Council met on Monday, with a few of us taking refuge in City Hall to escape the heat, which was a good feeling for the worst reasons. The pandemic is appearing more and more to be in our rear-view, but we were brutally reminded that the Climate Crisis is still here, and not going away in our lifetimes. And we have work to do.
The first item on our fairly short Agenda was a report from our CAO:
2020 Annual Report Presentation
Its annual report time! And 2020 was unlike any other year, as much work shifted to COVID-19 response, but we still moved forward on many of our Strategic Plan goals. This is a testament to the professionalism of our staff, as they were able to pivot in so many areas, keep the vital services in the City running, while discovering new ways to be responsive to emergent needs, and make more happen with less as revenue challenges mounted. Highlights for me: we approved affordable housing and purpose built rental, we got the ground broken on a keystone piece of community infrastructure, we planted 800 new trees, and we made significant moves on Climate Action.
We then had two Development Variance Permits for consideration:
DVP00689 to Vary Driveway Width at 230 Princess Street
The owner of this home wants to build a Carriage House, but the current driveway accessing their back yard is 8 inches narrower than permitted. Moving the existing house 8 inches to the left seems unreasonable, so they would require a variance. We received on piece of correspondence that is somewhat peripheral to the actual request, and Council moved to approve the DVP.
DVP00667 to Vary Side Yard Projection at 416 Tenth Street
This house in the Brow of the Hill has a covered deck that extends a few feet into the neighbouring property, and apparently everyone agreed to this encroachment a few decades ago. Now the deck needs to be repaired/replaced, which will slightly decrease the encroachment, but we still need to permit the variance for the new construction occurring in the encroachment space. We received correspondence form the neighbour who is encroached, expressing support. Council moved to approve the DVP.
We had a single item moved On Consent
Q to Q Ferry Operations – Update
This is an update on QtoQ operations as they adapt to the post-COVID world. I was at the recent Queensborough Residents Association meeting where transportation was a major topic. There is still a lot of interest in a fixed active transportation crossing and anxiety about the future of the QtoQ on the Q’boro community. Council voted to support its operation through the last year despite low ridership in part because there are still residents that rely on the service, and in part because we want to demonstrate that an active transportation link between Port Royal and Quay is viable and valuable. If you like the QtoQ, or even if you are just a supporter of Active Transportation, take the ferry ride. Let’s prove his service by using it.
We then adopted the following Bylaws:
Housing Agreement (100 Braid Street) Bylaw No. 8221, 2021
The housing agreement that secures the rental tenure of the building under construction at 100 Braid Street was adopted by Council. Remember when LandlordBC said no-one would agree to new rental in New West if we passed renter protection Bylaws? Bullshit.
Parks and Recreation Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 8267, 2021
This Bylaw sets Parks and Recreation fees for next year at the same rate as they were last year.
Finally, we had one piece of New Business
Motion in Support of Motion M-84 Anti-Hate Crimes and Incidents and Private Member’s Bill C-313 Banning Symbols of Hate Act
On behalf of 71,000 residents of the City of New Westminster, Council approves
the Mayor sending a letter of endorsement of MP Peter Julian’s private member’s
motion, Motion M-84 Anti-Hate Crimes and Incidents and his private member’s
bill, Bill C-313 Banning Symbols of Hate Act.
And that was it until next month. Take care of each other, folks, stay cool and connected.