that it will allow two Rossland residents, one entering the market and one entering retirement to build homes more affordably.”

No one stood up to speak.

2.      Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2812 – Lot 2, Old Red Mountain Road:

         The owner wishes to rezone  this property from R1-R Rural Residential to CD-3-RHP Resort Holiday Park, and to amalgamate this property with his adjacent property at 3975 Old Red Mountain Road which is already zoned CD-3-RHP.

Don Thompson said Red has no objection to the application, saying it adds variety to the accommodation offerings, but asked that there be a buffer area between residential dwellings and the campground.

The Public Hearing adjourned.



Morel stated that Council has received all messages that have been sent and is aware of their contents, and asked that people do not repeat their messages.

Melanie Mercier spoke in praise of trees and their carbon storing capacity, and asked that trees in Rossland be respected and retained as much as possible.

Miche Warwick spoke about trees that were cut in “a Rossland Park.”

Mark Jeffery spoke about the trees that were cut down in Rossglen Park, and regretted their loss – referred to it as “an act of vandalism.”    

[Your reporter asked Lamont about the two trees cut down at Rossglen, and he responded that they were removed because they were hazard trees.]

A Mr. Cornwell, who lives in Caldera, spoke about the potential change in zoning, and said it made him “feel afraid.”  He said he is aware of the issues around short-term housing and the availability of longer-term rentals.

Brooke Carew of Creekside Terrace asked Council to reconsider their plan to change the zoning of the property to Residential..

A resident of Ritchie Road spoke, also asking Council to reconsider.

Mike Maturo asked that Council find the  numbers for long-term rentals

Dario Cescon spoke, pointing out that the whole base area is a cohesive whole, and doesn’t think it should be divided up by different zoning.  He felt it would be unfair to do it without consultation with the owners.

Cary Fisher of Redstone objected to the plan to remove short-term zoning from a portion of Redstone.


1.       Don Thompson, President of Red  Mountain Resorts, spoke in response to Council’s recent request for draft bylaws to change some zones at the Red Mountain Base area to impose restrictions (as in Rossland’s “old town” area) on short-term rentals.  Thompson had sent the City a letter on June 26, explaining the impact such a change in zoning could have on  investment and development at the Base area, and tourism generally; in the letter, he pointed out that the motion “was initiated without discussion with Red Mountain, other accommodation providers, or the community stakeholders that rely on sustainable tourism.”

Christine Andison accompanied Thompson, who said he felt the proposed change was “unreasonable.”  He pointed out that the previous ownership came close to failure, and described the factors that have led to the survival and current success of the business.  He said that businesses are only just beginning to come out of the global recession of 2008, and the pandemic’s effects. 

He asserted that any problems are more a result of the City’s inability to enforce current zoning and regulations, than the zoning.  He said that there is no factual justification or data to support the proposed change.

“Investment in small communities is extremely fragile,” he suggested, and investment is crucial.  He said the motion to change the zoning threatens investment.  He respectfully requested that Council rescind the motion that would lead to a change in the current zoning.  He explained that the motion “jumps to a conclusion” and puts Red’s plans and success in jeopardy.

2.      Andras Lukacs, Executive Director of Tourism Rossland, also spoke in opposition to the proposed zoning changes.  He presented figures on the amount of hotel accommodation revenue in Rossland, the contribution of tourism to Rossland’s economy, and particularly the “affected” short-term rentals.  He pointed out that Rossland is a Resort Municipality, one of only 14 in the province, and that in Revelstoke, another Resort Municipality, short-term rentals are “allowed at the ski hill, with no restrictions.”

He explained why it is important to have a diverse mix of housing available at the base, and listed several reasons why people would want to rent houses rather than suites, hotel rooms, campgrounds or a hostel.

Lukacs posited that immediate impacts of some STRs at Red base disappearing will be cancellations, marketplace uncertainty, and reputational damage.  He echoed Thompson’s request that Council reconsider, and rescind, the motion to change zoning at Red.

Spooner suggested that Council should take the time to understand better what the community wants with regard to STRs, and to hold off on any action on zoning for another six months, and suggested a motion to that effect.  Humpherys agreed with Spooner’s suggested six-month pause.  Boyce acknowledged that STRs are “a thorny issue” and she also suggested that the moratorium on STRs in Old Town continue. 

