COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, April 2, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
April 3rd, 2024

The cost of providing bear-proof community garbage bins; the big-ticket item — our five-year financial plan; the contentious item: short-term rental regulation; and, yes, “Old Town” is a time-honoured historic designation for part of Rossland.


Mayor Andy Morel and Councillors Lisa Kwiatkowski, Craig Humpherys, Eliza Boyce (virtual), Maya Provençal (virtual), and Jeff Weaver. Absent: Stewart Spooner. Staff: CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, Executive Assistant Rachel Newton, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Manager of Recreation & Events Kristi Calder, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, and Deputy Operations Manager Josh Solman.

Public Input Period:

[Your restricted-mobility reporter attended this meeting virtually, but the meeting link did not initially function, so I am unable to report on this portion of the meeting. My thanks to Executive Assistant Rachel Newton, who helped get me connected — but it took a few minutes. Technology is wonderful, but sometimes it fails us.]


Scott Leyland of the Natural Control Alternatives Society addressed Council, seeking $5000 funding from the City for the increasing costs of providing bear-proof community garbage bins and pointing out the many benefits to the community of the bins’ availability, and how well they work in other communities such as Canmore.


2024-2028 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw # 2830

CFO Mike Kennedy presented the 81-page draft Plan, which – for the information of readers who would like all the details — begins on page 36 of the Council package for this meeting and provides detailed information on the City’s revenues and planned expenditures along with other items of interest.

The bylaw to adopt the Plan is found from page 28 to page 35 of the Council package.

For readers whose main interest is the percentage of property tax increase, the City is holding firm on its planned and previously publicized 5% increase. (Editor’s note – for comparison: Vancouver residents are facing a 7.5% increase this year; Langford’s property taxes will rise by 15.6%; Prince George will have a 6.8% increase; Victoria will see an 8.7% increase; but Abbotsford’s property taxes will increase by only 4%, and Hope will increase property taxes by only 3.9% this year. Fernie is looking at a tax increase of 6.1%, and Kimberley will see an increase of % 5.33%. However, please note the CFO’s explanation of why these comparisons are of little real value.)

The Plan explains clearly why the City cannot just “freeze taxes” and still provide services and maintain infrastructure adequately.

Motions to give the bylaw first and second readings CARRIED unanimously.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2828 – Short Term Rental Regulations:

Two further amendments are included in this draft of the bylaw: one removes the 3-month allowance for permanent residents to rent-short-term while they are away; the other adds a clause that only one short-term rental is permitted per lot. The bylaw lists zoning changes for specified properties identified on a series of ten maps.


Weaver supported both amendments. He cited section 7.2.9 of the OCP, and agreed that the bylaws supports those goals. He is “very comfortable” imposing some restrictions on STRs. Provençal agreed with Weaver. Boyce wanted to allow B&Bs on properties with secondary suites, coach houses, etc., thinks that the amendments discourage densification; she agreed with the concerns raised by Mike Maturo in his letter to Council. Humpherys does not support limiting STRs any further than the current provincial legislation does. Provençal thinks the province is doing a good job of encouraging “helpful densification.”

A motion to give the amended bylaw third reading CARRIED.

Business Licence Bylaw # 2801:

The introduction in the Council materials explains, “Changes to this bylaw have been driven by changes to Short-Term Rental regulations and are to coincide with lifting the moratorium on short-term rental applications with Rossland’s city core.”

Discussion: Boyce wondered about the reason for a minimum fine; staff responded that the purpose is to allow recovery of some of the City’s costs of enforcement, and was suggested by the Bylaw Enforcement Officer. Humpherys asked why an owner hosting STRs cannot hire a property manager to manage STRs in the owner’s absence; Morel pointed out that it was a decision of Council.

A motion to give the bylaw second and third readings, as amended, CARRIED.

Other Business:

Rental Agreement with Flux Climbing Ltd:

A motion to approve the Flux Climbing Ltd. Rental agreement for space in the Miners Hall for 2024 to 2029, as presented, CARRIED unanimously. The agreement includes provisions to protect the City, and begins with monthly payments of $1980 per month for the first year, rising incrementally each year to $2163 per month for the final year of the five-year agreement.

Development Variance Permit – 1385 Esling Drive:

The owner seeks to reduce the side setback from 1.8 metre to .5 metre, to build a double carport; the adjoining property is a small triangular parcel described as “undevelopable,” and beyond that, a Fortis right-of-way. The City has imposed a condition that the owner agree to register a statutory right-of-way if investigation reveals that a sewer line is located on the property.

A motion to approve the variance CARRIED unanimously.

Member Reports:

Provençal attended a meeting of the Bear Smart Task Force of the Sustainability Commission, and said they are creating a survey to gather information on the effects of the rollout of the curbside organics collection – the “green bins.”

Weaver brought news from the RDKB Hospital Board: he said they had approved a 2% tax increase.

Kwiatkowski reported that, on a visit to the Rossland Museum, she had found an old map that clearly labelled Rossland’s “Old Town” area.

Morel provided no written report, but noted that he has attended many RDKB meetings. He also attended a meeting between “Prima Health,” a non-profit organization, and various community officials, regarding proposed Community Health Centre(s). Morel also attended a meeting with the E.D. of Community Futures, who was seeking information on Rossland’s business community, and is also interested in having a Rossland representative on the board. In addition, Morel had attended a Ministerial virtual meeting on emergency management, attended by representatives of communities from around the province, discussing how best to prepare for the expected drought and fire season.

Recess to in camera : to discuss “the acquisition, disposition, or expropriation of land or improvements, if the Council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality.”

The public portion of the meeting adjourned, and your reporter dearly wished she could pack up and walk home – instead of already being there; and speculated that a higher percentage of Rosslanders have various titanium pins, rods, plates and so on embedded in their limbs, than residents of most other communities.

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