By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Gene Runtz called the July 12, 2022 McBride Council meeting to order at 7:00pm. The meeting quickly moved to the Public Hearing for the proposed zoning amendment bylaw #810, 2022. The amendment addressed the following items:

1) The addition of “Hotel” to the list of permitted uses in the “Highway Commercial (C2) Zone”.

2) Rezoning of 797 Bridge Road to the Highway Commercial (C2) Zone (to permit the use of a Hotel)

3) Adding “Light Industry” as a permitted use at 275 McBride Road South.

4) Amended definition of “Retail” to permit bulk sales

5) Reducing the maximum building height of a Residential-Multi-Family Building from 12m to 10.4m.

Public Hearing

CAO Chris Tupy read out two letters from residents regarding the proposed byla amendments. Although there is reference to a proposed hotel in these letters, at this time, there is not any public confirmation of a development.

He began with a letter from Sheila Anderson expressing many concerns regarding the assumed proposal for a hotel that resulted in the need for the zoning change for 797 Bridge Road (near the Petro Can).  She wondered about road access, dust and noise control (both during construction and after it is complete), parking and exhaust fumes, supply delivery routes and overall height of completed project.

CAO Tupy also read a letter from Rick Thompson and Carol Hammar aloud. The couple supports the reinsertion of “Highway” into the Highway Commercial (C2) zone. However, when it came to the rezoning of 797 Bridge Road, they had several concerns. Their letter spoke of the lack of residential-zoned land that can be developed within the village, and their worry that this is a large piece of land to lose as residential. They echoed Anderson’s concern regarding noise and dust mitigation. They addressed the accessibility issue, as traffic in the main street intersection area off the highway comes from six different directions already and can be confusing.

They asked if the village has received any more detailed information from the developer, drawings, amenities, or plans. If not then perhaps this amendment is premature. They also asked about a potential requirement for the developer to create a sound buffer along Airport Road East.

They stated they did not have concerns with the amendment regarding 275 McBride South Road, and that they supported the amended definition of “retail” to permit bulk sales.

They had several concerns regarding the building height restriction being changed from 12m to 10.4m. They suggested that because the footprint of the village is small, some developers may be looking to build up. They asked if the Village had considered how this might hinder village growth. They asked if the amendment is to not allow three storey buildings, and how it would affect the proposed Senior Legacy Project. They asked how the proposed amendment would impact the housing shortage in McBride. Lastly, they asked if the amendment was a way to avoid having to purchase a ladder truck for the fire department (over five taller structures requires the municipality to have a ladder truck). The letter suggested that instead of saying no to all, to allow them on a first-come first-serve basis, encouraging developers to move quickly.

With no questions or comments from the Council, the Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:17pm.

Meeting with Northern Health

Council directed Administration to respond to the invitation from President Cathy Ulrich and Northern Health Chair Colleen Nyce, to reschedule the May 24, 2022 Zoom meeting to July 19, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. The first meeting was postponed due to sickness. The topics for this meeting include doctor retention, thanking Northern Health for vaccination and efforts over the past two years, and a pharmacy update.

Letter to Ms. Bond

Council directed Administration to write a letter to Shirley Bond, MLA, expressing gratitude for all she has done for the valley and for her continued support. They requested that administration follow up with an e-mail regarding the Ministers meetings at UBCM one they have been confirmed.

Zoning amendments 

Council moved to receive and give consideration to the submissions received from the public on the matter of Zoning Bylaw Amendment No 810, 2022. Council agreed with the Thompson/Hammar letter regarding the lack of information about a proposed hotel. CAO Tupy said that the conversations have been very preliminary and no further information has been provided at this point. Council was unwilling to proceed with that portion of the amendment until more information is presented by the developer, and Council and the public are allowed to provide feedback.  

Council amended the list and removed the item regarding the rezoning of 797 Bridge Road to the Highway Commercial (C2) Zone (to permit the use of a Hotel). Council then approved the rest of the amendments.

Council directed administration to schedule a Special Meeting, following approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to consider final read and adoption of Zoning Bylaw Amendment No. 810, 2022.

Water report

Council moved to approve the Village of McBride 2021 Annual Water Report.

In Camera

Council proceeded to an in camera portion for consideration of matters of the community Charter related to 90 (1): (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (g) litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that re in 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.

Council was adjourned at 7:55pm