Rather than delaying, Kwiatkowski wanted to get discussions underway, and to have more outreach within the community, and to hold another CoW about STRs.  Provençal was also concerned that a freeze on change would not help.  Spooner said his intention was to revisit the issue in six months.  Boyce asked if Council could rescind the direction to staff, and then enter into discussion with all stakeholders. Nodding, Teasdale said, yes, that would work.

Kwiatkowski is not in favour of stalling all progress on all parts of the STR issue.  Teasdale explained that staff are all very busy, and would not be able to work on the issue until early next year anyway, and until that happens, no new applications for STRs will be processed.

Thompson asked if he could speak and was given permission; he said he felt encouraged by the conversation, and clarified what decision he felt was needed for investor confidence.

A motion to rescind the previous direction to staff, and to proceed with further consultation with the community before making any further decisions, CARRIED unanimously.  

Applause ensued from the gallery.


Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw # 2811, 2023:  A motion to give the bylaw second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.  Council had discussed it at the previous meeting and given it first reading then.


Council reviewed and unanimously reconfirmed the following five City policies as presented: 

              Employee Rules and Regulations

              Employee Step Discipline

              IT Acceptable Use

              Respectful Workplace Policy



Award of contract:  A motion to award a contract to Metro Motors Ltd. to build and supply a replacement  Utility Service Truck, in the amount of $238,000, CARRIED; as did a further motion to reallocate funds to increase the budget for the truck replacement.   The original budget allotment was $200,000, but the lower of the two bids received came in at 238,000.

Invoices Paid for Municipal Services June 2023:  Council approved the list of payments made for City expenses in June.

Finance Department Award:  Morel mentioned that Rossland’s finance staff received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).  The letter accompanying the award certificate said, among other things, “The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. … Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.”  The GFOA represents finance officers throughout both the United States and Canada.

STAFF REPORTS – for information only:

              2023 Corporate Management Work Plan Second Quarter (Q2) Progress Report

              2023 Second Quarter (Q2) Budget Update

              Building Permit Report

              Building Permit Inspections by Type

              Step Code Energy Rebates

              Public Works and Water Production Report – Rossglen project to start later this month

              Eye on Water Report

              Bylaw Compliance Monthly Activity Report – two dog attacks in June, 49 warnings and seven fines issued for traffic violations; a total of 129 files created in June

              Rossland Yards Status Report

              Updated Task List



              RCAC Thinking Outside the Box Sculpture Request:  A motion to approve the installation of the sculpture named 'Thinking Outside the Box' by North Vancouver sculptor Sandra Bérubé, at the rotating sculpture location on the corner of Washington Street and Columbia Avenue CARRIED unanimously.  Spooner asked about the process, and Calder explained that Council’s consent is in the agreement with RCAC.  Below:  the sculpture.

              RCAC Art Installment Request – Adirondack Chairs:  A motion to approve the temporary installation of eight Adirondack chairs (two at the Rossland Library, four at Nickleplate Park and two in another location of staff's choice) from July to September 2023, CARRIED with only Spooner opposed.

[Morel commented that in Ontario, they were called “Muskoka” chairs;  Kwiatkowski joked that she was “against the (Adirondack) name.”]

              Golden City Days / Fall Fair / Huck’en Berries Event Request 2023: 

Council voted unanimously in favour of the following five requests to facilitate these community events:

              To approve the closure of Third Avenue from West of 2253 Third Avenue to the Arena parking lot from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, September 9th for Golden City Days, AND

              To approve the use of Jubilee Street, St. Paul Street and Second Avenue on Saturday, September 9th beginning at 10:30 am for parade events with traffic management; AND

              To approve the use of Centennial Trail and Trailhead on Sunday, September 10th for Golden City Days race events; AND

              To approve closure of Spokane Street between Second and Third Avenues from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, September 9th for Fall Fair events; AND

              To approve use of the Centennial Dirt Jumps on Saturday, September 9th for Huck en Berries Bike Jam event.


