Rossland City Council meetings, February 18, 2020
With thanks to Carol Cooper, who attended the meeting and took notes in place of your usual reporter.
Council members present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Chris Bowman, Andy Morel, Dirk Lewis, and Stewart Spooner, with Janice Nightingale on speaker phone.
1. Public Hearing
The Public Hearing was scheduled to allow for public input on an application for a change in zoning to permit short-term rental of a guest suite at 1280 Queen Street (at Queen Street and Phoenix Avenue).
• Jill Spearn spoke to this; she is not concerned about the guest house, but about its potential to increase traffic and create parking problems despite the best of planning, as well as challenges with snow plowing.
2. Regular Council Meeting:
Public Input Period:
• Demitri Lesniewicz spoke to the proposed Sourdough Alley development and the City’s design guidelines, describing them as arbitrary. He sees the building as contributing to a friendly, approachable, vibrant community.
• Jill Spearn requested clarification on the new Building Bylaw. Moore stated that there were incentives if the building was energy efficient. Lightbourne said that provincial standards had been raised, the City was bound by them and that it was enacting the Step Code one year ahead of schedule.
• Laura Jackman, teacher for RSS requested that the City’s support in a joint application for a Community Food Action Initiative grant for $6,000. The purpose is to educate students in backyard composting by having a bear-proof composter at the school to manage its food waste and have students involved in the community gardens, which she would like relocated to higher ground as part of the project. The application deadline is February 21.
• Lightbourne said there was no time to review moving of the gardens before the deadline and the City needed a plan in place before considering the request. Storm water, lack of sidewalk on St. Paul and how to deal with the existing garden site following relocation are all factors to be dealt with.
• Moore said it was a great idea, but questioned if the staff had time to deal with this before the deadline.
• Moore said staff had other priorities and council couldn’t approve something it doesn’t know about.
• Bowman asked if there is a plan in place for the community garden. Jackman: students can plan.
• Chief Administrative Office Bryan Teasdale: planning for moving the community garden is needed, but the composting portion of the proposal could proceed.
Motion that Rossland City council support a joint application with Rossland Summit School for the Community Food Action Initiative program, which if approved would include the purchase of composting units, site preparation and installation of these units and the implementation of an educational campaign for students: Carried
a) RCMP Crime Statistics: Commander Devon Reid of the Trail and District RCMP detachment presented Council with the annual report on the number and types of crimes recorded for local communities and the region for 2019. The chart provided shows that Rossland had 16 reported assaults in 2019, up from four the previous year. For 2019, Rossland also recorded one sexual offence, two cases of auto theft, and three cases of thefts from motor vehicles, 19 motor vehicle collisions, and 22 drivers apprehended for impaired driving – and more.
Reid explained that a change in reporting standards at the beginning of 2019 means that statistics cannot be fairly compared between 2018 and 2019.
• Spooner remarked on the increased number of assaults.
• Moore quipped that she’d like to see more speeding tickets given.
Reid said that he hasn’t seen much change in Rossland incidents in the 13 years he’s been here and that the community is not experiencing some of the problems seen elsewhere. He asked the City to provide priorities for the RCMP, such as the afore-mentioned speeding, by the end of February.
b) Stanley Office of Architecture: Matthew Stanley presented well-researched responses to two recommendations in the Design Consultant’s report on a proposal for a building intended for a Sourdough Alley location, which asked for wider horizontal bands and more decorative elements on the balcony. The developer had agreed to two other recommendations: changing the window and door frame colour from silver/aluminium to black or charcoal grey in accordance with the Design Guidelines and adding trim to the doors and windows.
• Using several historical photographs to illustrate his points, Stanley refuted the recommendations regarding the horizontal bands and balcony, citing design guidelines which discourages imitation of historical style as well as referring to historical precedent, showing photographs of historical buildings which did not feature horizontal bands or ornate balconies. Horizontal bands in the plans relate to structural needs. Wider horizontal bands would introduce more and varied materials and joins to the building envelope increasing construction challenges, the likelihood of rain entering and places for gaps to develop as the building settles.
• Stanley also showed photos of other building facades in the alley where the proposed building would be sited, saying that the design fits well into that context.
