Council Matters for February 21, 2018

Council met from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on February 21 to discuss a number of current issues. 

The meeting began with three delegations:

  1. RCMP Inspector Chris Bear summarized the RCMP detachment's fourth quarter activities. With 20,662 files in 2017 and an increase of 2.2% over last year, we continue to hear about a very busy Duncan-North Cowichan detachment and increased demands on our RCMP officers.
     
  2. Julie Scurr, President of the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the initiatives underway for this year, spoke about the increased volume of visitors to the Visitor Information Centre in 2017, and expressed interest in updated trail maps for the mountains in the municipality.

  3. Broombusters Invasive Plant Society provided an overview of the negative impacts of broom on vacant land, along highways, and in many natural areas. The Society relies on volunteers to manage removal and requested that North Cowichan make efforts to fight this invasive plant by considering an Invasive Species Bylaw. Council thanked the volunteers for their work on this important initiative and referred the recommendations to staff for future consideration. 

A number of Zoning Amendment Bylaws were on the agenda this week, including one for 3788 Winget Place, allowing a second detached dwelling unit on the property, and another for Lot 15 on Sayward Road, permitting a duplex to be built on the property, both of which were adopted by Council. A third Zoning Bylaw Amendment on the agenda received first and second reading, this one for three 3-unit townhouses to be developed at 6122 Somenos Road. The public hearing for this proposed development on Somenos Road will take place on Wednesday, March 21.

Council had a lengthy discussion about the next bylaw on the agenda, a Phased Development Agreement Authorization Bylaw for the Kingsview project. A Phased Development Agreement (PDA) is a legal mechanism under the Local Government Act used to provide certainty for a local government and a developer on the phasing and timing of a development, including, but not limited to the provision of development features, amenities, onsite and offsite servicing and infrastructure requirements, and parks and open space. Some members of Council would like additional time to discuss the PDA in more detail, so the bylaw was deferred to a Committee of the Whole meeting before considering first and second reading. 

Council passed a motion to direct staff to include "Electric Vehicle and Bicycle Ready" Development Regulations in the review of the new Zoning Bylaw. 

Students of Chemainus High School, as part of the CVRD Youth Placemaking project, developed a proposal to create a new public space in downtown Chemainus. The space, located atop the existing public washroom building on Chemainus Road, proposes to include a number of new public amenities. Council was impressed with the students' passion and enthusiasm, and asked staff to provide a future report on the viability of this project.

Council issued a development permit with variance for 9796 Willow Street, the location of the new Chemainus library. The variance reduces the number of off-street parking spaces from 16 to 1, as additional parking will be addressed through nearby public parking and the future construction of additional public stalls. Council also considered compatibility with the adjacent affordable housing development and heard from staff that they are working to align the designs of the two buildings. 

Thank you for reading Council Matters. Meetings are open to the public and you are welcome to attend. Can't attend in person? Visit our website at www.northcowichan.ca/CouncilLive to watch live. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m.