Provençalreported that the mural on the YAN building is now up; Kwiatkowski said “it looks great.”

Spooner had met with WHY representatives regarding the potential impacts of the proposed WHY project on the Seven Summits Trail.

Morel recommended that anyone going through Grand Forks should check out the flood control/mitigation work being done there.

Morel also thanked Spooner and his crew for improving the trial up Mt. Roberts, and said the oldest hiker to the summit for the flag-raising was 74 and the youngest was 9.

Morel also reported on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee:  the committee consists of volunteers Genevieve Fortin, Linda Scoffham, Jason Zwaal, Marie-Elise Marcoux, and Robert (Roro) Gyles, with Kristi Calder as Chair and Scott Lamont Co-chair.


Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary (RDKB) Report, provided by Rossland Mayor and director on the RDKB board, Andy Morel:


East End Services – June 13, 2023

·       Delegation: Andrew Creighton, Nelson Community Food Centre. Presenting on food security strategies and collaborations with multiple groups in Nelson region. Providing information on initiatives and programs that help East End Committee members to establish further objectives towards lower Columbia projects for 2024. Further information coming from Staff in future meetings.

·       Staff Report and presentation – Victim Services. Manager, Jenn Penny providing case load statistics and clarifying role of services and staff. Provincial recognition of increasing need for support. UBCM workshop pending in support of more information.

·       Letter of support request – LCIC for concept of Battery Hub – passed.

·       Green Link Update – Mayor, Steve Morrisette reported that Consultant is now working on meeting with Communities across Lower Columbia, identifying potential routes for the Active Transportation corridor. Rossland staff are members of the committee.

·       East End Services reviewing BC Transit Service Annual Operating Agreement with Staff reporting – passed by Committee.

·       Director discussion on W.H.Y. Resources mining proposal on Record Ridge, Area B. Concerns for citizens living downwind and downstream. Possible letter of concern being considered.

    East End Curbside Working Group Meeting – June 13, 2023

·       Staff verbal report – Environmental Services staff members – Jodi B. providing update on McKelvey Creek Landfill project. Progressing well. Some delays on receiving materials/products for completion. Not anticipating substantial delay in completion of project. Scheduled closure for paving requirements coming up shortly – 2 days anticipated. Contractors and public will be notified through various channels.

·       Staff Report – BA on Curbside Compost Program rollout. 1400 bear bins have arrived and being stored for Fall distribution. Regular 80L compost bins anticipated delivery being coordinated with contractor/provider for distribution to households in late Summer/early Fall. Promotional/instructional brochures being printed locally. New garbage tags available Sept. 1. Curbside rollout still anticipated for Oct. 1, 2023.

Utilities Meeting – June 14, 2023 by Teams

·       Staff Notification regarding the Columbia Pollution Control Centre Project:

·       The Negotiated Request for Proposals (NRFP) for the project closed on June 7, 2023.  RDKB received 3 proposals and have started the evaluations. The project team has responded to almost 300 questions and the closing date was extended due to the complexity of the project. 

·       Staff Reports – numerous workplan updates from across the RDKB including successes of WaterSmart programs in numerous locations in District.

·       Rossland specific monthly sewage flows for May show spike in flow related to rain event.  Staff aware of I&I (Inflow and Infiltration) issues. Continuing to isolate problem areas around City infrastructure with mitigation upgrades ongoing where possible.

     Board Meeting – June 14, 2023 by Teams

·       Rim Trail Connector Proposal

M. Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation

 A staff report regarding a proposal from the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society to construct a new trail that would connect the Miral Heights Trail with the Aspen Loop Trail within the Bluffs trail network. This land owned by RDKB. The Board approved the trail development.

·       Staff Report – The email dated June 7, 2023 from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC requesting the RDKB support a UBCM resolution urging the Province of BC to provide multi-year funding to Indigenous and non-profit organizations to support universal child care. Board approved a letter of support.

RDKB Board Boundary Tour – June 17, 2023

·       RDKB Board Members attended an all-day tour of numerous Boundary Communities highlighting, RDKB facilities and organizations supported by RD programs and funding. Communities of Rock Creek, Midway, Greenwood and Grand Forks visited with a number of highlights provided by host Directors.

