Council Matters for March 7, 2018

The council meeting agenda for March 7 was unusually light and the open session wrapped up in just under two hours.

The meeting began with a delegation from Candace Spilsbury, Board Chair for School District 79. Council was updated on the Board of Educations strategic plan and priorities, and heard that schools are looking for opportunities to build community connections into education. We learned that last year the graduation rate was 81%, an increase from 76% just 2 years prior, and its the first time the graduation rate has past the 80th percentile in many years. Its a new era of education and student engagement is high with the new curriculum and programs now offered to students. Council also heard about the space constraints with many full schools in the district, and how this will continue to be a challenge for the School District with more expected growth across the Cowichan Valley.

Council gave first and second reading to a Phased Development Agreement Authorization Bylaw for the Kingsview project, and included amendments relating to storm and rainwater containment on the site, limiting nutrient flows, and continued communication between the municipality and the proponent. 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. 

Council adopted a bylaw to enlarge the South End Sewer Area to include 6387 Green Road, which has recently received a development permit for a 64-unit apartment building. 

To end the meeting, Council requested a report from staff on the distribution of property taxes among assessment classifications, exploring the implications of possibly lowering the 2018 residential property tax rate increase by 0.5% and 1.0% respectively. 

Thank you for reading Council Matters. You are welcome to provide feedback on these or other Council matters by email to: council@northcowichan.ca.  Our next regular Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 1:30 p.m.