COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council meeting, August 14, 2023
Info on the new RDKB Green Bin Program; fences that appropriate City property; a timely tightening-up for Rossland’s burning bylaw; when homeowners have to pay for City workers; a first look at the next DRAFT five-year financial plan; and, fill out a provincial survey on racism.
PRESENT: Mayor Andy Morel, and Councillors Maya Provençal, Craig Humpherys, Lisa Kwiatkowski, , Eliza Boyce, and Stewart Spooner. Absent: Jeff Weaver.
Staff: CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, CFO Mike Kennedy, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont, and Manager of Recreation and Events Kristi Calder.
Mayor Morel read out the City’s Territorial Acknowledgment.
PUBLIC INPUT PERIOD:
Michael Ramsey spoke about two non-conforming fences erected by his next-door neighbour, stating that both exceed the height limitation and that one encroaches about two metres on City property (a laneway), and reported that the bylaw officer refuses to enforce the bylaw. He reported that the same neighbour has removed several trees and excavated about 256 cubic yards of earth from a City lot across the laneway to create a parking and turn-around area for his personal use on the laneway behind his property, decreasing the value of a City asset, and asked that the City require corrective action.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2810: 2010 and 2052 Phoenix Avenue
Motions to give the bylaw third reading, and to adopt it, CARRIED unanimously.
Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw # 2811
A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2812: Lot 2, Old Red Mountain Road
Motions for third reading and adoption of the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.
City of Rossland Fire Prevention and Burning Bylaw # 2814
The new bylaw was drafted in consultation with the City's FireSmart consultant, Don Mortimer. It clarifies requirements for, and restrictions on, open burning and will replace the previous burning bylaw, adopted in 2007. Humpherys commented that the fines seem rather low, considering the potential damage from infractions. Teasdale noted that if the infraction also breaches a provincial ban, then the province could impose its own penalties. Boyce commented that the limits on campfire size in the new bylaw seem very restrictive; Teasdale explained that the City is aligning its definitions with the provincial ones. A motion to give the bylaw first, second, and third reading CARRIED with only Boyce opposed..
Community Grant Funding: A motion to approve the policy with minor administrative amendments CARRIED unanimously.
Risk Management – Public Works Inspection & Maintenance Schedule: A motion to approve the policy, as amended, CARRIED unanimously. The amendments increased the number of inspections for parks and playgrounds from “monthly May to September” to “monthly,” and for reservoir inspections from “monthly” to “weekly.”
Risk Management – Public Works Inspection & Maintenance of Roads & Sidewalks: A motion to reconfirm the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Road, Sidewalk, Stair Snow Removal: A motion to reconfirm the policy CARRIED unanimously.
Third Party Call Out: This policy sets out the fact that when City employees are called out by a homeowner, the homeowner must pay the cost of the work IF the problem is caused by infrastructure on the private property, rather than on City property, and that if a homeowner refuses to sign the Work Order & Consent form, City workers will not perform the work. A motion to reconfirm the policy CARRIED unanimously.
REQUESTS FOR COUNCIL DECISION
2023 UBCM Asset Management Planning Program Grant Application: A motion to “develop and submit a proposal to the 2023 UBCM Asset Management Planning Program in support of development of a service delivery framework for Public Works” CARRIED unanimously. The City is hoping for a grant of up to $25,000 to help with updating and improving its asset management guidelines and practices.
Development Variance Permit – 1632 Second Ave: The owner of this small lot applied for a variance to apply retroactively to a non-conforming driveway that is eight metres wide rather than the permitted four meters wide. Before building, the owner received a variance for a reduced front setback for the home. The main reason given for the current application was that the driveway is steeper than expected, causing the owner difficulties in the winter months. The owner also needs three parking spots to have an in-law suite in the home.
None of the neighbours objected to the requested variance, but the City’s Operations department objected, based on the incremental loss of snow storage, and the additional drainage issues likely to impact the integrity of the roadway, and dwellings downhill. The construction on the property has already caused a drainage problem by burying a culvert, and the shallow makeshift swale now in place is not adequate to handle more intense rainfall events. The issues with the drainage and the non-compliant driveway grading prevent the city from issuing a permanent occupancy permit.
A motion to refuse the variance application CARRIED unanimously.
Development Variance Permit – 1415 Leroi Avenue: The owner is applying for a variance reducing the front setback from four meters to zero, to allow construction of a roofed deck on the front of the home, to help with drainage. A motion to grant the variance CARRIED unanimously.
Development Variance Permit – 1893 Cook Avenue: The owner wishes to reduce the exterior side setback from three meters to .3 metre, to facilitate building a double carport. A motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.
Youth Action Network Coordination: A motion to award the contract for YAN coordination for 2023 to 2035 to the Family Action Network, within the budget outlined, CARRIED unanimously.
2024-2028 Five Year Financial Plan Preview: Staff requested Council to consider and provide input on the initial draft of the five-year plan. For interested citizens, Rossland’s CFO presents information in terms comprehensible by lay persons. See pages 167 to 205 in the Council materials for this meeting. One educational first-draft graphic from the preview is presented below for readers’ edification, with the heading,
“CAPITAL PROJECTS: BIG-PICTURE CONSIDERATIONS”
Spooner commented favourably on the focus on capital projects. Boyce wanted to give more attention to considering strategy. Spooner agreed that more discussion of strategy would be helpful and suggested that Council create an opportunity for those discussions.
Invoices paid for Municipal Services, July 2023: A motion to approve the expenditures CARRIED.
FOR INFORMATION ONLY:
Implementation of Regional Organics and Solid Waste Collection Programs for McKelvey Creek Wasteshed:
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is planning to implement the new Regional Organics Curbside Program in October 2023. At the same time, Rossland will be moving away from the current direct contract with GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL) for residential solid waste collection, and will instead be included in a new regional solid waste collection and disposal service that includes Fruitvale, Trail, Warfield and Rossland.
Most households will already have their “Green Bin” with a packet of paper bags to use with the compostable materials and a set of information, including what should be put in the Green Bin (greasy cardboard pizza boxes! – meat scraps, bones, leftovers, baked products, and so much more), and what should not go in it (pet poop, dryer lint, diapers and sanitary napkins/tampons, metal, hair, cigarette butts, and much more – there’s a list. NOTE: Do NOT include any plastic of any type in the Green Bin). Later, we will receive a schedule for the Green Bin pick-up.
About those garbage stickers: the RDKB has sent this information regarding the transition process for Rossland:
• Starting in September, Rossland businesses that currently sell GFL garbage stickers will limit sales and minimize the number of extra stickers circulating in the community (i.e. instead of selling sheets of 10 this will be reduced to 5). Sale of all GFL stickers will be stopped as of October 2, 2023.
• Purchased GFL stickers will be able to be utilized until December 31, 2023.
• RDKB will endeavour to have the new RDKB garbage tags to participating businesses in early September. These will be the only garbage tags allowed for the service after January 1, 2024.
• Starting October 2, 2023 (when the RDKB initiates the green bin/garbage collection program):
One large GFL sticker will be equivalent to 1 RDKB tag.
Two small GFL stickers will be equivalent to 1 RDKB tag.
A partially filled bag will require the use of two small or 1 large GFL sticker. The use of one small bag sticker will not be accepted.
If you move, do NOT take your Green Bin with you – it belongs to the house – the property — it was delivered to, not to the person(s) living there.
Still have questions and concerns? For more complete information, click on this link and look for answers: https://rdkb.com/Portals/0/EnvironmentalServices/GreenBinUsersGuides.pdf
Trail and Greater District RCMP Second Quarter Statistics for 2023:
Crime in Rossland is uncommon, but not non-existent; we had two assaults, one sexual offence, one car theft, one theft from a car, and eleven Motor Vehicle Act violations in this year’s second quarter (April, May, and June). Some of our residents may be feeling more stressed, too, as the RCMP reported seven “mental health related calls” and six files involving alcohol and/or drugs.
City Reports for Council Information for the Month of July 2023:
1. Building Permit Report
2. Building Permit Inspections by Type
3. Step Code Energy Rebates
4. Public Works & Water Production Report July 2023 – the amount of water used in every month this year has been higher than last year, and the number of homes being served is increasing.
5. Eye on Water Report
6. Bylaw Compliance Monthly Activity Report
7. Rossland Yards Status Report — hoping for occupancy in early September
8. Updated Task List
Morel will have a written RDKB report for the next meeting. He met with Minister Beare, and noted that there is an online survey on racism. The BC government would like everyone in BC to complete the survey, to “help identify systemic barriers within government programs and services that may disproportionally impact Indigenous Peoples, the Black community and other racialized groups.” Find the survey here:
The meeting recessed to an in-camera session just before 7:00 pm, and your reporter went for a walk around other parts of town before heading home, to enjoy the lower after-sundown temperature, contemplating once again the term “non-linear change” and fervently hoping that our part of the planet will not suffer the sort of winter season being experienced by South America; for details, readers who haven’t already read about that can find information at their choice of the following links (and many more):