Council Matters for April 3, 2019

Council met for close to 5 hours in open meetings on April 3, 2019.

Council first met as a Committee of the Whole to review a proposed process, timeline, and project plan for rewriting the Official Community Plan. This will be a significant project for the community over the coming two years, as we invite the community to shape the future of North Cowichan. After discussion, Council decided to have further discussion at an upcoming meeting. To read about the proposed process and timeline, see the staff report on pp. 50-56 here.  

We began the regular Council meeting by presenting the distinguished Carnegie Heroes Award for Bravery to Mr. John Thomas Prokop, owner of James Street Billiards. The Carnegie medal is awarded to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. In 2018, Mr. Prokop was one of only eighteen people – 16 Americans and two Canadians – who were named Carnegie heros. Mr. Prokop was granted the award after assisting an RCMP officer during a violent arrest. Read the news release here.

Council received one delegation, Amy and Tafadzwa Matama, who shared information about their Little Zimbabwe Farm on Cowichan Lake Road, a hub for agriculture, music, the arts, education, and cultural exchange.

Council heard that the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society wishes to operate the women’s shelter at 2003 University Way year-round, and gave notice of its intention to consider amending CWAV’s existing Temporary Use Permit to allow for year-round use. A notice will be published in the local paper and Council will hold a public meeting and make a decision on this application at its April 17 meeting.

Council gave three readings to the Animal Responsibility Bylaw, which includes provisions for animal welfare, control, licencing, duties of animal owners, penalties, and enforcement. Council requested a number of minor amendments to the bylaw. At the same time, Council gave three readings to a Fees Amendment Bylaw to amend the animal fees in alignment with the new Animal Responsibility Bylaw. Both bylaws may now be considered by Council for adoption.

Council gave first and second reading to a zoning amendment bylaw to define and permit micro-cannabis production facilities in the Commercial Service (C3) Zone. This topic will now proceed to a public hearing.

Council reviewed the first zoning application for a retail cannabis sales establishment, proposed by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch to be located at 2900 Drinkwater Road (Cowichan Commons). During discussion on the application, it was noted that a second rezoning application to establish a retail cannabis store has been received by the Municipality from Costa Canna Corp. on the adjacent parcel very near to where the store is being proposed for this application.  The Director of Planning indicated that the Costa Canna application is awaiting its Provincial referral from the Liquor Control Retail Branch and it is anticipated that it will be received within the next couple of weeks.  Council debated whether there was merit in reviewing both applications at the same time and decided to hold off considering the BC Liquor Distribution Branch application until the application from Costa Canna Corp. is ready for Council’s consideration so that both applications can be considered at the same time.  For more information on LDB’s proposal and Council’s policy, see pp. 85-120 of the agenda here.

Council gave first and second reading to a zoning amendment to permit a second residential building at 1038 Herd Road. This application will now proceed to a public hearing.

Council gave three readings to a Fee Amendment Bylaw that establishes a 2% rate increase for waste collection fees to cover increasing costs of waste collection.

Council supported the Crofton Community Centre Society’s request to develop the Crofton Museum grounds, with the condition that land identified be developed as gardens, and that community consultation occur to encourage and incorporate feedback into the final design and construction.

***Please note: Council amended its agenda for the day to postpone two items until such time as all Council members can be present to vote. The two postponed items were: agenda item 7.1 (Community Engagement on Municipal Forest Reserve), and item 7.2 (Proposed Environmental Position).

Thank you for reading and staying informed! Our next regular Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m.

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan