Council Matters for June 20, 2018

Council met for about 7 hours on June 20, 2018

To start, Council received an update from Cowichan Valleys MLA, Sonja Furstenau. Of particular interest to me, Ms. Furstenau talked about her work on child welfare, the professional reliance model, and watershed protection. We thank Ms. Furstenau for her work on behalf of the Valley.

Council presented its annual awards in the high-school value-added woodworking contest. Congratulations to our winners: Luke Fotheringham, Jesse Popma, and Brandon Gladman.

Reflecting the strong activity in the building and construction industry, Council held eight public meetings and one public hearing, summarized below:

  1. The property owner was given a chance to speak (but did not) before Council decided to issue a notice on title for 3181 and 3183 Gibbins Road in relation to a non-conforming four-plex. Notices on title are used to inform individuals of the regulations contravened and protect taxpayers against potential claims.

  2. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for 1614 Maple Bay Road to increase maximum accessory building height from 5m to 6.2m. Council then granted the development variance permit. 

  3. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for 6288 Lakes Road to increase the maximum accessory building height from 5m to 6.22m. Council then granted the development variance permit. 

  4. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for a number of lots at Stonewood Village to reduce the principal building rear yard setback on some lots and increase the permitted lot coverage on other lots. A number of neighbourhood residents spoke on this complex application. Council passed the variance for a number of lots at the outside edges of the development and postponed a decision on the lots facing the interior greenway to allow for discussion between residents and the developer. The deferred portion of the decision will be reconsidered on July 18, 2018. 

  5. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for 8996 Chemainus Road to reduce the minimum permitted lot frontage from 30m to 27.33m to facilitate a 2-lot subdivision. Council then granted the development variance permit. 

  6. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for 5980 Jaynes Road to increase the maximum fence height from 1.2m to 2m. Council then granted the development variance permit. 

  7. The public was given a chance to speak on a development variance permit for 2353 Calais Road to increase the maximum accessory building height from 5m to 6.5m. Council then granted the development variance permit. 

  8. A public hearing was held on the proposed rezoning of 2951 Beverly Street (the current Fun Pacific property) from Commercial Recreation (C4) zone to a new Comprehensive Development Zone to facilitate a mixed-use site, including community care and assisted living, a hotel and conference centre, and a number of commercial and mixed-use buildings. A number of people spoke, recognizing the need for assisted living and hotel spaces, but calling attention to the need for protection of the adjacent Somenos Marsh and the value of design with public space in mind. After hearing from the public, Council gave third reading and adoption to the rezoning. As a reminder: Council previously placed a restrictive covenant on the property requiring stormwater to be either managed onsite or for the developer to provide the estimated cost of stormwater management to the Municipality ($86,000), and also required the developer to work with staff to incorporate public art into the site.

  9. Finally, there was an opportunity for the public to speak on the Municipalitys 2017 Annual Report. No comments were made and Council received the report.

Council directed staff to work with Babine Road and Babine Place property owners and Tarn Place property owners to develop petitions to establish local area services to fund the cost to connect their properties to the Crofton and South End sewer systems, respectively.

Council directed staff to develop public information to remind owners and occupiers of the Highway Use Bylaw requirement to remove snow and ice from sidewalks bordering their properties.

Council approved installation of flashing lights at James Street (outside Cowichan Secondary School) and, if there are adequate funds in the budget, at Philip Street.

Council authorized the Mayor and Corporate Officer to sign the documents necessary to transfer 9796 Willow Street to the Vancouver Island Regional Library to build a new library in Chemainus. 

Council approved the budget schedule for developing the 2019-2023 budget. 

Council received an update on the construction tender bids received for the Bike BC trail along the Trans-Canada Highway between Beverly Street and Drinkwater Road. The lowest tender exceeds the project budget by 35% and Council decided to cancel the project and return the $472,000 grant from the BikeBC fund to the Province.

Council then resolved into a closed meeting. 

Thank you for reading and staying informed! The next Regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18 at 1:30 p.m. If you cant attend in person, you can watch the meeting live on our website at: www.northcowichan.ca/CouncilLive