Council Matters for February 16, 2022

Council met for one-and-three-quarter hours during our Regular Council meeting on February 16, 2022, and two hours during the Public Hearing portion of that meeting. Here are some highlights from the meetings:

During my Mayor’s Report, I noted that Council and staff were wearing pink shirts. This meeting was our last opportunity to get together as a group before Pink Shirt Day on February 23. Pink Shirt Day was started by two teenagers in Nova Scotia in 2007 who took a stand against bullying in their school. I encourage everyone to stand up against bullying in your home, workplace, school, and community, and in particular, online. North Cowichan staff will be wearing pink next week to support a safe, supportive, welcoming, and inclusive space for all people.

Inspector Chris Bear presented the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Quarterly Report for Quarter 4 of 2021 (October - December). During this time period, NCD RCMP received 5,127 calls for service, a 2.7 per cent increase over the same quarter in 2020. As 2020 figures were low due to the pandemic, even compared to 2019 figures, violent crime is down 19 per cent and property crime is down 15 per cent. The full report can be viewed in the agenda package.

The Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw was adopted. The plan sets the Municipality’s financial objectives and policies for the period from 2022 to 2026.

The Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw was also adopted. This amendment sets an increase to the waste collection fee for 2022, and removes the fire inspection fees until the pre-requisites for the fire safety inspection program have been implemented.

The South End Waterworks District Amendment Bylaw that would expand the service area boundary to include two lots on Donnay Drive South was referred back to staff in light of a letter received from Cowichan Tribes regarding the lots.

A Development Variance Permit Application was granted for 12-1060 Shore Pine Close. This variance permit decreases the minimum permitted principal building side yard setback from 3.0 metres to 1.66 metres to regularize stairs and a portion of a deck constructed that had been constructed without required municipal permits.

A new aerial fire truck purchase was approved at a cost of $1,458,750 (plus tax). The Pierce Manufacturing truck will be deployed to the South End fire hall, and the existing aerial truck will be redeployed to Chemainus. The Fire Underwriters Report requires North Cowichan to have two aerial trucks.

Councillor Douglas’ motion to a request for a staff report on Bell McKinnon Plan and Asset Management Costs was defeated.

Council supported a regional application for UBCM Poverty Reduction Funding. The application includes the Cowichan Housing Association, Our Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes, the City of Duncan and other community partners in a regional grant application that would establish and implement a community-driven regional poverty reduction plan.

A Public Hearing was held to consider third reading of a Zoning Amendment Bylaw which proposes to amend Area 3 of the Kingsview Comprehensive Development Zone to include single unit and two-unit building types within the definition of a townhouse. After considerable public input and Council discussion, the motion was defeated.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, at 1:30 p.m.

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117