COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, June 17, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
June 19th, 2024

Second Avenue lane closure protested; riparian areas being “mitigated and hardshipped away”? Some words from the FCM convention


Mayor Andy Morel and Councillors Stewart Spooner, Craig Humpherys, Eliza Boyce, Maya Provençal, Jeff Weaver and 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, Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont and his deputy Josh Solman.


Evan Parliament, Canadian Administrators Municipal Association (CAMA) presented the award for the Rossland Yards project. For more details, see the story published earlier, here. Mayor Andy Morel accepted the award with thanks, on behalf of all who were involved in the project’s success.


Samantha Troy spoke about notices to nearby residents of a plan to permanently close the access from the intersection of Queen Street and Second Avenue to the lane below 2nd Avenue; she pointed out that no one was consulted, and people have concerns about access. She said the city would benefit from better citizen buy-in if they communicated their intentions directly with the immediate stakeholders, and considered their concerns, before finalizing plans.

Paul Devilliers and Laura Pettitt spoke about some information they would like added to a recent report on the tennis courts; they’d like to begin a conversation about the courts. They submitted their folder of information to the Deputy Corporate Officer.

Matt Chalmers spoke about the 2nd Avenue lane closure, complaining that the neighbourhood was not consulted. He asks for a conversation with the City to find a solution that works for everyone.


Half-Masting of Flags: In response to a query about the need for a half-masting policy when the City’s flags are fixed and cannot be half-masted, Teasdale explained that the City may move the flagpole (which allows for half-masting) up to the new City Hall location.

The policy has been amended to update the address of City Hall, and to note that the flags currently there and at the Museum are fixed and cannot be half-masted anyway.

A motion to approve the policy as amended CARRIED unanimously.


Zoning amendment Bylaw # 2839 – 932 Redstone Drive:

The owner seeks to have the zoning changed from R-1 Residential to R-4 Residential Mixed Density, to enable construction of a three-plex. Staff state that the proposal is consistent with the goals of the OCP, therefore according to new provincial legislation, no public hearing is allowed. The City has received one letter from a nearby resident opposing the application, citing concerns about space for snow storage and parking.

Discussion: Provençal noted that she is not in favour of rejecting a development because of concerns about parking and traffic, since we are trying to move toward less car dependency.

A motion to give the zoning bylaw first and second readings, subject to a condition that the applicant design and install any required infrastructure according to City of Rossland specifications, CARRIED unanimously.


Development Variance Permit – 1643 Victoria Avenue

The owner asks for a variance to reduce the interior side setback from 1.8 metre to 0.57 metre, as the current dwelling is that close to the property line and the owner wishes to use the existing foundation to build a two-storey home instead of the existing one-storey home. Neighbours have been notified, and the most affected one has written a letter of support. A motion to approve the variance CARRIED unanimously

Development Variance Permit2063 St. Paul Street

Provençal recused herself and left the room for this item because she lives in the neighourhood and received one of the notices.

The owner wants to reduce the interior side setback from 1.8 metre to 0.3 metre, and to reduce the front setback from four metres to one metre, and to increase the driveway width from four metres to eight metres for construction of a double carport.

Discussion: Humpherys raised a general concern about having many carports and garages built out near the property line; how we want our streetscapes to look. Teasdale pointed out the practicality in a high-snow area of not having long driveways to shovel.

A motion to allow the variances CARRIED.

Development Permit Application – 1969 Cook Avenue

The owner seeks a development permit to build a duplex on this vacant lot, which has a permanent small creek along one side.

Discussion: Humpherys said he is concerned about more infringements on riparian areas, and he objected to the consultant’s recommendation to plant Douglas fir there – he said it was not suitable for Douglas fir. Boyce said she didn’t like to see a riparian area reduced from eight metres to four metres; Lightbourne said it’s permissible if an environmental professional recommends that mitigation can be effective, or failing that, if an owner can prove “hardship.” Boyce responded that she doesn’t want all of our riparian areas to be “mitigated and hardshipped away”; she doesn’t think people should be allowed to build on riparian areas.

Notwithstanding the concerns, a motion to approve this permit, subject to a set of six conditions to protect the riparian area and impose other environmental protections, CARRIED unanimously.

Municipal Cheque Register Report for May, 2024:

A motion to approve the City’s expenditures during May, 2024, CARRIED.


Council had read the six regular monthly reports – Building Permits, Building Permit Inspections by Type, Step Code Energy Rebates, Public Works and Water Production, Eye on Water, and Bylaw Compliance.

MEMBER REPORTS (selected highlights only):

Kwiatkowski reported that she had just had her place FireSmarted, and recommends it to everyone. She also caught the end of Public Works Day, and said the kids seemed to be having a wonderul time.

Spooner attended a Green Link workshop on extending the trail from RED to Fruitvale. Morel noted that funding is an obstacle to doing the job in the best possible way.

Humpherys had attended the unveiling of the Sinixt sign at the Rossland Museum on June 14, and reported that it’s beautiful.

Morel attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) convention in Calgary, and on spoke on two panels; one on the Rossland Retrofit program, and one on the Rossland Yards project. Morel noted that the Prime MInister was there, as was Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh, but Pierre Poilievre had declined to attend.

Morel reported that one theme at the FCM was “municipal growth framework” and mentioned that municipalities receive only about 10 cents of each dollar collected by provincial and federal governments, yet are responsible for around 60% of infrastructure.

Another topic was “addressing harassment”. The mayor of Calgary moderated a panel, and Morel said it as sobering to hear accounts of the experiences so many people of colour and women have had to (and still do) endure.

The meeting recessed to an in camera session, and your reporter was conveyed home, wondering when rural communities need to consider things like drought and dwindling snow packs, and to impose limits on development – or whether we’ll just keep on keeping on until the inevitable effects of it all, courtesy of the laws of physics, catch up with us in ways that we can’t escape.

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