Valemount Council: Health tax woes, 2nd dwelling

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson, met on May 22, 2018. Interim Chief Administrative Officer Gord Simmons, Corporate Services Clerk Carleena Shepherd, Planner-1 Megan Vicente and Director of Finance Lori McNee were the staff present.

Public Hearing and Adoption of Zoning Amendment for Secondary Dwelling

As part of Zoning Bylaw No. 610, 2007 Amendment Bylaw No. 781, 2018 for 1363 3rd Avenue to permit a second dwelling, council held a public hearing. The zoning amendment application comes from Ian Woolsey for a second dwelling to be used as long term rental. Only one accessory building and one secondary suite will be permitted on the property. The amendment was given third reading and then adopted.

Public Hearing for Land Use Discharge Bylaw

As part of an application process for a hotel proposal at 885 Cranberry Lake Road, staff discovered a Land Use Contract (LUC) between owner and regional district before the property became part of the village. An LUC is like a mini zoning since no regional district zoning was in place for the property at that time. The village’s zoning on the property is Highway/Tourist Commercial (C4). The campsite uses stated in the LUC are permitted in the C4 zone. There were no comments at the Public Hearing. The Land Use Contract Discharge Bylaw No. 784, 2018 was given third reading.

Bike to Work and School

Blanchette brought attention to the Bike to Work and School Week from May 28 to June 3 mentioned in the Healthier Northern Communities newsletter.

Opposing Health Tax

Torgerson referred to Mayor of District of Clearwater’s letter to Minister of Finance Carole James to find better options to transition to the proposed Health Tax to replace revenue from lost MSP premiums. Council moved to send a letter to the Minister of Finance objecting to the Health Tax. Reimer noted that the premiums are affordable compared to the US.

Election Officers for Municipal Election

Council appointed Carleena Shepherd as Chief Election Officer and Dannielle Jerome as Deputy Chief Election Officer for 2018 General Local Elections on October 20, 2018.

Municipal Insurance

Staff requested putting out a multi-year RFP for municipal insurance versus a one-year RFP last year as an opportunity for lower bids, freeing staff time by not completing the RFP process on a yearly basis and saving on contractor expenses for the RFP review process. Reimer gave a written report to council outlining his reasons for not pursuing a multi-term RFP saying being beholden to one supplier for many years is not favourable as insurance premiums change and new brokers could offer better premiums. Council voted to get information on history of premiums before proceeding with RFP.

Support for Monashee Communications

Council approved to send a letter of support to Monashee Communications regarding their funding application to roll out an Infrastructure Expansion Plan. With the plan, Monashee Communications will be able to deliver high speed internet access—up to 50 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload— to residential and business customers within and outside of the Village boundaries.

Emergency Planning

Council received information on the Open House that took place at the Community Hall on May 12 and endorsed Valemount Entertainment Society’s offer to produce six emergency information vignettes (to be aired on VCTV).

Selling Municipal Land behind Main St

Council approved to start the process in response to Vincent Clark of Alpine Country Rentals’ request to purchase an old road dedication behind his two properties at 1160 & 1186 Main Street. Mr. Clark has stated in his letter of request that he would guarantee access for BC Hydro and Telus. Council approved that the applicant be directed to complete an appraisal for the subject property and be responsible for paying the appraisal fees, at cost.

Development Permit for Commercial Lodging

Council approved staff to prepare a Draft Development Permit (with a variance) to support the development of commercial lodging (to include a retail space) at 885 Cranberry Lake Road.

Development Variance Permit for 1133 – 14th Avenue

Council approved to allow an accessory building on the property with a variance in height from 3.5 metres to 6.1 metres and a reduced setback. Councillor Reimer was opposed to the variance as the increase in height requested was substantial.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw for land for proposed college and new housing units

Council gave first and second reading to the bylaw to support a post-secondary educational institution (to be constructed at a later date), as well as offices and accommodations to support the educational institution. The application was jointly submitted by the Valemount Affordable Rentals Society (VARS) and Valemount Learning Centre (VLC). Two of the lots are owned by VARS while one of them is owned by VLC. The zoning amendment includes a new University and College Campus (P4). The lot with single family residence is being rezoned from C4 to R4 for use as an office or residence or combination. The third lot is being rezoned to High Density Residential R5 to permit multiple primary buildings. The zoning on the lots will not permit short term rentals or B&Bs.

Election Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third reading to an election bylaw to comply with provincial legislation and the Local Government Act and to permit only one scrutineer per candidate.

Officers and Employees Bylaw

After much discussion, council gave first reading to Officers and Employees Bylaw No. 788, 2018. The Mayor wanted to delay the reading until she had a chance to compare the bylaw to the 2010 version for changes. The bylaw relates to functions of corporate officer and financial officer and includes deputy positions.

Council also voted to get information related to the 2010 bylaw before second reading.

Public Comment

Eugene Jamin hoped that the discussion related to Municipal Insurance and giving first reading to the Procedures Bylaw was not related to any differences between council and staff.

In Camera Items

Council went in-camera to discuss five items related to person being considered for staff position, labour relations, litigation against municipality and negotiations related to proposed provision of a municipal service.

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