Valemount Council: Housing pitch, fuel station upgrades

By Goat Staff


Mayor Owen Torgerson, councillors Sheri Gee, Donnie MacLean and Pete Pearson met on September 10, 2019 for their regular council meeting. Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Robinson, Deputy Corporate Office Carleena Shepherd and Director of Finance Lori McNee were present.

Public Comments

Rashmi Narayan, Riette Kenkel and Eugene Jamin expressed concerns about Robson Valley Community Services’ (RVCS) request for land and $7,500 for a project development grant to develop affordable housing. Some felt that while it was important to address the housing needs, it was not coordinated with the Housing Committee that had submitted a grant application to look at various community needs. They said it was also duplicating the work Valemount Affordable Rentals Society is doing. Also was the concern that staff had found money for RVCS but not for a project identified by the Village-appointed Housing Committee. Riette said VARS was learning that it is a complicated process to develop new housing and was willing to meet RVCS to share their experience.

Council Appointment to VARDA’s board

Mayor Torgerson was re-appointed to the Valemount & Area Recreation Development Association’s Board of Directors for a 1-year term.

Waiving Community Hall Rental Fees

Council waived the Community Hall rental fees for the Seniors Fair organized by the Elder Care Collaborative to be held on October 5, 2019.

Backyard Chickens

Velda Pidhirnjy made a written request that council consider a bylaw allowing 4 chickens per backyard because it could not only have a health benefit but also be a good family experience and teach children responsibility. Council did not make any comments on the letter in their reading file.

Building Inspector’s Report

The estimated construction values in August was $22,000. The fees collected were $830.

Robson Valley Community Services’ Request to Council

Council tabled RVCS’ request that the Village of Valemount provide $7,500 (with matching funds from CBT) to support the concept design of a Community Hub and preparation of the Building BC Community Housing Fund Request for Proposals. They also requested a portion of the village-owned property located at 13th Ave and Ash Street be provided in principle to RVCS, in order to proceed with Phase 1 of their proposed Community Hub and Housing Project.

Councillor Pearson felt council needed to hear more details directly from RVCS about the project, as well as get some input from other organizations. He also felt there are many groups with the same aims vying for the same pot of money without talking to each other. Staff said they would request RVCS to come to their next council meeting at the end of September.

Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third readings to Amendment Bylaw 808 to include a $750 fee to deal with retail cannabis applications for ‘Municipal Consultation & Recommendation to Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.’

Valemount Airport Fuel Station Upgrades

Council approved that the Airport Fuel Station Upgrade Contract (to a maximum of $200,000) be awarded to Code Mechanical of Maple Ridge.

Permissive Tax Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third readings to the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 809, 2019. The bylaw gives a 50% exemption to the Valemount Curling Club, 50% to the Valemount Lions Club and 75% exemption to the Valemount Legion. Churches are given a  100% exemption.

Zoning Amendment

Council gave first and second readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw 810 to better align the zoning of 940 Main Street with existing and proposed uses, as well as with the Official Community Plan (OCP). Its existing uses are: one dwelling unit on the upper floor, one retail bay rented by a cleaning company, one rented by a tattoo parlour, and one vacant bay. The zoning amendment would include new uses like a coffee roasting business, café, office space rental, long-term residential rentals and retail furniture store.

Council Reports

Councillors Gee, MacLean and Pearson didn’t have anything counci-related to report.

Mayor Torgerson and the CAO had a meeting with Dr. Markham to get an update on the clinic. Mayor Torgerson was invited to a Valemount Community Forest (VCF) meeting where he suggested presenting a quarterly report from the Village and VCF at the other’s meeting.

In-Camera Item

There were no in-camera items.

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