Council Matters for December 7, 2016

Council faced a full agenda on Wednesday,December 7, 2016, finishing up after more than five hours of deliberation. Themeeting began with a delegation from the Chemainus Valley Cultural ArtsSociety. Peggy Grigor explained their desire to see an arts facility built on aportion of the old firehall site at 9800 Willow Street in Chemainus.

Over the past year, Council has faced some controversial decisions aroundproposed developments in North Cowichan. As a result, Council agreed toinitiate a strategic review and update of the Official Community Plan (OCP).Based on fundamental goals and objectives of the 2011 Official Community Planbeing valid and accurate representation of the community's vision, thisstrategic review and update will include a review of various policies and areview of the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB) with the view to update the 2011OCP, and also bring forward a new Zoning Bylaw consistent with the updatedOCP.  It is anticipated this process will take about 18 months. In themeantime, all development applications will be processed in accordance with thecurrent OCP.

In a separate planning exercise, Council also supported a community meeting tobe held early in 2017 to seek input on planning issues in the polygonidentified as an area of public concern during discussion of the proposedDonnay Drive development across from the Maple Bay Elementary School.

Council established a Quamichan Lake Water Quality Task Force to investigateways to improve water quality in the lake which has been subject to outbreaksof blue-green algae from excessive nutrient loading.

Traffic calming measures will be implemented on Drinkwater Road, west ofSomenos Road, to reduce traffic on that narrow, rural road. Speed reader boardsand pedestrian signal installations were approved to improve safety atlocations in Crofton and in the South End.

Council supported, in principle, a five-year funding strategy for theimplementation of high-priority actions identified in the Bonsall CreekWatershed Management Plan. It is hoped that the provision of municipal fundswill attract contributions from the provincial government.

Finally, staff were directed by Council to submit an application for funding toBikeBC for the purpose of building a multi-use trail from the Dike Trailterminus to the BC Forest Discovery Centre on the east side of the Trans-CanadaHighway.

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