Council Matters for May 4, 2016

Council met for five hours on May 4 in its regular session. There were two Public Hearings to start the meeting:  one to allow for the creation of two small lots on Garner Street in Chemainus, and the other to consider allowing a carriage house on Deuchars Drive. Following the Public Hearing, both bylaws were approved which will allow densification within our Urban Containment Boundaries (UCB) and utilize municipal water and sewer infrastructure in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

The 2016 - 2020 Financial Plan was adopted, as well as the Tax Rates Bylaw. Overall the net increase in General Municipal Taxes was 2.30%. In the Tax Rate Bylaw Council decided to provide a 15% reduction in the Class 5 - Light Industry tax rate to make North Cowichan more competitive with other local governments in this job supporting sector of our economy. For the average residential homeowners, this will mean a 2.95% tax increase in the General Municipal Tax, which amounts to $56 for the average $320,000 home in North Cowichan.

Council supported a plan to install public access life rings at both Chemainus Lake and Maple Bay Docks. This initiative is being supported by the Gale family in the hope that these life rings might prevent the kind of tragedy that took the life of Brayden Gale who drowned last winter in Chemainus Lake.

The Municipality is considering a rezoning request to rezone three properties on Bell McKinnon to permit a new regional hospital in the future, and as part of this process the Municipality is also preparing a high level Neighbourhood Plan for the Bell McKinnon area. It is expected the decision on this rezoning application will be completed by July 2016. At this meeting, Council requested that once this process is complete, that staff start a more intensive Local Area Plan for the area that will consider the July 2016 decision, and allow citizens to participate in a more detailed plan for the Bell McKinnon area.
Thank you for reading Council Matters. For questions on these or any other matters, please email us