By Andrea Arnold
Mayor Runtz called the March 22, 2022 McBride Council meeting to order at 7:50pm. Councillor Smith was not present.
Council first proceeded to a public hearing for Temporary Use Permit 2022-01. The TUP Micro-Hotel/AirBnB request for the property at 210 Main Street was met with no comments from the public or Council. After the public hearing, Council proceeded with the regular Council meeting.
McBride Community Forest Presentation
Patrick Penner, Forest Manager, McBride Community Forest Corporation, presented a perspective of MCFC and First Nations engagement. Penner spoke of MCFC’s two meetings with the Simpcw. In the meetings they discussed two main types of priority deferrals, old growth with large trees and remnant old ecosystems. They talked about ways to deal with the old growth deferrals. Penner reported that the Simpcw are open to trading areas removed from the harvest areas with other areas that are comparable. These areas would need to meet the Simpcw management values in respect to water, visuals, wildlife and recreation. These values are similar to the values MCFC has in place. The process to make the switch would take a minimum of six months.
The topic of remnant old ecosystems is more of a challenge. These areas make up less than 10 per cent of the old growth. In order to harvest anything from these areas there needs to be more than a surface reason such as bugs. Also during the meetings, the possibility of having a seat on the MCFC board available for indigenous representation was presented.
Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park Management Plan
Council directed administration to include the following specific details to the letter to Lheidli T’enneh regarding the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park Management Plan. They requested administration send a thank you for the invitation to attend a workshop at the Union of BC Municipalities Conference and also include a reminder that the community would like to work with them on the Management Plan, and given the proximity to the Park, have a vested interest in seeing it represented well.
Gigglin’ Grizzly RV Park
Council discussed at length the application and report regarding the Gigglin’ Grizzly RV Park development. Currently, the two main challenges with the site servicing are sanitary and water services.
Through discussion, the developer agreed to discuss with the neighbouring property owner regarding the increase in use of sewage line agreement already in place. Currently, the line from the pub joins a private line. However, there is no record of the existing agreement on file, creating the need for consultation with the owner of the line.
As a solution to the water service issue, the developer is willing to take on the cost of equipment and labour to have another hydrant and longer water line installed. However, they are asking that the village cover the cost of material and supplies, as the existing water service is undersized and does not have flows required to provide fire protection. Council requested that administration prepare a cost estimate for the additional length and hydrant and have it available for a special meeting on March 28, 2022.
At 8:46pm Mayor Runtz called a recess and excused himself from the remainder of the evening due to health reasons. Councillor Hruby stepped in as Acting Deputy Mayor in Councillor Smith’s absence and the meeting reconvened at 8:52 pm.
Emergency Services meeting
Council received a letter from Jana Hargreaves, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) in response to a letter submitted March 8, 2022. Council had the opportunity to submit any follow up questions for Hargreaves. They directed administration to send a letter in response explaining that they would like to receive a list of communities that have had the Scheduled on Call system not only implemented but also staffed completely.
Also, Council requested an in-person meeting with Hargreaves on April 12 at 6:00pm. Council is open to other times if the evening meeting does not work for Hargreaves.
Village space use request
Council did not approve the use of 1032 2nd Ave (the old Farm Store) for the use of storage and sorting of a bulk order arriving to Sabrea Lipke in late May/early April. Council suggested Lipke contact a commercial property owner or community organization for other options.
Bylaws, Permits and Policies
Council gave the following bylaws, third reading:
Water Amendment Bylaw 807, 2022 stating that for any non-standard water connection, the connection charge will be equal to the cost of the materials, labour, equipment and overhead.
Solid Waste Collection Bylaw No. 806, 2022 states the regulations around the new garbage bins that will be distributed to residences in Village limits in the coming months.
Fees and Charges Bylaw 805, 2022 covers all service fee increases for 2022. Water, sanitary sewer, solid waste collection, will all see a $25 average increase each year over the next four years. Storm water, administrative/corporate, development, subdivision and servicing applications, freedom of information and protection of privacy, sign applications, building bylaw, business license bylaw, and animal/livestock bylaw are all listed in the report as well.
Temporary Use Permits
Council approved the temporary use permit 2022-01 to permit an AirBnB at 210 Main Street for a period of two years ending March 22, 2024 and authorizes CAO Tupy to issue the permit.
Council directed staff to proceed with the temporary use application for 522 Main Street – Office Residential suite rental for a two-year span. Council also directed staff to carry out public notification requirements prior to bringing the proposed permit back for approval. The request from Jeff and Kat McNaughton is for a home-based office within a residence not being used as a primary residence. The property is currently zoned for residential. If it was serving as McNaughton’s primary residence, a “home occupancy” office would be within zoning guidelines.
Housing Incentive Program Policy
Council approved the Village of McBride Housing Incentive Program Policy AD-20 as presented. This program is intended to help private and not for profit developers to construct new market rate and affordable housing units to improve the housing supply in McBride. It will also allow local developers an opportunity to apply for financial aid up to $10,000 per unit, through Northern Development Initiative Trust, providing the criteria outlined in the policy has been met by the set deadline.
Community Cleanup plans
Council directed administration to plan and host the 2022 Annual Community Clean up in coordination with Robson Valley Community Services on Thursday April 21.
Council proceeded to an in-camera meeting for consideration of matters per Section 90 (1) of the Community Charter related to (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality and, (i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege including communications necessary for that purpose.
The public portion of the meeting closed at 9:21pm.