COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, May 6, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 7th, 2024

A new Rossland Farmers Market in the works. Attend the FREE FireSmart Forum! What’s going on at the RDKB and where the money goes. New rules about public hearings and Public Input Period.


Mayor Andy Morel and Councillors Stewart Spooner, Craig Humpherys, Eliza Boyce, Maya Provençal (virtual), and Jeff Weaver, Lisa Kwiatkowski. 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 Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont.

Public Input Period:

The new coordinator of Rossland’s Farmers Market spoke briefly and clarified that Rossland’s market will be held on Thursdays.

The owner of 306 Ridge Road, Peter Rubes, spoke in defence of his application for a variance to allow for greater lot coverage than the bylaw permits.

Evan Cescon, the designer of the planned home, also spoke about the reasons for the design’s larger size.


Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) — Chair Linda Worley and CAO Mark Andison presented facts and figures about the RDKB and its budget and revenues and major projects – including the Columbia Pollution Control Centre (sewage treatment plant), and the upcoming conversion from primary treatment to secondary treatment.

Andison spoke of the RDKB’s Climate Action Plan, and stated that the two staff hired to move it forward are “fully funded by Fortis BC.”

Andison pointed out that there is a significant difference between the budget figure and the revenue from taxes – the budget is much larger, and the shortfall is made up by grants.

Andison also related an experience by a local resident of having a bear attack a bear-resistant bin, make tooth marks in it, haul it across the street and generally try to beat it up – but the bear did not manage to open the bin. Andison encouraged people to buy the $200 bins.

Rossland FireSmart Program – Coordinator Don Mortimer and Forest Wildfire Professional Tove Pashkowski showed the areas that have been treated in previous years, and gave Council an update on plans for 2024 to 2025.

They explained that the main thrust of their work is to reduce the intensity of any wildfires that may approach town, and to reduce fire hazard in town by reducing the combustibility of homes and yards. To that end, public education is important.

Residents can register for the FireSmart Forum at the Miners Hall on May 13, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The forum will include useful information and an eye-opening film that includes startling footage from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire – highly recommended for everyone. There will also be pizza, snacks, and coffee or juice. The event is free, but do register at:


Policy: Land Transactions Policy

The draft policy lists criteria for consideration in any potential land acquisition, as well as outlining the City’s goals with regard to any disposition of land. One of the criteria listed was “experiential integrity” and councillors discussed the meaning of the term. A motion to approve the policy as amended CARRIED.


2024-2028 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw # 2830

A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.

Municipal Tax Tate Bylaw # 2831

A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.

Water Parcel Tax Bylaw #2834

This bylaw will impose the first increase in the water parcel tax rate since 2015, to begin to address the City’s infrastructure funding gap. The increase is 10%, for an additional $15.67 per parcel. A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.

Sewer Parcel Tax Bylaw

This bylaw will also raise the sewer parcel tax rate by 10%, or $5.92 per parcel. A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.

Ophir Reservoir Local Area Service Parcel Tax Rate Bylaw # 2832

A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously.

Land Development Applications Procedures Amendment Bylaw # 2386

Motions to give the bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously

Council Procedure Bylaw # 2809

As well as adding clarity around some definitions (e.g., “person”) and requirements for respectful behaviour, amendments in this bylaw bring Council procedures into compliance with provincial legislation by preventing the (mis)use of delegations or Public Input Period as de facto “public hearings” on matters that provincial law now says public hearings are not permitted: zoning bylaws that are consistent with the Official Community Plan, or that have already had a public hearing or a notice of first reading. When a pubic hearing is not required or allowed, the City must give advance notice of first reading of a zoning bylaw — not less than three days and not more than 10 days before the first reading of the bylaw.

See the summary provided here. For readers who like to see the actual legislation, here is a part of it quoted directly from section 464(3) and (4) of the Local Government Act:

(3) A local government must not hold a public hearing on a proposed zoning bylaw if

(a) an official community plan is in effect for the area that is the subject of the zoning bylaw,

(b) the bylaw is consistent with the official community plan,

(c) the sole purpose of the bylaw is to permit a development that is, in whole or in part, a residential development, and

(d) the residential component of the development accounts for at least half of the gross floor area of all buildings and other structures proposed as part of the development.

(4) A local government must not hold a public hearing on a zoning bylaw proposed for the sole purpose of complying with section 481.3 [zoning bylaws and small-scale multi-family housing].

A motion to give the bylaw first reading CARRIED unanimously.

Other Business:

Development Variance Permit Applications:

  1. 306 Ridge Road – the applicant seeks a variance to allow for greater lot coverage, to accommodate a home with double garage plus a suite with a single garage, plus another variance to allow for a wider driveway. Staff raised concerns about the lot coverage request and recommended against approval of that portion of the application, and to allow the driveway variance. After discussion, a motion to follow the staff recommendations CARRIED unanimously.

  2. 1745 Nevada Street – the applicant seeks a side set-back reduction to zero, to allow a carport to be built next to a disused lane allowance. A motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.

Development Permit Application: 4300 Red Mountain Road – Base Lodge and surrounding area: RED is applying for a permit to build a 27 square metre addition to the North side of the Lodge, and an additional building of about 167 square metres to the East of the Lodge, plus some renovations inside and out, plus improved access and traffic circulation.

A motion to approve the application, subject to eight listed conditions, CARRIED unanimously.

Rossland Community Farmers Market and IncrEDIBLE Trail Farmers Market Partnership:

The Farmers Market in Rossland will happen on Thursdays, and will share a coordinator, and more, with Trail’s IncrEDIBLE Farmers Market.

Advantages of the new partnership include joint membership in the BC Association of Farmers Markets, joint insurance, LCCDTS guidance and oversight, website and social media marketing and more.

To facilitate the new arrangement, a motion to rescind the Queen Street closure agreement 2023-2025 CARRIED. Another motion to approve the new IncrEDIBLE Trail Farmers Market Queen Street Closure Agreement 2024-2026 also CARRIED; as did a third motion to approve expenditure of the $1675 start-up cost.

The existing Rossland Community Farmers Market will cease to exist as a legal entity, but will remain active as the steering committee for the market, working in partnership with the IncrEDIBLE Trail Farmers Market Coordinator.

Supplementary Statements of Financial Information for 2023:

These statements are prepared annually to comply with the Financial Information Act, and the City submits them to the provincial government once they are approved. A motion to approve the statements CARRIED unanimously.


After discussion of for-profit activities and upcoming changes to the City’s approach to charging fees for the use of City facilities by for-profit businesses, a motion to approve the request by the Madhu Collective to use City park facilities without charge for scheduled outdoor yoga and movement classes during the spring, summer and fall of 2024 CARRIED.

Members’ Reports (selected highlights only):

Weaver reported on attending a conference on homelessness and addiction, and said he learned a great deal; he also spoke about the value of training on naxolone, and on regional efforts toward an anti-stigma campaign.

Morel attended the AKBLG conference on behalf of Rossland – its theme this year was “resilience”– especially the importance of being prepared for heat and smoke.

Morel also spoke of attending the celebrations of life for Al Fisher and John Greene, and how important to our community they both were.

The meeting recessed to an in camera session, and your reporter departed the Council chamber for home, contemplating the dubious benefits of having the RDKB’s climate action staff members paid for by a gas utility. For a heartfelt, experience-based view on such things, check out this article.

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