For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Highlights from the January 22, 2013 Council Meeting
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Council reported the names of appointees to the District’s Agricultural Advisory Committee:
The committee was established to assist staff and Council in protecting, enhancing and promoting agriculture within the District of West Kelowna. The Committee’s role is to provide input to Council on land use and economic development matters with respect to agriculture, and to act as a liaison between Council and the agribusiness community.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Council agreed to send four Councillors to the upcoming Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference, to be hosted this year in Vancouver from May 31 to June 3. Mayor Doug Findlater and Councillors Rick De Jong, David Knowles and Bryden Winsby will be attending.
Council adopted amendments to its Zoning Bylaw, Official Community Plan and Fees and Charges Bylaw as part of an update to the District’s secondary suite regulations. Council’s previous regulations and associated policy existed for two years and were created to address the issue of illegal secondary suites in the community. After two years of analysis, Council adjusted its bylaws as follows:
Registration fee to a one-time fee rather than an annual fee; fee would be $125 for voluntary applications, and $250 for a complaint-driven application
Amendments to the septic field requirements
Removal of the owner-occupancy requirement
Requirement of a business license for secondary suites
Maintain a complaint-based enforcement approach
Draft CNR Wharf Park Plan
Council was provided an update on the Draft CNR Wharf Park Plan which provides the District with a conceptual plan for improvements to this important waterfront connection in West Kelowna’s Gellatly Bay. The wharf was constructed in the 1930s and was used to ship goods across the lake previous to the construction of the bridge to Kelowna. The CNR Wharf Park Plan aims to improve the recreational opportunities in the area, protect the natural environment, provide recommendations towards asset management and support economic development. Parking, heritage preservation, and safety concerns will also be addressed. After comprehensive public consultation efforts in 2012, during which the District received its highest public participation rate with 500 people taking part in the various initiatives, a conceptual design has been created and capital and operational priorities identified. The next step is to prepare a multi-faceted detailed design which will be completed this year with a budget of $157,000. Construction is anticipated to be accomplished in phases with the first phase being undertaken in 2014 with an estimated cost of $543,000. The first phase of construction would include construction of a new wharf, swimming and diving features (possibly a zip line and slide), delineated swim line and integrated seating and lighting.
Roads Maintenance Update
Council received a report on road maintenance activities since December 7, 2012 when the District assumed administration of road maintenance in the community. AEL, a division of HMC Services Inc., was hired as the District’s roads maintenance contractor. Council was advised that there have been some growing pains for the contractor with respect to winter maintenance and snow removal in the community. Since the changeover date, the District has received approximately 1,140 calls or emails about the service. HMC Services Inc. President, Joe Wrobel, indicated that AEL faced a few more complications in West Kelowna than the company has experienced in the other areas it serves, but is very interested in receiving concerns from the public and that the District and AEL are working together to continuously improve the level of service provided.
Bulk Water Station
Council established the rates for the Bulk Water Dispensing Station that is installed at the northwest corner of Shannon Lake Road and Asquith Road. The goal is to have the station operational by February 4, 2013. Both commercial and residential customers will have to sign up for an account to use the station and will receive a pin number to be used at the facility. Customers will receive a monthly invoice for water used. Residential customers will be charged a $25 setup fee and commercial and non-resident customers will be charged a $50 setup fee and the water rate is set at $0.82 per cubic metre. The station cost approximately $99,000.
Water Conservation Plan
Council adopted the District of West Kelowna Water Conservation Plan, developed to provide data and recommendations towards the efficient use of the District’s water resources. The goal of the plan is to reduce consumption and the associated costs of operating, maintaining and upgrading the District’s five water utilities. A District-endorsed water conservation plan is a condition of funding received under the Building Canada Fund for the recently completed sewer servicing strategy. The Water Conservation Plan will make up part of the Water Utilities Master Plan which is currently under development.
Municipal Alcohol Policy
Council directed staff to develop a Municipal Alcohol Policy subject to the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch’s approval of the District’s application for a Liquor Primary Licence for Royal LePage Place and Jim Lind Arena and subject to the District receiving grant funding from BC Healthy Communities. Alcohol is currently served at Royal LePage Place during West Kelowna Warriors hockey games through a Special Occasion Liquor Licence. A primary licence replaces the time-consuming and repetitive process to obtain a special occasion licence and would provide the option of alcohol service during other events at the arenas. BC Health Communities, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, is offering grant funding to jurisdictions looking to create a Municipal Alcohol Policy.
Cultural Master Plan
Council was presented with a Key Findings Report stemming from the initial public consultation phases of the developing Cultural Master Plan. Council gave input on seven identified themes:
- Define the Municipal Role
- Better Connect Culture and Economic Development
- Coordinate Responsibilities and Build Partnerships
- Integrate Culture into Current Infrastructure Priorities
- Increase Awareness and Expand Community Engagement
- Support a Strong and Sustainable Cultural Sector
- Expand Cultural Collaboration with Westbank First Nation
From this, the first draft of the Cultural Master Plan will be created.