council stock photo
Village of Valemount office. /FILE PHOTO

By Abigail Popple, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG

Valemount Council heard from the new owners of property at Swift Creek, reviewed the Province’s new housing legislation, and discussed an exchange of property near Ash Street at the April 23rd regular meeting.

Before the meeting, Mayor Owen Torgerson called a public hearing to order at 7:00 p.m.

In March, Council gave initial approval to David Grant’s street vendor permit application for his food truck, the Funky Goat, at 1170 5th Avenue. Afterwards, adjacent property owners were notified of Grant’s application and residents were invited to provide feedback before the April 23rd public hearing.

The Village received one written submission with comments about the application, according to Village Planner Krista Etty. 

“I think it would be wonderful for [The Funky Goat] to be running as it gives people another place to eat, and it is just a cool place to go,” wrote the resident, who lives near the lot where the truck would operate. “This is my and my husband’s vote as an absolute ‘yes.'”

Attendees of public hearings have the opportunity to make verbal comments during the hearing. However, there were no verbal comments on Grant’s hearing. Council did not make any comments either, so Torgerson adjourned the hearing.

Torgerson then called the Council meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.


The meeting began with a delegation from the Valemount & Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA).

As the Goat reported in January, VARDA has purchased 1340 Main Street, where access to the Swift Creek Trail is located. In a delegation to Council, VARDA member Curtis Pawliuk announced the Association’s acquisition of the property.

“It’s something very special to the community at large,” Pawliuk said of the property. “We’d just like to open up conversation and communication on the property and know that we’re here to help […] We understand its importance to not just our recreation community, but also to our watershed.”

Torgerson congratulated the VARDA board and Pawliuk on the purchase. Pawliuk said acquiring the property was a big endeavor, and VARDA contributed a lot of its budget to purchasing the property.

“Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust, of course,” Pawliuk added. “It’s now 100 per cent locally-owned, which is pretty exciting.”

There was no discussion on Pawliuk’s delegation, so Council moved on to its reading file.


David Balkanyi, owner of Code Project Enterprise Ltd., presented information on the WindRing – a wind energy generator which has not yet been used in North America – to Council in February 2023 and again in March 2024. 

During his March presentation, Balkanyi said he would like Valemount to install a test WindRing, but was unable to provide a specific cost.

Balkanyi has now determined the cost of installation for a WindRing unit in Valemount – $180,000 – which he told Council in an April 3rd letter. However, if Council chose to install a WindRing and it proved successful, the Village would be obligated to purchase three more units from the WindRing manufacturer. 

The Goat reached out to Balkanyi to clarify how success would be measured, but did not receive a response by presstime.

Balkanyi believes the potential added cost of three units could be at least partially covered by grant funding, he said in his letter to Council.

Councillor Pete Pearson said he appreciates the additional information in Balkanyi’s letter, and looks forward to exploring potential grants in the future.

Regional Agricultural Strategy

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George adopted its first-ever agriculture strategy in February 2023. The plan outlines strategies to support food and agriculture systems in the District. The Regional District invited Valemount’s Mayor and Council to meet and discuss the goals of the strategy to determine how the Village and District can work together to achieve them.

Torgerson said he will arrange a Committee of the Whole meeting with District representatives later in the spring.

New Provincial Housing Legislation

Staff prepared a report on the Province’s new housing legislation, which changes the way local governments must regulate short-term rentals, residential development, development financing, and transit-oriented areas.

To implement the new legislation, staff outlined five action items: by June 30th, staff will review the Village Zoning Bylaw to ensure it is in compliance with new Provincial guidelines for secondary suites and accessory dwelling units. To reflect the public hearing changes in the Local Government Act, staff have begun reviewing the Village’s Development Procedures and will propose updates to Council soon. By the end of the year, staff will update the Village’s Housing Needs Report, review and update the Official Community Plans according to this report. Finally, the report and Official Community Plans will be used to amend the Village’s Zoning Bylaw.

As the report was given for information only, Council did not make a motion regarding these suggestions.

Council Remuneration Review Panel

In its Council and Board Remuneration Guide, the Union of BC Municipalities recommends evaluating council remuneration once per term. The Guide recommends forming an independent task force, composed of community members who are not current Council members. With assistance from government staff, the task force sets base amounts of pay for elected officials.

Because Council elections are occurring in 2026, Village staff recommended that the remuneration review happen in 2025 to increase citizen engagement before the electoral process.

Council unanimously approved a motion to review Council remuneration in 2025.

Soccer Team Grant

The Valemount Bear Cubs soccer organization is using the Valemount Secondary School field twice a week from April 23rd to June 13th. The Cubs requested a $368 grant to cover insurance and rent for this period.

Councillor Hollie Blanchette asked why insurance would not be covered by the school, since the field is on school property. Torgerson said according to the school’s Community Use Agreement with the Village, school insurance would not cover after-hours use of the field. 

The motion to approve the grant request passed unanimously.

Ash Street Development

Shirley Sander of Mica Land Development is working to establish a Manufactured Home Park at 202 Ash Street. The lot is adjacent to Dogwood Street, which is unpaved. Under Valemount’s Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, developers of land adjacent to undeveloped roads are responsible for paving those roads. Village Policy number 42 also requires developers to pave undeveloped roads adjacent to a property.

