Council Matters for December 21, 2016

On December 21, 2016, North Cowichan Council met for about four hours to deal with a variety of interesting issues.

Following adoption of the agenda, Council noted that two letters from Cowichan Tribes regarding the Kingsview Comprehensive Development Plan were received after the Public Hearing and Council decided to add them to the public record. As a result of receiving the new information after the Public Hearing, Council will be conducting another Public Hearing on the Kingsview Comprehensive Development Plan, once further consultations with Cowichan Tribes have taken place. The additional Public Hearing is expected to be conducted in early 2017.

In recognition of a dense infestation in Somenos Creek of Parrotfeather Milfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, Council approved, in principle, that $100,000 be included in the 2017 budget to cover a portion of the cost of its removal. The Municipality is working with other orders of government and key stakeholders to determine an effective management strategy for this invasive species while ensuring the protection of fish habitat requirements of the provincial and federal governments are met.

Joy Emmanuel appeared as a delegation to promote affordable, sustainable living in small and tiny homes. It was noted that issues around suitable land, servicing, zoning, and building code requirements present challenges for this form of housing to be created in communities, and that we all need to work together to promote small and tiny homes to diversify our housing options in the Cowichan Valley.  It was also noted that expanding existing permission for property owners to have secondary suites and carriage houses would assist with diversifying the housing options.

Once again, Cowichan Secondary School students, under teacher Daren Hart's tutelage, performed a very successful garbage clean-up, removing 170 kilograms of garbage from Mount Prevost. Council contributed $500 to the costs of the school's Outdoor Program.

There followed a very interesting debate on the potential sale of wine in grocery stores, as permissible by the provincial government. Having the authority within our Zoning Bylaw to restrict that use from happening, Council directed staff to draft a bylaw that would not allow liquor sales in grocery stores.

The first quarter of 2017 looks to be a busy time with Council considering Official Community Plan and zoning approvals for the Kingsview Comprehensive Development Plan and the Donnay Drive subdivision, across from the Maple Bay Elementary School. Additionally, Council will be commencing a strategic review of the Official Community Plan, review of Urban Containment Boundaries and review of the proposed new Zoning Bylaw.

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