RDKB Board Asset Management Workshop – June 20, 2023 – Trail, BC

·       Senior Staff and Board Members attending with consultant, (Aecom Canada)

Takeaways include: State of Infrastructure Report, Total Asset Value identified of $288M. The continued importance of understanding the state of our public infrastructure is critical to both short- and long-term planning, financing, workplan development and funding support. A 4-year cycle of review is suggested to stay on top of changes. Natural Asset Management will also be investigated and included in future reviews.

Policy and Personnel Committee Meeting – June 28, 2023 – Trail, BC

·       Staff Report – Freya Phillips provided updated RDKB Vehicle Replacement Policy supporting where possible, Zero Emission vehicles for supporting RD Services. RDKB will be piloting a new electric pickup truck for 2023 once received.

·       Board Meals Policy – passed

·       Columbia Basing Trust – Board Representative Appointment Policy discussed and adopted.

·       Staff Report regarding new Provincial requirement for Accessibility Committee made up of both Staff and Public Members. Staff will be seeking public members in support of new Committee.

·       Code of Conduct Policy – continued discussion of specifics of the policy by Directors and Staff. Some tweaking required and sent back to staff.

Emergency Services Workshop for Elected Officials – June 28, 2023 – Trail, BC

·       Presentation by RDKB Manager of Emergency Services, Mark Stephens

Highlighted Provincial Emergency Standards, lots of acronyms – index provided.

Importance of individual citizens to be prepared for emergency situations with evacuation plans, organized go kits, communications, etc. Voyent Emergency Alert App. Reminder for general public. Online preparedness guides available through RDKB website. Hardcopies also available.

Board Meeting – June 28, 2023 – Trail, BC

·       Delegation: Melanie Mercier, Save Record Ridge Action Committee presenting local citizen/community concerns regarding the proposed magnesium mine on Record Ridge, located in Area B.

·       The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting (CAnFR) has been awarded to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its annual financial report. Congratulations to Finance Staff for this recognition!

·       A staff report from Barb Ihlen, General Manager of Finance/CFO, regarding the 2022 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI), is presented. All recipients of remuneration of $25K or more listed as well as all RDKB Elected Officials and Employees earning more than $75K for 2022.

·       Staff Report – CAO, Mark Andison presented the draft 2023 – 2027 RDKB Strategic Plan for review, discussion, and proposed adoption. HISTORY/BACKGROUND FACTORS In February 2023, the Tracey Lorenson of Paragon Strategic Services helped guide the Board of Directors through a strategic planning session. Strategic plans are adopted to cover a four-year period. IMPLICATIONS The strategic plan is a guiding document that reflects the goals, priorities, and objectives of the RDKB. It will help us to map out how we make decisions, allocate resources, and align the efforts of staff and the organization over the next four years. The Board will perform an annual check-in to determine if we are on track and if our priorities need to shift in response to community needs. ADVANCEMENT OF STRATEGIC GOALS (from last plan) 1) Environmental Stewardship/Climate Preparedness 2) Exceptional Cost Effective and Efficient Services 3) Respond to Demographic/Economic/Social Change 4) Improve and Enhance Communication While the Board collaborated on the creation of a new strategic plan, it helps to keep in mind the above-noted goals from the current strategic plan. The new strategic priorities are: 1) Climate action & environmental sustainability 2) Fostering relationships and partnerships 3) Organizational and governance excellence 4) Community well-being and vitality.

·       Public Input at Board Meeting End – several local citizens concerned about RDKB Climate Action Plan. Numerous comments and questions. Chair Worley and CAO Andison responded to concerns.

END of RDKB Report

The meeting adjourned, and your reporter walked home under a low, grey cloud deck, feeling grateful for our local coolth and recent moderate rainfall – especially considering the heat domes afflicting people to the south of us and elsewhere on the planet, not to mention deadly flooding happening now in various other places around the world, and the many wildfires burning out of control – and, having just read the truly gripping and informative book “Fire Weather – the making of a beast” by John Vaillant, which I highly recommend to everyone, wondering just how long our good fortune can continue.


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