Council Matters for June 15, 2016

On June 15, North Cowichan Council held a marathon Council meeting that lasted nine hours. The meeting began with the presentation of the awards for the Value-added Woodworking Contest. Jared Popma, Lincoln Rae and Lucas Hols shared first prize for their unique bird houses built with local Douglas Fir.
There followed a lengthy Public Hearing on a Zoning Amendment application to accommodate a proposed residential development on Donnay Drive. Ultimately, Council agreed to postpone a decision on the recommendation until the next Regular Council meeting on July 20, 2016.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3605 to rezone land at Berkey's Corner from Residential to Commercial was on the agenda once again. After hearing from staff that the owner was not prepared to remove drive-thrus as a permitted use, and that there would be no drive-thrus allowed within 45m of residential land, Council agreed to support the rezoning and adopted Bylaw 3605.
Council passed second reading of proposed Bylaw 3618, which would allow a hospital to be built on lands on Bell McKinnon Road. The subsequent Public Hearing will be scheduled for June 29, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Municipal Hall.
With the very popular SunFest Country Music Festival approaching in August, our Municipal engineers have developed traffic control strategies to deal with the resulting high traffic volumes anticipated to be passing through North Cowichan. Council endorsed the recommended plan.
Council supported using funds from the Climate Action and Energy Reserve Fund to provide $7000 toward the cost of an electric vehicle charging station in Crofton, and $10,000 to the Cowichan Climate Change Collaborative, which will be doing extensive outreach work in North Cowichan and beyond.
Finally, the Bonsall Creek Watershed Management Plan was received with praise by Council. Staff have been directed to bring back a report to Council on how the initiatives in the Plan will be funded.