Council Matters for June 6, 2018

Council met for 6 hours on June 6 to discuss a number of current issues. 

I began the Council Meeting with a brief verbal report to let members of Council and the public know that earlier in the day I attended, along with some members of the Chemainus Residents Association (CRA), a tour of the Chemainus Wastewater Treatment Facility. We spent a very informative 1.5 hours on site with staff learning about the operation of the facility, and CRA will now bring that information back to their members.

Next we heard a delegation from Cowichan Secondary School students, who have been working on a number of social action initiatives this year that aim to bring about positive change in the community. They requested Councils approval to paint a rainbow sidewalk on James Street in front of the high school. Council agreed and directed staff to work with the students to complete the sidewalk before the end of the current school year.

Public Hearings were next on the agenda, with the first two in relation to the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB) realignment in the Gibbins Road area. Council received numerous correspondence in regards to the UCB realignment, and heard from nine residents during the public hearing, with the majority of input in support of the amendments. Council read both bylaws for the third time, and voted to adopt both the Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw and the Zoning Amendment Bylaw. 

Council had a lengthy discussion regarding the submission of an Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) non-farm use application for 3137 Henry Road. In the end, Council authorized the submission of the application to the ALC subject to removal of industrial materials from the designated agricultural area to be replaced with farmable soil, receipt of a financial contribution to the Municipal Agricultural Reserve Fund in the amount of 5% of the assessed value of the land, and implementation of the Agrologists recommendations. 

Next on the agenda was an Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) Inclusion application for 3252 Gibbins Road. Council agreed to advise the Agricultural Land Commission that it supports inclusion of this property in the ALR.

Council received an update from staff about a partnership between the Municipality and Dr. Avi Friedman of McGill University. Dr Friedmans team will be working with the Municipality to provide sustainable development design for two development sites in Chemainus (Echo Heights/Humbird Street and the former Chemainus Elementary School Site). The public can expect additional updates as these projects move forward.

Council approved a pilot project to take place this year for biosolids removal at the Joint Utilities sewage lagoons. Council then agreed to direct staff to issue an expression of interest to undertake a governance study of the Joint Utilities sewage lagoons. 

Next on the agenda, Council discussed the Standards of Conduct and Oath of Office, which was back before Council for adoption. The Standards of Conduct were adopted by Council, and staff were directed to coordinate its implementation, including the drafting of a bylaw.

To end the meeting, Council reviewed correspondence from the BC Elders Gathering and agreed to grant $5,000 towards the costs of hosting the 2018 BC Elders Gathering taking place this July 10-12. 

Council then resolved into a closed meeting. 

Thank you for reading and staying informed! Our next regular Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20 at 1:30 p.m.