A motion to give third reading to Bylaw #2719, to re-zone 1280 Queen Street to allow for short-term rental of a guest suite, CARRIED, and a further motion to adopt the bylaw also CARRIED.
• Discussion: Morel referred to traffic concerns cited in Spearn’s letter and noted that a secondary entrance to Redstone would join this street, increasing traffic. He suggested that it be included in the motion that guests be advised to take less steep streets to travel to this accommodation. Moore said this is micro-managing and that it fell under the bailiwick of the host.
• Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo said with the planned street widening related to the Redstone entrance, the road would be better maintained in winter.
1. Development Permit Application: Sourdough Alley
The application is for a three-storey building with one commercial unit, plus two residential lobbies, a bike room and an electrical room on the ground floor, and six residential units on each of the upper two floors. Staff asked for guidance from Council, on the issue of reducing the required parking spaces from 16 to 15, and on the design issues discussed earlier.
Motion that council issue the development permit for the proposed Sourdough Alley development with the requested amendments noted by the applicant regarding recommendations 1 and 3 from the City’s design consultant and further resolved that council accepts the reduction in parking requirements from 16 to 15 spaces: CARRIED
• Bowman said that he appreciated the description of wood siding treatment and the building envelope.
• Spooner declared that given the City’s design consultant report was generally supportive of the developer’s plan, it was a waste of time. Moore responded that the City has heritage guidelines that must be followed and this consultant was used often, including for the Miners Hall. Morel noted the Heritage Commission benefitted the community, agrees with the project as recommended and noted that it is a “back alley” project.
• Bowman questioned if the existing Fortis poles were to be removed. Stanley replied that one would be, the other would have the stay removed with support provided from underground.
• Bowman also questioned plans for parking: Stanley said that based on a calculation of parking needs, 14 spots were required, while 15 were planned.
• Dave Ford was in the audience and allowed to speak. His concern was the parking spaces this development would take away. His place on Spokane Street already sees campers and transports parked there. Moore noted that a parking strategy is going to be developed, the proposed building is on private property, not required to provide public parking, and that no campers are allowed on the street. The bylaw officer can be called to deal with this. Ford said he had made many calls without results.
• Nightingale said she is happy with the compromises reached on the project.
• Moore: pleased that an agreement reached. The need for both more housing and parking are balanced here. Recommended adopting the motion.
A motion to confirm the policy on Financial Assistance for the Use of Facilities, Pools and Parks, as amended, CARRIED, with only Spooner opposed. The amendment changed the deadlines for submitting applications for assistance from July 31 and January 31 to July 15 and January 15 respectively.
• Spooner questioned why these services are subsidized for a small group of people instead of for larger numbers and stated that many people cannot afford activities.
• Recreation Manager Kristi Calder responded that there are historic reasons for this policy, it equalizes fees for those from Rossland participating in sport in Trail and that there are alternate grants such as KidSport for others.
A further motion CARRIED, directing staff to investigate the reallocation of annual budgeted funds (in 2021) that currently support this policy in order to further support and expand funding for existing Rossland Bursary programs.
A motion to re-confirm the Employees – Management Minimum Benefits policy CARRIED.
A motion to confirm the Council – Minimum Benefits policy as amended CARRIED. The amendments made no substantive changes, but refined and re-organized the wording for greater clarity.
A motion to confirm the Personal Expense and Travel policy as amended CARRIED. The amendments clarified that the amounts permitted by Canada Revenue will prevail, and will be updated twice a year instead of just annually; and that incidental expenses cannot be charged for one-day travel.
Motions to re-confirm the Purchasing, Consulting and Public Tendered Contracts policy and the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiative Programs Grant Allocation policy, both CARRIED unanimously.
Staff Reports and Updates:
1. Development Permit Amendment Application: Caldera, Phase 3
A motion to amend the existing development permit to include the area identified as Phase 3, on the condition that any recommendations by the environmental consultant that are not on the original permit, be registered as conditions on the title of the relevant lots, CARRIED
• Lightbourne explained in response to Lewis that this is an expansion of the existing Caldera development not shown on the original map.
