Council Matters for May 15, 2019

Council met for about six hours in open meetings on May 15, 2019. Here are some highlights from the Regular Council meeting:

Council heard from Ms. Jen Woike requesting that Council direct staff to bring forward a zoning amendment bylaw that would change the current setback requirements for ancillary buildings from 46 metres to 25 metres on agricultural land. After hearing from Ms. Woike, Council requested a report from staff on the potential and timelines for making such a zoning amendment.

Council then received a presentation from Dr. Stephen Sheppard, a professor at UBC, about his experience seeking community input on forestry in other communities, and his suggestions for moving forward with community engagement in North Cowichan. If you would like to view Dr. Sheppard’s presentation, his slides are posted here under “Background Documents”: Municipal Forest Reserve. Council is now awaiting a staff report with options and recommendations for moving forward on an engagement process.

Council made two decisions regarding cannabis:

  • Council debated a proposed zoning amendment to permit retail cannabis sales at 9750 Chemainus Road. Council decided not to support this application, on the basis that it was not consistent with location guidelines in the Cannabis Policy that were adopted by Council in January 2019, as it is within 600 metres of St. Joseph’s School, the Chemainus Heritage pocket park/public plaza, the Chemainus Waterwheel Park, and the Chemainus Ball/Athletic Sportsfield Park, all of which are family-oriented properties frequented by children and youth.
  • Council adopted a zoning amendment bylaw to define and permit Micro Cannabis Production Facilities in the Commercial Service Zone (C3).

Council reviewed the Cowichan Attainable Housing Strategy developed by the Cowichan Housing Association, which provides direction to stakeholders in the Cowichan Region on current and future affordable housing needs. Council endorsed the Strategy, and authorized the Mayor to sign the partnership declaration.

Council gave three readings to an amendment to the Municipal Ticket Information System Bylaw to assign fines associated with the newly adopted Animal Responsibility Bylaw.

That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading and staying informed. Our next Council meeting is Wednesday, June 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan