Council Matters - May 6, 2015

Council met on May 6 with a very full agenda. A Public Meeting was held to consider a Development Variance Permit that would facilitate subdivision and conversion of an existing duplex into two residences, each with their own lot, under a party wall agreement. While common in other parts of the world, this alternative way of creating more affordable housing is very new in BC. Council supported the staff recommendation to allow it.
Because of a significant contingent of concerned business people in the audience, the Tax Rates Bylaw was then brought forward to the top of the agenda. There was vigorous discussion on the issue of reducing the tax increase on the residential class by raising the increase on the other classes. In the end, with a 4-3 vote, Council passed final reading of the bylaw which sets out a 2.98% increase for residential properties, saving the average home $3.33 annually and increases the other 8 classes 3.7%. The approval of the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw followed. Council also discussed a common interest to review business tax rates, including Class 5 Light Industry, in 2016, having been advised by the CAO that they are higher than our policy recommends.
A delegation from the CVRD updated Council on a proposed amendment to the Central Sector Liquid Waste Management Plan. That amendment would see the current effluent outfall for the South End sewer system moved from the Cowichan River to an alternate site, with the most promising location being Satellite Channel. We will be participating in this process and following very closely as the consultation and environmental studies are completed.
The Chemainus Business Improvement Area Bylaw was adopted, covering the next three years. The money will be collected by the Municipality on behalf of the Chemainus BIA which uses the funds for promotion of local businesses in Chemainus.
Elector assent will be sought from the general population to borrow funds for the final phase of flood protection works which will include the continuation of diking and the construction of a pump station beside the Trans-Canada Highway. Completion of these works will provide protection for our citizens from a 1-in-200 year flood event.
Assent will also be sought from those participating in the Chemainus Water System to replace approximately 1400 metres of watermain on Henry Road.
And finally, Council allocated $40,000 from the Forest Legacy Fund and another $40,000 from unappropriated surplus for the completion of the Chemainus Visitor Information Centre in Waterwheel Square. Work should be complete in a few months, allowing the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce to move out of its soon to be demolished home in the old fire hall.

Council appreciates receiving your input. Please to let us know what you think about these or other important matters.