Council Matters for September 7, 2022

Council met for about one-and-a-half hours in total during our Regular Council meeting and Public Hearing on September 7, 2022. Here are some highlights from the meetings.

During my Mayor’s Report, I shared that I recently attended a ribbon cutting for a new water system at Cowichan Tribes. I was unaware that there are pockets of poor access to drinking water on Cowichan Tribes land. By working together with First Nations we can support this much needed work.

I also attended a send-off for the Rowing Canada national team that are headed to the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic. Nine crews and 35 athletes are participating in the championships, as they look ahead to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. I am very proud that these athletes are our hometown team.

I am optimistic that more tenants from the Magdalena apartment building have found housing, and Cowichan Housing is working to secure homes for the remaining tenants who may need to leave sometime next spring. We continue to look to meet with the new housing minister Murray Rankin on this pressing issue.

The now-redundant Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw was abandoned. This bylaw was in place prior to the new OCP bylaw adoption on August 17.

A Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 7167 Bell McKinnon Road was adopted. The amendment received third reading following a public hearing on July 20, and will permit a second detached dwelling unit on the property.

The Crofton Fire Hall Loan Authorization Bylaw was adopted. A total of six (0.02%) of eligible voters responded earlier this summer to the alternative approval process (AAP) on funding for the $4.8 million needed to rebuild the fire hall. This bylaw will allow staff to move forward with the construction tendering process.

The Waterworks Amendment Bylaw was adopted. This bylaw updates regulations around seasonal water usage, including the addition of Stage 4 restrictions. These regulations are now in alignment with other Cowichan Valley regional municipalities and water districts.

  • The most notable change for residents is Stage 1 and Stage 2 watering using conventional irrigation systems and sprinklers is for 2 hours per day between 7pm and 9am.
  • Stage 2: One day/week: even addresses on Wednesday, odd addresses on Sunday

North Cowichan is currently at Stage 2. Read the full list of regulations at

The 2022-2026 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw was given first three readings. This bylaw updates the financial plan with projects and initiatives authorized by Council between March and August of this year. The public is now invited to submit their comments on this bylaw to the Corporate Officer before 1pm on September 21.

Council directed staff to allocate Local Government Climate Action Program (LGCAP) funding to offset environmental program and project costs for 2023-2025. Annual funding of $180,082 provided through LGCAP can be used for staffing, contracts, investments to improve energy efficiency, and investments in climate infrastructure as long as these funds help achieve community and provincial climate objectives, provided that reporting requirements continue to be met.

Council approved a 2023 Permissive Tax Exemption Application for two units at 9806 Willow Street leased by the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association. The organization already has a tax exemption for three other units at the same location, which are used to provide youth services, as an extreme weather centre, and for storage of food. The additional units provide an exemption of $2,000.

Recommendations made by the Environmental Advisory Committee on the Master Transportation Plan (MTP) Phase 2 Report will be incorporated into the draft MTP. These recommendations include attention to enhanced green corridors, reducing the impact to watersheds through stormwater management techniques, rights-of-way including the consideration of the E&N corridor, and the importance of acknowledging the value of scenic and historic roads. A draft MTP will be available later this fall. Read more about the MTP and supporting documents at  

Council approved a $1,000 grant-in-aid to Penelakut Tribe to support their march and ceremony as part of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The event honouring residential school survivors is slated for September 28 on Penelakut Island. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation takes place on September 30 across Canada.

One item was heard during the public hearing portion of the meeting, which was then given third reading:

  • A Zoning Amendment Bylaw for five addresses on Paddle Road to permit high-density residential and commercial use. This development, once approved and constructed, will include approximately 366 residential apartments and townhouses together with commercial space. 37 of the units are secured for below market affordable housing.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, at 1:30 p.m. (note the change in day).

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117