Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Council Summary -- March 16, 2015

With thanks to the North Saanich Residents Association.

The North Saanich Residents Association offer these Council summaries as a service to our members.  We have attempted to be as accurate as possible, but recognize that our interpretation of Council discussions may not be quite as the speakers intended.  We encourage residents to consult District webcasts for the most accurate information and/or members of Council for clarification and details, and will correct any significant errors that are brought to our attention.

Remarks by Councillors may have been paraphrased for brevity and ease of transcription.

·      Mayor Finall chairing, Coun. Stock on vacation.   5 people in audience.
·      Mr. Buchan, CAO, on vacation ~ Mr. Curt Kingsley filling role of acting CAO.
·      Mr. Luke Mari acting as Director of Planning

Public Participation – none

Petitions and Delegations

Mr. Brad Edgett, Executive Director of the Mary Winspear Centre, gave a brief presentation.  The centre is now in its 14th year. Pointing out the social benefits it provides, he noted that last year Mary Winspear had about 200,000 visitors who spent roughly $7.3 million. 

Mr. Edgett is now working to create a facility restoration plan and over the next 15 years $2.8 million will be required to make capital improvements, $382,000 of which will be for roof work.  As the building is depreciating at a rate of $101,000 annually, he wants to start building a Capital Reserve Fund that would be borne in part by the three local municipalities.  North Saanich contributes $100,000 annually to the Centre and Mr. Edgett is asking the district to contribute $25,380 more to this Capital Reserve Fund. (Sidney has already promised that much but Central Saanich has declined.) He listed some of the ways in which the Centre gives back to the community and hoped that NS would continue to invest in Arts and Culture on the Peninsula.
In answer to a question from Mayor Finall, Mr. Edgett said that NS’s funding to the Centre had been steadily increasing over the past few years by about 2% each year. He then stated that the basis of the calculation of the Capital Reserve Fund is the amount of depreciation, and responding to Coun. Thornburgh said that the calculation of depreciation has more to do with accounting than with construction costs.

The motion to receive the presentation carried unanimously.

Staff Reports

Update:  Provincial Liquor Licensing Branch Application for Structural Change for Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club.

Mayor Finall noted that the Liquor Control Branch seems to be wanting more.

The Staff recommendation that the District opt out of the process for this particular application carried unanimously.

Business License Process
A report from Staff was presented to inform Council how the District of North Saanich processes business license applications. Processes from Sidney, Central Saanich and Saanich were included for comparison. Proposed changes will streamline the home occupation business license approval process which comprise approximately 50% of applications received.

Coun. Orr gave his opinion that this was a good initiative.

The Staff recommendation that Council receive as information the revised Business Licence Application process carried unanimously.

COW Report for March 9, 2015
 Bayfield McMicken Rezoning and Development Permit Application
(This was discussed and voted on at last week’s COW, and tonight comes before the regular Council Meeting.)

Coun. McClintock made the following comments.
·      He had thought a lot about, and reviewed, last week’s discussion
·      He had door-knocked around the Bayfield McMicken neighbourhood
·      He did not get a feeling from those conversations that there was overwhelming objection to the proposal
·      He heard a balance of opinion
·      He heard that some development would be a benefit to the District,
·      He heard that the residents were not in favour of a density of 42 units.
·      That he wanted to hear more from the residents before voting to deny the Application.

Coun. Gartshore stated that she was still in favour of deferral, and would vote against the motion to deny the application.

The motion to deny the Application carried, with Coun. Gartshore and Coun. McClintock opposing.

Council Liaison Reports

 Council received written reports from Coun. Thornburgh re:
·      CREST meeting Feb. 18th
·      Saanich Peninsula Water Commission meeting Feb. 19th
·      Saanich Peninsula Waste Water Commission meeting Feb. 19th

Coun. Gartshore provided a summary of the Peninsula Recreation Commission meeting Feb. 26th and noted that the Arena is a finalist for the Kraft Hockeyville Event.

