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COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council, October 7, 2019

Bigger fines in the works for Rossland bylaw-breakers; a Public Meeting on October 29 about the potential Emcon Lot development; improvements to a pathway coming soon -- and more.

Present: Acting Mayor Chris Bowman;  Mayor Kathy Moore (by telephone); and Councillors Andy Morel, Janice Nightingale, and Dirk Lewis.  Staff:  CAO Bryan Teasdale, CFO Elma Hamming, Manager of Operations Darrin Albo, Deputy  Corporate Officer Cynthia Año Nuevo, Planner Stacey Lightbourne, and Recreation Manager Kristi Calder.

1.           PUBLIC HEARING:  To consider the Kootenay-Wide Inter-Community Business Licence Bylaw # 2704;  the one member of the public in attendance had nothing to say about the bylaw.

2.           REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING:

Public Input Period:   The sole person in the gallery did not wish to speak. (Before the meeting began, Nightingale had greeted him when she entered the hall, saying “I’m SO glad to see you!”  She then introduced herself and explained that she was very glad to see a member of the public attending the meeting.)  

Bylaws:

Council discussed a motion to give first reading to the new and updated Traffic and Highways Bylaw # 2689, which had not been changed since 1998.  After a few questions and suggestions, and discussion about the new schedule of fines, the motion CARRIED unanimously. One example from the lengthy proposed schedule of fines is a $200 fine for parking in a disabled zone without displaying the required  tag – reduced to $100 for early payment.  

A  motion to adopt the Kootenay-Wide Inter-Community Business Licence Bylaw # 2704 CARRIED unanimously with no further discussion. 

A  motion to adopt the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw #  2706  CARRIED unanimously.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2707, for  2072 Macleod Avenue, to change the zoning from R-1 Residential to R-1 – GS, to allow for short-term rental of a suite;  a motion to give the bylaw first and second readings, and to schedule a Public Hearing for November 4, 2019, CARRIED unanimously.

Staff Reports and Recommendations:

Development Permit Application – Seven Summits Gas Station.  (Councillor Chris  Bowman left the room for this discussion and vote.)  The gas station will be converting from  Esso to Chevron, and seeks permission to erect a new sign showing digital gas prices.  A motion to permit the application CARRIED unanimously, after staff assurance that the LED lighting for the numbers on the sign would not bother the next-door motel; and Bowman returned.

Development Variance Permit Application for 1415 LeRoi Avenue, to build a covered porch on the front of the home, to divert water from the foundation; the building already encroaches on the set-back, so a variance is needed.  The proposed porch would not interfere with snow removal, or impact neighbours.  A motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.

Rossland Film Festival 2019 Food Vending Request:  a motion to allow the request for permission to set up a tent and tables just east of the Miners Hall for Kootenay Kebabs to sell food during the evening of November 23rd  CARRIED unanimously, after concerns about people plugging the sidewalk, falling down the slope behind the food vendor tent, and smoking on the sidewalk were discussed.

LeRoi Avenue Alleyway improvements: A motion CARRIED to approve CopCan’s lower bid of $74,430 on a tender for improvements to the Active Transportation pathway along the lane below Columbia Avenue, and above LeRoi Avenue, from Nevada Street to Cliff Street.  The work will be to stabilize the route, as it is on a steep side-hill, and for work on underlying sewer and water lines, and for a gravel finish.

FireSmart:  A motion to accept the staff recommendation to endorse the 2020 community resiliency program, and provide grant management for the program, which will reduce wildfire risk and impact to the City of Rossland, CARRIED unanimously.

Council reviewed the third-quarter Budget Update prepared by Chief Financial Officer Elma Hamming, the third-quarter Corporate Management Work Plan, the monthly Public Works Report, the September Bylaw Enforcement Report, and the Building Permits Report; and, finally, the City’s Task List.

The Village of Montrose sent a letter supporting the Request from the City of Trail for more water from Rossland to keep the Trail cemetery green. Moore indicated that she would give the mayor a call out of courtesy.

Member Reports (selected highlights only):

Nightingale:  There will be a public meeting on October 29, starting at  6:00 pm in the Miners Hall, about the proposed development on the west side of the former “Emcon lot.”  There will be preliminary design layouts on display boards for people to see and comment on, including views of exterior finishes and cladding and building positioning, as well as interior spaces.  Members of the Lower Columbia Housing Association will be there, and city representatives, the project management group (City Spaces), and the architects.

Nightingale explained, “We are hoping people will pop in and see what is being proposed, and continue to give us their input, so that if this project goes ahead, we are creating a building that meets the needs and is attractive for the whole community.”

Asked about the “if” in that statement, Nightingale explained that the workforce housing portion of the development is contingent upon funding from BC Housing and Columbia Basin Trust, being arranged by the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society.

Bowman had attended the Union of BC Municipalities conference.  He reported that the major focus was on climate change; he felt heartened by how many smaller municipalities share so many concerns and interests.