Council Matters - March 5, 2014


Council's regular meeting on March 5 had a packed agenda that kept Council in session for over six hours.

The meeting began with two important Public Hearings. The first provided Council the opportunity to hear from the public regarding the proposed rezoning of the Maple Bay Peninsula foreshore to permit private docks. The current A2 zoning does not permit docks and the Province has not been issuing water lease permits for structures without appropriate zoning. The issue was brought forward because a number of applications to build docks have been received from owners of waterfront lots that currently have no public road access.

Representatives of Cowichan Tribes requested that North Cowichan not allow the docks, citing concerns regarding infringement of aboriginal rights, and more specifically, the loss of access to shellfish and other food sources in the subject areas. They also requested a joint Council meeting to discuss alternative solutions to the issue.  Residents in the area supported the rezoning to permit docks.

Council decided to postpone a decision on the bylaw until after there had been a meeting with Cowichan Tribes, the issue of limited access and safety (e.g. forest fires) was further explored, and it was clear whether Council will adopt of a local area service bylaw to construct a public road network on the Peninsula to service the residential properties in the area.

The second Public Hearing dealt with the proposed rezoning of the five acre Ford Road site to Public Use (3 acres) and Residential (2 acres). This would allow the Municipality to purchase three of the five acres for construction of a new RCMP detachment. After hearing from the public, Council passed third reading of the bylaw. Fourth reading will be considered after the Ministry of Transportation has signed off on the bylaw.

Later in the meeting, a new amended Petition to establish a Local Area Road Service in Stoney Hill was brought forward to Council. The Corporate Officer noted that the amended Petition was valid and sufficient, having been signed by at least 50% of the property owners, constituting at least 50% of the assessed value of the subject properties. Council provided third reading for the amended Local Area Service Bylaw.  Council will consider fourth reading of the bylaw once it receives feedback on an Archaeological Impact Assessment and Environmental study of the proposed route.

Council appreciates your input and so I encourage you to send us your comments on any of the above topics, or any other topic by emailing us atcouncil@northcowichan.ca. And don't forget that Council meetings are streamed live on our website. Visit us atwww.northcowichan.ca and selectCouncil Live.