CRD Report

Mayor Finall summarized the results of an all day meeting on March 11th the focus of which was the development of the 2017-18 strategic plan. Twelve main topics emerged:
·      Climate change
·      Greenhouse gas reduction and climate adaptation
·      Integrated waste management (incl. composting and dealing with biosolids)
·      Active and multi-modal transportation
·      Agricultural land and food security (incl. the protection of rural municipalities)
·      Aging population and changing demographics
·      First Nations
·      Governance structure and processes
·      Public communication and participation
·      Housing (incl. Regional land use planning and rural integrity)
·      Bio diversity and economic health (ecosystem mapping)
·      Arts and culture  

Mayor Finall then noted that we are the only area in the region that treats its sewage, and that as we have an increasing amount of biosolids that we need to deal with, without putting them onto land, we may have to look at gasification.

Budget Report from March 5th

 Several initiatives were voted on:
a) Water Operating Budget – that the subsidiary rate for agricultural users be increased by 0%

Motion carried unanimously.
 b) CR FAIR Services Proposal
 (CR-FAIR is an organization that promotes food security and agricultural sustainability in the CRD and they made a presentation to Council on February 2nd, 2015 which were summarized in the NSRA summary)

Motion that Council support the following CRFAIR services:
        1) The District Plans update and monitor system for $5000-$6000;
        2) Sandown Public Consultation Process for $25,000; and
        3) District Agriculture Lands Management Model for $4,500.

Mr. Kingsley stated that he didn’t think the land title for Sandown has yet been registered (ie. that NS is not yet in possession of that part of the Sandown lands promised it).

Coun. McClintock stated his opinion that as actual development on Sandown may be a few years out, spending money on consultation now would be premature; and that he would not support Item 2.

 Coun. Thornburgh asked him if he was against Item 2 in principle, or just for the time being.

Coun. McClintock – I think we might revisit this in a year or so, if more has happened.
Coun. Weisenberger asked what steps needed to be taken for NS to receive title, and how long that might take.

Mr. Kingsley admitted that he didn’t know, but would check.
Mr. Mari added that some elements have to be satisfied, and pointed out that what Council was discussing now was not the commercial component of the Sandown lands, (those  have already been satisfied),  but the District’s portion. He echoed Mr. Kingsley, saying that he didn’t have an estimated completion date but would check into it.

Coun. Orr asked where the funding (the $25,000.) was coming from, and was told by Ms. Flynn that it would be coming out of a prior year surplus.  

Coun. Orr agreed with Coun. McClintock on the timing, that perhaps Council could bring this up again at the next Budget discussions, and that he didn’t want to defeat all three items because of Item 2.
Mayor Finall gave her views: that
·      CRFAIR is very experienced and knowledgeable and would be a great asset to NS in putting in place a public process on Sandown
·      Consultation would be on any number of land uses
·      This is the agricultural land we’re talking about, not the commercial
·      Processes would take some time, not just a few months
·      The owner has time constraints, and that the timing of this funding is not premature.

Coun. Weisenberger suggested tabling Item 2 until there is more information from Staff.

Ms. Flynn proposed that as the funding is from a surplus Council could revisit it in April.

Mayor Finall recommended referring the whole motion (all 3 Items) to staff until the next Budget meeting.

Motion carried unanimously.

c) Emergency Planning

Motion: That Council establish a snow and ice removal reserve for $25,000

Motion carried unanimously.

d) Property Tax Increase

Motion: That Council approve a property tax increase of 2.9%

Coun. McClintock stated that he had already expressed his views and concerns at the Budget meeting, and that he would not support
Motion carried, with Coun. McClintock and Coun. Orr opposed

e) Motion:  That the water parcel tax be increased by 0%
     Motion carried unanimously.

f) Motion: That Basic water rate of 1.427% be approved
     Motion carried unanimously.

g) That the South East Quadrant sewer parcel tax rate of $560.50 be approved
       Motion carried unanimously.

h) That the Deep Cove/Pat Bay/McDonald Park sewer parcel tax of $1201.95 be approved       Motion carried unanimously.

i) That the sewer user fee for single family dwellings be increased by .81%
   Motion carried unanimously.

j) That the sewer user fee for multi-family dwellings be increased by .81%
   Motion carried unanimously



A discussion of an amendment at second reading to the NS Development Application Procedures Bylaw prompted a long exchange, mostly on the subject of the Performance Security Bond.