• Spooner noted that this is happening in stages and wondered if planning for pedestrians was proceeding accordingly. Lightbourne replied, yes -- with some difficult terrain creating challenges.
• Morel asked if in future expansions, the parking lot across the highway would be created with the Centennial Trail going under the highway. Lightbourne replied that this is all under discussion as part of a long-term plan with many parties involved, therefore complicated.
2. BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program:
A motion to direct staff to submit an application for a grant for Phase 1 of the South Kootenay Green Link Trail / Redstone – Wagon Road Improvements Project, totally $50,000, with the City of Rossland contributing the required leverage funding of $15,000 toward the project, CARRIED
3. The Inflow and Infiltration work:
A motion to direct staff to submit an application under the Canada-BC Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (Green Infrastructure Sub-stream) for the City of Rossland Inflow and Infiltration Rehabilitation Works Project, totaling $337,500, with the City of Rossland contributing the required leverage funding of $90,011.25 toward the project, CARRIED.
4. Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre Scholarship:
A motion to increase the amount of the annual scholarship from $200 to $500 to match similar increases in support of the J.L. Crowe scholarship program CARRIED.
5. Seven Summits Centre Scholarship:
A motion to increase the amount of the annual scholarship for Seven Summits Centre for Learning from $200 to $500 to match similar increases in support of other scholarship programs. CARRIED
Council reviewed the Budget update for the fourth quarter of 2019, and the January 2020 Public Works Report, Water Production report, bylaw enforcement officer report, building permit report and updated task list.
King George Park Management Plan, reconsidered
A motion was brought forward from the previous meeting to be reconsidered: The motion, that Rossland City Council recommends that the King George Management Plan include consideration within the management plan for interested parties to propose new, improved trail connectivity to the existing trails in the park that does not negatively impact B.C. Parks stated environmental values in the park CARRIED, with Morel and Lewis opposed.
• Both Lewis and Morel felt the park needed to be left for non-recreational purposes. Lewis felt trails within the park undermined the proposed management plan.
• Spooner expressed the need for a balance between community volunteerism and recreational values and pointed out that council is not making a decision on park use, but only providing input.
• Teasdale noted that the park is outside the City’s jurisdiction and this only provides a recommendation.
Members’ Reports (selected highlights)
• The “Discover Rossland” event on Feb 4, 2020 was well attended; another one is planned for the fall of 2022.
• Attended Recreation Task Force meeting. Information gathering is underway regarding future aquatic sports activities.
• Attended a Mid-town transition committee meeting. Public input reviewed. Planning done to collate information for the public
• Met with Morel and CAO to review the 2020 RDKB budget process, implications and budget planning required by the City to meet 2020 regional tax requisition for shared service.
• Attended three Regional District meetings: board of directors, utilities commission and East End Services committee; official report coming soon.
• Attended a Recreation Task Force meeting. The Task Force is preparing a report about the Rossland Pool.
• Attended a Museum Development Committee meeting. The group is applying to RDI and B.C. 150 for grants. It did not receive a Community Gaming Grant. A geotechnical survey has been undertaken with next steps to be decided.
• The library has a new acting director, Stacey Boden.
• Attended an Economic Resiliency Plan webinar organized by SFU and Community Futures to discuss how business can be resilient in case of emergency; this should be included in our OCP. There will be another workshop in March 2020.
• Met with MP Richard Cannings to discuss Climate Caucus letter and related government updates.
• Attended Renewable Kootenays meeting in Nelson with Lewis and our city planner. Rossland’s public session had the best turnout. Castlegar, Kaslo and Warfield have joined the discussion.
• Met with Lee Malleau re a follow up report for LCIC on Metal Tech Alley.
• Working with Heritage Commission and Canada Parks to develop a celebration for the Miners’ Hall designation as a national historic, which includes a plaque unveiling on March 6.
• A couple of people have picked up nominations packages, but no one has completed one yet. Nominations close on February 28.
• Has circulated emails to council regarding a pesticide consultation.
Council recessed to an in camera session, and your reporter, AKA Carol Cooper, packed up her materials, while your usual reporter languished at home under the malign influence of some evil virus, being very grateful to Carol for filling in.