Council Matters for July 20, 2016

On July 20, 2016, Council met for seven hours in its regular meeting to discuss a very full agenda. First off, the winners of this year's Friends of the Environment "Waste Wizard" Contest were announced.  The Municipality's Environmental Education Program was established in 2000 to encourage youth to take steps to mitigate human-caused environmental impacts. Every year our youth demonstrate great imagination in their projects and this year was no exception.    Council business then continued with three Public Meetings to discuss three different Development Variance Permit applications.

Council then heard from Dr. Hasselback, Medical Health Officer, who reported on local government responses to drug overdoses. In particular, he talked about advances in the administering of antidotes, which will be of special interest to police and fire department personnel.

There was then an interesting presentation by Brent Barootes, President and CEO of The Partnership Group - Sponsorship Specialists. His input and comments, as well as feedback from the public, will inform a decision by Council on North Cowichan's proposed corporate sponsorship program.

The final delegation was the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association, who appeared to relay concerns over noise levels emanating from the nearby Vancouver Island Motor Sport Resort. Subsequently, Council directed staff to work with both entities to commission a noise study and identify potential mitigation measures.

A Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the proposed new Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital site was adopted. This important step means that the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District can complete the purchase of the 22 acres on Bell McKinnon Road, now designated as a Community Services (Health Care) Comprehensive Development Zone.

Another major land use decision was made when Council passed first reading of the bylaws for the Kingsview Comprehensive Development Plan. This detailed plan, intended to replace the existing Cliffs Over Maple Bay plan, specifies the permitted uses and densities for the site. More information on the plan itself can be found by following the link above.

The future of a potential development site on Donnay Drive just north of Kingsview Road remains uncertain, as Council did not support a recommendation that a new Public Hearing be scheduled. However, it is expected that this item will be brought back to the August 17, 2016, meeting for further discussion.

Council directed staff to conduct a traffic study on Queen Street in Crofton in support of implementing traffic calming measures on the street.

Council also supported a recommendation to spend $887,000 of appropriated surplus funds to pave the newly constructed road network on the Stoney Hill Peninsula. There are a number of advantages to paving the road, including increased safety and reduced maintenance costs over a 20 year timeframe. Another significant discussion that ensued was naming of these roads. Council decided to refer this matter to Cowichan Tribes for input, in recognition that the peninsula is a significant part of the Tribes' traditional territory and history.

Finally, Council supported, in principle, a food forest garden near the Chemainus Skate Park, and the Youth Spaces Project proposed for Kinsmen Park in Duncan.