Coun. McClintock queried the basis for NS’s rate of 125%.

Mr. Mari answered that all the municipalities in the Region require Performance Security, with the CRD highest at 150% and Langford the lowest at 100%.

Coun. McClintock then questioned the amount of discretion assigned to the Director to determine satisfactory completion of a project, stating his preference that criteria should be clearly spelled out in legislation.

Mr. Mari replied that Staff had reviewed other municipalities’ bylaws, that it was advised by legal Counsel to allow for some flexibility in the bylaw wording; that an itemized list of criteria to be satisfied could be included in a guide given to applicants at the beginning of the process, but that such a list should not be written into a bylaw.  

Coun. McClintock wondered if there had been any consideration of setting a maximum amount on the Performance Security and if it would be feasible to waive the requirement of a qualified professional.

Mr. Mari noted that this landscaping deposit is typically applied to larger projects where a qualified professional is already involved; that the intention is certainly not to require a homeowner to hire a qualified professional just to satisfy Staff  - such a person would likely already be there.

In response to a question from Coun. Orr, Mr. Mari then pointed out that in cases where there was deemed to be potential for extensive damage, Staff would require Performance Security.

The motion to amend the Bylaw at second reading carried, with Coun. McClintock opposing.

Bylaws 1340 (to amend at second reading); 1390 (sewer service to 3 NS lots); and 1387 (Board of Variance, three readings)  - all carried unanimously.

Public Boat Launch at Pat Bay

At last week’s COW Geoff Dickson of the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) indicated that it was highly unlikely that the VAA would support a boat launch at the Seaplane Base. In light of this –

Coun. McClintock sympathized with Mr. Dickson’s concerns, particularly around safety; and recognized the need for a public boat launch.

Coun. Orr, stated that there aren’t many or even any viable sites, that Pat Bay is the most suitable, though he recognized its drawbacks. His information is that the Peninsula Marine Access Group (MAG) would like to make a presentation to Council incorporating the comments of Mr. Dickson and giving its own perspective. He moved that Council make an invitation to the MAG to do so, ideally at the April 13th COW, and defer any decision on strategy until after that date.

This motion carried unanimously.

Regional Sustainability Strategy

Mayor Finall requested consideration of the following motion:
 That Council request the CRD planning staff to co-host a public meeting with the District of NS and the NS Residents Association (or alternate community group) to review and discuss the draft Regional Sustainability Strategy in April if possible.

This public meeting would likely be the NSRA’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for late April.

Coun. Gartshore, though in favour of the initiative, wondered if the deadlines for public and Council feedback had already passed.

Mayor Finall thought that the CRD would continue to accept feedback throughout the RSS process. She stated that this meeting would be mostly informational, and referring to the election results, asserted that the RSS is of considerable importance to this Community.
Coun. Thornburgh was of the opinion that no matter the status of the draft RSS at the time of the meeting, for the purposes of clarity a power point presentation would be very helpful.

Coun. McClintock gave his support, asking that advertising go out to the whole community.

Mayor Finall concurred.

Coun. Weisenberger  wondered if all the District rate payers’ associations could be alerted.

Mayor Finall – Yes, we’ll alert everybody.

The motion carried unanimously.

 Coun. Orr then gave the news that Central Saanich Council was tonight discussing amalgamation.

Mayor Finall related that she has had a conversation with CS Mayor Windsor about funding for an amalgamation study.           

After accepting some correspondence, Council adjourned and went In Camera.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45.


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