By Andrea Arnold

The McBride Council meeting was called to order on May 10, 2022 at 7:02pm by Mayor Gene Runtz.

Public Hearing

Council moved to conduct the Public Hearing for Temporary Use Permit 2022-03, 333, 345 and 355 Main street – Wholesale use. Two letters from citizens were received on the matter of installing product silos in the yard attached to Horseshoe Lake Ventures. Linda Fry expressed concern for the possible deterioration of the alley due to increased use and the mud being transferred out onto adjacent streets. She is also concerned about spills and the possibility of rodents and birds being attracted to the area. Although she wants to see the business succeed, she is hoping that the Village will mitigate any negative impact. Phyllis Sivecki lives adjacent to the business and has expressed concern in a letter regarding the “mess” in the lot that is visible from her house. She is concerned about the increase in traffic and the increased likelihood of the alley and her lane being blocked for extended periods of time.

Business owner, Justin Martin spoke, addressing the matter of “wholesale use” referred to in the TUP.

“Nothing we are doing is wholesale,” said Martin. “It is all retail. It is bulk, but it is for the retail market.”

He also addressed the blocking of the lane saying if what they are doing is an issue, they can move much of their unloading and loading into the yard itself.

Hearing no other comments on the matter, council moved to reconvene the regular meeting at 7:15pm.

Audited Consolidated Financial Statement presentation

Tabitha Bosch from KPMG presented the draft 2021 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements to Council. Following the presentation, Council had no questions for Bosch.

Public Comment

Steven Garhammer spoke on the development variance permit that he and his wife Andrea are trying to obtain to begin developing their home at 455 Horseshoe Lake Road in McBride. He spoke regarding a covenant that the Village wanted to have put on the agreement preventing any development aside from the residence being constructed until a hydrant can be put in nearby, by the village. Prior to the meeting he had presented letters from their lawyer and insurance underwriter stating that the presented covenant was not to be executed as presented. He said that the property would not be usable for the purpose they purchased it for with the covenant in place. He asked that Council reconsider that portion of the permit.

Back Country Horsemen support

Council received the letter from the Robson Valley Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of BC requesting a letter of support from the Village of McBride for a grant application for trail work along the Great Divide Trail at Moose River. Council directed staff to write the letter in support of the application.

Council gave third reading to both the Five Year Financial Plan (2022-2026) Bylaw 808.2022 and Municipal Property Tax Rate Bylaw No 809.2022.

Temporary Use Permit (TUP) – 333, 345, and 355 Main Street– Wholesale Use.

During the discussion prior to the vote the Councillors agreed that the TUP was not needed so the direction to staff with recommendations and considerations was not needed. Councillor Rosemary Hruby first voiced her opinion that the TUP was not needed due to the fact that the proposal covers retail, not wholesale, and is within the bylaw and the zoning. Councillors Diane Smith, Lucille Green and Allan Frederick agreed. Councillor Smith recounted her experience at the current location of the bins in question during their restocking. She stated that there was some noise, only about half an hour long, and that the dust created by the loading of the bins is kept under control. She inquired as to what time the deliveries occur and how often. She was told they occur every 20-21 days, between 9-10am.

Mayor Runtz agreed that the wholesale aspect was not an issue, however he expressed concern for the potential of rodents as well as dust caused by increased traffic into the lot.

Council received the written correspondence submitted from the public for information and consideration. 

Council defeated the motion to approve the TUP 2022-03 to allow for a wholesale operation/feed silos to be located on 333, 345, and 355 Main Street for a period of three years ending May 10, 2025, and authorizes CAO Tupy to issue the Permit.

Village planner Kevin Brooks was in attendance via Zoom and he recommended that the wording of the zoning bylaw that currently includes bulk under the same definition as wholesale be changed through an amendment to help prevent confusion.

Council passed a motion to amend the zoning bylaw, removing the word bulk from the definition of wholesale.

Development Variance Permit– 361 Dominion Street 

Kevin and Jenny Taphorn are requesting a development variance permit to reduce the rear setback from 3.0m to 1.5m to allow the construction of a 93m2 storage garage to house outdoor recreational vehicles within their property. The existing accessory building size exceeds the maximum total Building area of all accessory buildings and structures on a lot, 70m2. Also, the buildings span three lots but function as a single property. Staff is recommending that a condition of the variance be added, requiring that the owners apply to the B.C. Land Title Office to consolidate the property.

Council moved to direct staff to carry-out public notification requirements prior to bringing the proposed Development Variance Permit back for Council approval. Council also directed staff to provide them with any additional considerations that it would like to address on the development variance permit.

Development Variance Permit – 455 Horseshoe Lake Road 

Steven and Andrea Garhammer are requesting relief from the costs of hydrant installation, and road paving that they have been presented with while they are working to develop their property on Horseshoe Lake Road. The property was added to the Village limits in the mid 1990s. Before developing, the Garhammers have to meet the requirements for a village residence.

The draft development variance permit removes the requirement of installing a hydrant before development, and the requirement of paving the road. It also states that prior to a building permit being issued, a Section 219 covenant be registered on the title, restricting any further development beyond primary residence, until a hydrant is installed.

Council engaged in conversation to address Mr. Garhammer’s concerns regarding the covenant that he had made earlier in the meeting. Councillor Frederick, as a member of the fire department, stated that reaching the property either from the existing hydrant at the high school, or by shuttling water is possible. Council agreed that if the Garhammers agreed to provide a 3m area around any building on the property to help mitigate the possibility of fires, the covenant could be removed from the variance, and? the request to be exempt from the paving requirement approved. Council moved that CAO Tupy be authorized to issue the permit.

Development Variance Permit – 600 1st Avenue

Council discussed the proposed options to allow the development of the Gigglin Grizzly RV park. A development permit had been issued to the Fry’s, who had come back with a few items they did not agree to.

The initial development variance permit removed the requirement for a new hydrant installation and the connection to the Village’s sanitary sewer system, as well as a covenant restricting any further development beyond the proposed 24 lots until a full fire protection assessment can be completed.

The developer has agreed to install a two-step waste collection system to collect waste water from the sites, and arrange for the collection of the sewage. They have been in contact with Northern Health regarding the possibility and will continue to work with Northern Health to ensure all health requirements are met. This removes the immediate need to connect to the village sewer system. The developer refused the terms of the covenant and suggested a cost sharing option to meet the water system requirements instead.

Council passed a motion to have staff negotiate with the developer, the Fry’s, regarding a cost-sharing agreement to cover the cost of installing a new hydrant and required lengths of pipe to connect to the village system. The agreement would be finalized following the completed installation.

Financial Statements

Council approved the 2021 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements as amended, following a few minor corrections to items, by KPMG LLP for the year ended on December 31, 2021.

In camera

Council moved to an in-camera meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1): (c) labour relations or other employee relations, and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stage and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interest of the municipality if they were held in public.

The public portion of the meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.