In her Subdivision Application, Sander applied for a variance to this requirement. According to Sander, the Village requested a five metre roadway allowance for paving, which reduces the landmass of the lot by about three acres.

“This is a significant reduction of the property, and because of this we are requesting an exemption of the requirement to pave Dogwood Street,” Sander’s application reads.

“What would be required to be paved under this [bylaw] is rather prohibitive,” said Councillor Pete Pearson. “But my, it would be nice to have some asphalt on Dogwood.”

Councillor Hugo Mulyk said he agreed. Torgerson said if the Village agreed to waive the paving requirement, the Village would receive the road from Elm Street to Ash Street, which could be designated as 13th Avenue.

Council unanimously passed two motions: one to give preliminary approval of Sander’s application to vary the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, and one to waive Policy number 42, which also requires paving undeveloped roads around a property. 

CAO Anne Yanciw told the Goat in a follow-up email that preliminary approval is the first step in Council’s decisionmaking process for development variance permits, so the deal is not yet finalized. 

Soon, the Village will send letters to residents of surrounding properties seeking feedback, Yanciw said. This feedback will be incorporated in a report which Council will review before deciding whether to approve waiving the paving requirement.

Funky Goat Permit

Council gave final approval to Grant’s application for The Funky Goat to operate at 1170 5th Avenue for another three years.

Five-Year Financial Plan

Each year, the Village submits a financial plan for the current fiscal year and the following four fiscal years to the Province in accordance with the Local Government Act. Council gave first and second readings to the plan on March 26th.

The public comment period for the plan closed on April 18th. According to the staff report on the plan, the Village did not receive any public comments by this deadline.

Council approved the third reading of the plan.

Tax Rate Bylaw

In accordance with the Community Charter, Council must annually pass a bylaw establishing the tax rates upon which property taxes are based. Because Valemount collects taxes for the Regional District and Fraser-Fort George Hospital as well as general municipal taxes, the bylaw includes rates for all three taxing authorities. 

To calculate the amount they owe in property taxes, property owners multiply tax rates with the value of their property, which is determined by BC Assessment each year. Property tax rates for residential units are rising to about 2.81 at the municipal level, up from last year’s 2.58. The Hospital is also increasing its rates slightly. Rates from the Regional District are decreasing slightly, from 1.89 to 1.83.

Public Notice Bylaw

As previously covered in the Goat, the Village is preparing to adopt a Public Notice Bylaw. To comply with provincial legislation, local governments must have two methods of notice listed in their Public Notice Bylaw. A Bylaw draft has not yet been presented to Council, so it is unclear which methods of notice Valemount will be using.

Methods of notice are distinct from Public Notice Posting Places, according to the Province’s Public Notice Guidance Materials for local governments. A website or location listed as a posting place cannot also count as a method of notice.

Prior to this meeting, the Council Procedure Bylaw listed the village website as a public notice posting place, meaning the website could not count as a method of notice. Staff recommended amending the bylaw to remove the village website from its definition of public notice posting places, so it can be named as a method of notice in the forthcoming Public Notice Bylaw.

Staff also suggested an amendment to the procedure bylaw which will move “New Business” ahead of the Reading File and Correspondence for Action in future council meeting agendas.

Council unanimously approved adopting the amendment.

Building Bylaw

Council moved to adopt an updated building bylaw, which brings the bylaw up-to-date with current provincial building codes. The bylaw received first and second reading at the March 26th Council meeting, and third reading at the April 9th reading.

Dispute Adjudication Bylaw

If a person disputes a bylaw violation notice and is unsuccessful in their dispute, they must pay the Village a fee to cover part of the costs of the dispute adjudication system according to the Bylaw Notice Enforcement and Dispute Adjudication Bylaw.

Staff drafted an updated bylaw to reflect the fines issued by the Regional District for building bylaw contraventions.

Council approved the amended bylaw.

Fees and Charges Bylaw

The Fees and Charges Bylaw establishes fees for permits, inspections, and other costs associated with buildings in line with the Village’s Building Bylaw. Staff drafted an updated bylaw to bring these costs in line with what the Regional District charges for inspections and permits.

Council approved the amended bylaw.

Public Comment 

One attendee, Junior Osadchuk, made a public comment. Osadchuk lives near the Ash Street lot, and said conditions on the roads adjacent to the lot are very poor.

“Hopefully you guys aren’t letting [the developers] off the hook here,” Osadchuk said. “But it sounds like maybe you are.”

Torgerson said he believes waiving the pavement requirement in exchange for Village acquisition of future 13th Avenue – which would be accessed via Ash Street and Dogwood Street- is a worthwhile trade.

“I’m not happy about it, and I bet you that whole strip down there’s not happy about it,” Osadchuk said.

Osadchuk added that he knows one other resident who has been vocal about her disapproval of leaving Dogwood street unpaved.

Torgerson thanked Osadchuk for his comment.

In a follow-up call with the Goat, Osadchuk said he was told by Yanciw that the Village’s deal with the developers is not yet set in stone, and he will have further opportunity to make public comments.


At 7:26 p.m., Torgerson adjourned the open session of Council to move to an in-camera session. Pursuant to Section 90 (1)(d) of the Community Charter, Council held an in-camera session to discuss matters related to the security of the property of the municipality.