By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Owen Torgerson began the meeting on July 25th by calling to order a public hearing. CAO Eric Depenau addressed Council with the details of proposed amendments to the Village of Valemount zoning bylaw No. 847, 2021 to amend Mobile Home Park Regulations.

The amendments will allow modular homes as well as mobile homes to be located within a designated park space. The amendment will also decrease the required size to a minimum of four and a half acres. Currently, the space needed to build a mobile home park is five acres. 

In addition to these amendments, the following changes to the bylaw were addressed in the public hearing: the section pertaining to setbacks was moved from the MHP regulations bylaw into the zoning bylaw. Also, the required buffer area around a parcel of land will be three metres on all sides. This is a reduction from seven and a half metres on sides against roadways, and four metres when the land meets another parcel of property.

Lastly, the zone is currently named “Mobile Home Parks.” The addition of modular homes to the bylaw will result in it being renamed Manufactured Home Park.

Following no comments or questions from the public or from the applicant, Councillor Pete Pearson asked for clarification on the address (202 Ash street) of the parcel address in the original application. He thought it necessary as the land is against Dogwood. CAO Depenau confirmed to him before the meeting that the whole park parcel is under the Ash Street address. Following Councillor Pearson’s second question, Mayor Torgerson pointed out that several years ago, Dogwood was not a designated roadway, resulting in the elongated portion of land all having an Ash street address.

Councillor Pearson also asked if the buffers are a physical barrier like a fence. CAO Depenau said that no, he didn’t believe that was a requirement at this time.

Mayor Togerson transitioned the meeting into the regular council meeting. 

RDFFG- Fire Department Co-ordination Service

Council voted to defeat the motion by a vote of 2-3 to provide notification to the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George by way of certified resolution (as follows), indicating that the municipality consents on behalf of the electors to adoption of Regional District Bylaw No. 3310, 2023. This bylaw will remove the maximum requisition amount that each department can submit throughout each year.

The whole electoral area is a participating area for the service and by providing notification council would be expressing the view that it is in the best interests of the electors to agree to the bylaw on their behalf.

Councillor Pearson voiced his concern saying that he didn’t think that they should be moving ahead with this motion without providing the community an opportunity to understand better what it means to them. 

He requested that Council ask the Regional District for a delegation to further explain the ramifications to the taxpayers. 

Following the defeat of the original motion, Councillor Pearson moved to request the delegation. Council voted in favor of the request.

Spruce City Wildlife Association – letter of support

Council agreed to provide a letter of support to the Spruce City Wildlife Association in support of their Northern Interior Community Gaming Grant Application. They are applying for the grant to allow them to keep their programs, such as the Swift Creek Chinook Salmon Stock Rebuilding program thriving.

Reading File

Sportsplex concession

Councillor Donnie MacLean brought forward the letter in the reading file from Leanne Abbott of the Creekside Outreach Society / The Great Room. The letter outlined several issues with the Valemount Sportsplex Concession. Some of these such as the lack of a handwashing station, missing internal thermometers for the fridges and freezers and work surfaces that can be properly sanitized are Northern Health requirements for operating permits. Abbott offers her assistance in addressing these needs.

Mayor Torgerson made a motion directing staff work with Abbott and Northern Health to identify what needs to be done to get the facility upgraded.

Councillor Pearson expressed concerns about putting more money into the 50-year old trailer to keep it up to standards. He would like to see a long term solution found.

Councillor Hollie Blanchette commented that the need for a long term solution has been discussed over the course of several electoral terms. She would like to see this council sit down and figure out what will be done with that piece of property.

Mayor Torgerson said that the CAO and staff are going through strategic priorities and following that, they will see where that piece of property and the issue lies. 

Councillor Blanchette commented that the concession is in the centre of where Valemountain Days and Sports Days happen, and she doesn’t see that changing. However, she also said that she thinks they need to look at the Johnny O Park and what the possibilities are for that space. Even if that involves bulldozing it and starting again. She feels that they need to stop talking about it, and get it done. She believes there are grants available and that they need to keep it a priority.

Councillor Pearson suggested a beer garden/concession combined structure as a future goal.

Following the discussion, council voted in favor of the motion.

Berg Lake Trail

Councillor Pearson expressed appreciation for the work done on the Berg Lake Trail and the appearance and accessibility of the new parking area.

Natural Resources Forum

Councillor Pearson also requested Council’s approval to attend the Natural Resources Forum 2024. Council approved his request.

Accounts payable April – June

Council received the accounts payable report stating all expenses for April-June 2023 are within the current budget.

Resort Municipality Initiative Program Projects 2023/24

Council received a report stating that for the fiscal year 2023/24, Valemount is allocated up to  $208,935 through the Resort Municipality Initiative Program. After reviewing 10 proposals for infrastructure projects and three event proposals the following will be receiving a portion of the funds:

The Valemount Marina Association –  $60,000 for mooring docks.   

