Council – April 4, 2016

Whattya think folks? Mayor Mary did a pretty good pinch-hit for His Worship, no?

It was fun handing out awards to kids for colouring contests, but before that Council moved the following items on Consent:

Resolution on the Massey Theatre
The City has been waiting, just as the community has, for an announcement that the Province is ready to step up and fund the replacement of NWSS. In the meantime, we have been working with the Province and the School Board to make the process and the path forward clearer.

It should be no surprise that the City has committed $10Million to the eventual refurbishment or replacement of the Massey Theatre, this has been part of our Strategic Goals for the term, and has been a line item in our Capital budget for some time. This Agreement in Principle, however, clarifies the roles of the School Board, the Province, and the City in the event that the School project moves ahead in the near future, and that keeping the Massey Theatre open and running is not part of the Province’s budget for the new school. This was never a cause of delay on the project, but by getting an agreement framework in place, we can assure the fate of the Massey is not a delay in the works to replace the school once the project starts rolling.

And we need a new school. If you agree, maybe you can do something about it if you have a bit of time on Sunday.

Brewery District Building 5 Housing Agreement – Principles
The current plan for the next residential building in the Brewery District development is to have secured market rental for a portion of the building. This agreement (the details of which Council approved in principle) secures those units as rental for the long-term.

Policy for Driving the Parade Float, Truck and Trailer
The City actually owns the parade float chassis, and the truck and trailer combination used to haul the float around. Through Partnership Grants, the City provides funds to the Hyack Festival Association to revamp and decorate the float every two years, and we provide the use of the truck and trailer as an in-kind grant to Hyack and any other local organization who would like to use it for their festival.

Up to no, we have not had an established policy about who can drive the City truck/trailer combination and float, as it has always been one of a very few Hyack volunteers. However, now that at least one other organization is using the float, it was thought appropriate to codify license, use, and practice policies to make sure we are doing our due diligence as far as use of the City asset and compliance with the City’ insurance requirements. In that sense, this isn’t a new policy, so much as a putting into a policy what has been the traditional practice.

Financial Plan 2016-2020
The 5-year Financial Plan must be passed as a Bylaw, and Council moved to approve three readings of the Bylaw, now that the public process has wrapped up.

2015 Filming Update
The City both has a new Filming Coordinator, and had a record year in filming revenue. The City collects permit fees and charges for Engineering Services, Police Services, and whatever the Film companies may need to operate on City lands. We collected more than $500,000 in revenue for 2015, not including money made by private landowners or the spin-off revenue of the industry (New Westminster residents were paid more than $8Million in wages working in the local film industry).

Official Name for the City of New Westminster’s Youth Facility
The Youth Centre at Moody Park has been remarkably successful since it opened in 2010. As a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, I see the use of the site, and hear the youth of the City talking about how much they appreciate the facility. However, it has never had an “official” name.

A focus group of youth were brought together to develop and decide upon an official name for the facility and decided on Boaty McBoatface.

Just Kidding! Our youth are more rational than the British Internet, and chose the relatively obvious “New West Youth Centre”. Sometimes the simplest names are the best, and this was chosen through a process that put the youth who are the user group in the front of the process, so I am happy to support it.

Council Remuneration 2016
Yes, we get paid. A decade ago, it was decided that the issue of Council pay should be put over to our HR department, and an empirical process developed by an external consultant used to determine how our pay should be compared to our cohort in other regional Cities. Our pay is compared to other municipalities similar n size (so, not Surrey, Vancouver or Richmond), and normalized relative to two measures of the “size” (and inferred Council responsibility) of each municipality: population and total budget. The only change to this process we made is that the analysis (and subsequent adjustment) is done every 4 years to match the new election cycle, instead of the previous every 3 years.

There will be a public process where people can come out and tell us much they appreciate the hard work we do. C’mon out on May 2 and let us know what you think. Should be fun.

