Council Matters for May 18, 2016

North Cowichan Council met for three and a half hours on Wednesday, May 18, in a regular session.

Alf Carter, President of the BC Forest Museum Society, appeared as a delegation to request support for the refurbishment of the Shay Locomotive to be used for the very popular train rides at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. Council agreed to support the rebuilding of the steam boiler with a grant of $25,000 from the Forest Legacy Fund.

Nick Yaremchuk, of Cowichan Bay, spoke to Council regarding a rezoning application for 6715 Somenos Road, which was not supported by Council on February 17, 2016. A Notice of Motion to rescind that February 17, 2016, decision will be considered by Council at its next regular meeting on June 1, 2016.

Council was advised that they will get their first look at the proposed new Zoning Bylaw on June 20, 2016, during a day-long Committee of the Whole meeting, which will be open to the public.

The North Cowichan/Duncan Amalgamation Study process took another step forward as Council approved the Draft Citizens' Assembly Amalgamation Study Process and directed staff to work collaboratively with Councillors from each municipality to oversee the process. The aim is to complete the entire study process within the current term. A joint application will be sent to the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development requesting a Restructure Grant of one-third of the cost of the amalgamation study and citizens assemblyestimated to be a total of $125,000 to $145,000.

In 2013, Council initiated a Tax Revitalization Bylaw to spur mixed-use and industrial development in specified areas of North Cowichan. In order to evaluate the success of the program, staff was directed to prepare a report to Council reviewing the effectiveness of the program to date, which may include proposed changes to the program.

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