VARDA  – $192,269, which includes unspent funds from fiscal year 2022/23. Money will be used for the construction and maintenance of Valemount Bike Park Trails, and organization of the variety of events they host.  

YORA – $95,000, also including unspent funds from fiscal year 2022/23 for work on the Terry Fox Mountain Trail and Little Lost Lake Trail. 

Additionally, up to $20,000 is planned to be allocated for downtown beautification projects, such as the proposed wayfinding signs along 5th Avenue and Main Street.  

Councillor Pearson would like to more focus spent on improving the community as a resort municipality, but is pleased to see improvements overall.

Bylaw Enforcement June

20 new files were opened in the month of June. One animal bylaw contravention, two business license and regulation violations, six good neighbour bylaw issues, one open air burning bylaw violation, seven traffic regulation offenses and three zoning problems. 

Village Housing Project update

A press release was sent out just prior to the evening’s meeting stating that a property on 6th Ave will be made available through a collaboration between the Village of Valemount and Northern Health. The hope is to ensure that essential workers can find suitable housing near their workplace helping improve staff retention and high quality healthcare for the community.

Village Staffing update

The building inspector will be employed by the Village for three days a week (up from two days)

Public Works is looking for a full-time employee. The job is currently listed as temporary full-time, but is expected to change to permanent full-time in August.

The hiring process for an individual to take on the role of Economic Development will begin in the fall, following the expected retirement of the current EDO.

Seasonal staff at the Museum and Visitor Centre will be finishing their contracts in early fall. Options for off-season work within the municipality are being explored at this time.

During the recent hiring for the Grant writer/clerk position, other members of the administrative team have taken on more communication responsibilities. A part-time position has also been created to provide additional coverage to the municipal services desk, lessening the workload for the members who have been covering these responsibilities.

Traffic and Transportation Committee houskeeping

Councillor Pete Pearson was appointed to the Select Committee on Traffic and Transportation

CAO Eric Depenau appointed as the representative for the administration Committee Terms and Conditions be amended as presented. Currently the village finds the wording is unintentionally rigid so staff has proposed a softening of the language.

99 Gorse Street lease agreement

Council approved the lease agreement between the Village of Valemount and Robson Valley Community Services for 99 Gorse Street. As of August 1st, RVCS will only require the first floor of the building. 

Valemount Lions Club Lane Lease

Council directed staff to renew the lease between the Village of Valemount and the Valemount Lions Club for the use of the lane located immediately behind 1100 Main Street for a period of 5 years at an annual fee of $1.

Development Variance Permit 23-01 

Council granted initial approval to proposed development variance permit 23-01 for 1145 Canoe View Place to increase the maximum height of an accessory building to 7.01m (23′). The applicant is proposing a 30’x30′ accessory building with 12′ walls and a total roof height of 23′.

Development Variance Permit 23-02 

Council granted initial approval to proposed development variance permit 23-02 for 1100 14th Ave to decrease the required minimum width of a principal building from 4.75 m to 4.27 m and to increase the maximum allowable age of a mobile home from 20 years to 28 years. The applicant is proposing the relocation of a mobile home from the Cranberry Mobile Home park to 1100 14th Ave.

Temporary Use Permit

Council granted initial approval to Temporary Use Permit 23-05 (a renewal of TUP 21-03) for 1945 Cranberry Place proposing a temporary residential structure for up to three years.

RVCS Fee waiver request

Council approved the lease for the second floor of the CSB at 99 Gorse Street proposing that Robson Valley  Community Services pay rental fees for August 2023 to cover overhead and advertising costs.

Council procedure amendment bylaw No. 878, 2023

Council gave third reading to Council Procedure Bylaw No. 834, 2020 Amendment Bylaw No 878, 2023 proposing changes to the regulations regarding electronic meeting attendance.  The proposed amendment will permit electronic attendance to all council and committee meetings  (including in”┬Écamera), so long as the conditions set out in the Community Charter are met.

Cemetery amendment bylaw No. 879,2023

Council moved to adopt Cemetery Bylaw No. 685, 2021 Amendment Bylaw No 879, 2023 proposing an increase in the number of memorial markers permitted on a burial plot as presented.

Mobile Home Park Regulation amendments

Following the public hearing at the beginning of the evening, Council gave the Village of Valemount Manufactured Home Park Regulations Bylaw 880, 2023 first and second readings.

Council also gave the Village of Valemount Zoning Bylaw No. 847, 2021 Amendment Bylaw No 881, 2023 first and second reading.

There were no public comments and with no in camera items were on the agenda, so the meeting was adjourned following Councillor reports.

Thank you to VCTV for providing recordings of Council meetings.