Council Matters for August 17, 2016

The Council Meeting of August 17 featured a full agenda and lasted over 5 hours.

A delegation of the Land Trust Alliance of BC asked Council to support a province-wide conservation tax incentive program for lands identified as worthy of conservation and protection by a restrictive covenant.  Council generally supported the concept and requested that staff report back on any implications for North Cowichan.

A public hearing was held to rezone a property on Nevilane Drive to permit a secondary suite. After conducting the hearing Council adopted the bylaw.  A public meeting was then held to provide a height variance for an existing dwelling being converted to an accessory building on Arbutus Avenue.  After considering the generally positive public input Council supported the variance.

Council has been considering a Zoning Amendment Bylaw for a proposed CD12 zone that would facilitate a 29-lot subdivision on Donnay Drive across from the Maple Bay Elementary School.  At the meeting Council supported conducting a second public hearing on October 13, 2016.

Following a recommendation by the Environmental Advisory Committee, Council directed staff to bring forward an anti-idling bylaw.

After discussing three options previously presented at a public meeting in Chemainus, Council selected Option 1 for the old Chemainus Elementary School site redevelopment.  That plan includes 12 lots; road connections to Lang, Severne and Elliott streets; and park amenities including a dog park, food forest and green space.

Staff brought forward some proposed changes to the Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw based on what we have learned over the last few years. Council directed staff to draft an amendment bylaw to:  (1) repeal the bylaw in March 2019, giving developers just over two years to apply for incentives in the bylaw; (2) eliminate the tax exemption on high density residential and business developments as it is not deemed necessary to attract these types of high density buildings; and (3) add non-profit rental housing, supportive living housing, and for-profit rental apartments as eligible developments for the waiver of roads, water and sewer Development Cost Charges.

Finally, a budget schedule was adopted by Council for the development of the 2017-2021 Financial Plan that proposed holding four, town hall-styled meetings to be held October 24-27 to allow for early input into the Financial Plan.  Once the venues have been confirmed for these dates, it will be publicized through our website and our social media channels. I encourage you to sign up to receive updates on budget and financial planning process by visiting:  www.northcowichan.ca/subscribe.  It is hoped the scheduling of these town hall meetings early in the process will allow the citizens a good opportunity to provide feedback to Council on its priorities moving forward.

Thank you for reading Council Matters. The next regular Council meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.