805 Boyd Street: Rezoning
This commercial property in Queensborough Landing needs a rezoing in order to open one of those drive-up oil and lube places. This is something we don’t have a lot of in the City, and in the middle of the only real car-oriented retail area in the City is pretty much the most innocuous place to locate a business of this type. Council agreed to give the rezoning First and Second reading.

322 Sixth Avenue: DVP Application – Consideration of Issuance
This heritage home in Queens Park is located with relatively large setbacks on a corner lot, and the owner wished to install a new garage that will match the setback of their neighbor’s existing garage, which is nonetheless 1.5 feet closer to the lane that is permitted by the zoning allows. This requires a Development Variance Permit.

Council agreed to consider issuance, and there will be an Opportunity to be Heard at Council on April 25. C’mon out and tell us what you think.

Proposed Development Pre-Application Process
One of the things we are trying to do this term of Council is improve some of the internal processes for approving developments. Cities approach their regulatory requirements in different ways, and I hear that New West is one of the more onerous – we over-emphasize public engagement and internal committee approvals relative to most Cities. The more changes that need to be made in a plan to get past these hurdles, and the later in the process those changes are made, the more expensive and complicated those changes get.

This proposed change in our process will not remove those steps, but it will hopefully make it easier for proponents to bring plans to the City earlier in the process for review, at a lower initial costs, and to allow the proponent to make changes or adjustments earlier when it is cheapest to do so.

Council moved to give the two required Bylaw changes preliminary readings.

We also received a few pieces of Council Correspondence:

Ministry of Community, Sport and Culture and Minister Responsible for TransLink Letter Dated March 8, 2016 Regarding Uber and  similar ride-sharing Services
I really can’t comment on this much more than I already have.

The Corporation of Delta Letter Dated March 14, 2016 Regarding George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project
I really can’t comment on this much more than I already have .

Port Metro Vancouver Letter Dated March 16, 2016 Regarding Rental  Fees for Marina Owners on the Fraser River
Ugh. When will we get a review of the Port’s mandate?

88 Residents at Laguna Landing Regarding Q2Q Bridge: Petition to Change the Location and Concept
There is lots of upcoming public engagement on this project, but I really can’t say much more than I already have.

After the Heritage Poster contest, we had a report on a Public Art process for a Pump Station Replacement Project, then had an Opportunity to be Heard:

Development Variance Permit No. 00573 (Amendment #1) for 320
Salter Street

This was an Opportunity to be Heard for a Development Variance Permit for a market rental housing development in Queensborough. The Variance is required to vary the parking requirements, and that variance requires this opportunity to be heard. No one chose to exercise their right to speak, and no-one sent in any letters of opposition. Council moved to consider the development Permit for issuance.

We then had two Reports for Action:

Tax Exemption for Emergency Response Kits
Council move to support a recommendation from the Emergency Advisory Committee that we ask the LMLGA, UBCM and FCM to call on senior governments to remove PST/GST/HST from designated Emergency Preparedness Kits, to encourage people to buy them.

Day of Mourning Event April 28th, 2016 at Pier Park
The City will be hosting this important memorial event on April 28 at Pier Park.

We then did our usual Bylaws reading procedure:

Zoning Amendment (805 Boyd Street) Bylaw No. 7827, 2016
This Zoning Amendment discussed above was given two readings.

Development Services Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 7826, 2016
Development Approval Procedures Amendment Bylaw No. 7825, 2016

These Bylaws to support the changed development approval process discussed above were given three readings.

Financial Plan (2016-2020) Bylaw No. 7821, 2016
The Budget Bylaw was given three readings.

And that, aside from our usual delegations, was a night’s work.

One comment on “Council – April 4, 2016

  1. Glad to hear the development process is getting a look at. Seems odd lately with the boom of big development in places like Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, and even Richmond that New West hasn’t as much. I think it’s a shame more redevelopment besides plaza 88 hasn’t taken in the downtown area.
    There are a couple towers going up towards the other end but it would be nice if it was centred around New West Station more. Riversky is the only one I know of.

    Maybe this will spur some growth. Be nice if the area between 8, Agnes, and Carnarvon, got some work.

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