Council Matters for April 4, 2018

Council met for about 7 hours on April 4, 2018. 

After vigorous debate, Council decided to reduce the Class 5 (Light Industry) tax levy by 2.5% and distribute the balance of the levy across the remaining property classes in the same proportion as the 2017 property taxes. 

Council considered a report on 1576 Nimpkish Place, which has a sunroom addition constructed over top of a Municipal statutory right-of-way without a building permit. After two years of staff efforts to seek compliance, Council decided to file a notice on title to advise individuals with an interest in the property of the regulations that have been contravened. Council also directed staff to continue to seek compliance from the owners, to issue a remedial action order for deconstruction of the sunroom, and to take further action if the owners do not respond to the order. 

Council heard from a delegation representing United for a Paws, a newly formed organization pursuing animal welfare in the Cowichan Valley. The delegation requested that Council revise its Animal Control Bylaw to include animal welfare components. In response, Council requested a staff report with recommended changes to the Animal Control Bylaw.

Council received the Annual Report from the Crofton, Chemainus, and Maple Bay Wharf Manager. In addition to managing moorage at the wharfs, the manager recommends and undertakes an annual maintenance program. In 2017, significant maintenance was conducted, including pressure washing of all docks, and significant clean-up activities in Crofton and Maple Bay. The manager recommends that the Maple Bay dock be replaced in the near future. 

Two motions were passed at the meeting; the first directs staff to prepare a report reviewing council remuneration, including the impacts of the planned CRA changes in 2019. The second motion authorized the Mayor to send a letter to the Minister of Agriculture reinforcing Councils concerns with cannabis production facilities on properties in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), as Council prefers that they be located on industrially-zoned lands. The letter will also state that if the Ministry continues to allow cannabis production in the ALR, that local governments be given authority to institute development permit guidelines to address the location of facilities within the ALR. 

Council received an update on the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) from the CAO. The CAO has been in touch with Circuit operators about the loud noise over Easter weekend. Regarding VIMCs OCP and zoning bylaw amendment application to expand their operations, North Cowichan requested that VIMC prepare a community engagement plan and a draft has been received. In addition, North Cowichan has retained a third-party acoustical consultant to review VIMCs noise study for the existing operation. To stay up to date on this topic, please visit our website: Current Topics: VIMC.

During Question Period, Council heard from two residents of Sahtlam and members of the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association who reinforced their concerns about noise from VIMC. The residents asked Council to consider what can be done to improve the situation for the summer, and how can North Cowichan better involve the neighbourhood association in the discussion?

Finally, Council watched a 1 hour video on Professor Avi Friedmans presentation to the Cowichan Valley Regional District on designing affordable housing projects. The video can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/262091586.

Council then resolved into a closed meeting. 

Thank you for reading and staying informed! The next regular Council meeting takes place on Wednesday, April 18 at 1:30 p.m.