Council Matters for February 6, 2019

Council met in open session for about 5 hours on February 6, 2019. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

We received a lengthy presentation from Dr. Dave Preikshot of the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society regarding a Parrot’s Feather Management Plan for the Municipality. Dr. Preikshot’s presentation can be found on pages 3 to 20 of the agenda.

Council heard from three delegations:

  1. A group of residents requesting that Council remove the proposed Stamps-Bazett trail from the 2020 capital plan.
  2. The Cowichan Land Trust and Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, regarding a grant request to support the Somenos and Quamichan Lakes Clean Water Action Project. Council agreed to provide the $3,000 grant for this important project.
  3. Dave Preikshot and Paul Rickard regarding mitigation of effects from development on water quality and quantity in Bings/Menzies Creek to preserve trout and salmon habitat.

Council considered a number of adjustments to fees. Most notably, Council:

  • Changed the fees for board of variance applications from $1,000 to $250.
  • Amended the 5-year financial plan to include the Cowichan Sportsplex fieldhouse as a project for 2019.

Council reviewed a staff report with a proposal to participate in the Safer Community Plan for the Duncan/North Cowichan highway corridor and decided to contribute up to $10,000 to participate in this work. The Safer Community Plan is a shared project with the City of Duncan and is intended to build partnerships between local governments, the police, social and health agencies and the business community to better address issues of crime, addiction, homelessness, and public disorder in this area.

Council then reviewed a staff report on a proposed Urban Rural Interface Policy, which more progressively addresses environmental and character concerns around development of the areas identified on the Urban-Rural Interface Area map. The map can be viewed on pages 47-51 of the agenda. Council approved the Policy and agreed that this Policy is intended to establish interim guidelines in a specific area until such time as the Official Community Plan is updated.

Council re-appointed me to the RCMP’s Local Government Contract Management Committee.

Council agreed to contribute $3,000 to a cross-Cowichan WildSafeBC program, through which a seasonal Community Coordinator is hired to educate residents, businesses, and visitors on how to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

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

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan