Monday, 23 March 2015

Special Council Meeting Summary -- March 23, 2015

With thanks to the North Saanich Residents Association

We 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
·      11 people in audience
·      Mr. Buchan on vacation, Mr. Curt Kingsley filling role of acting CAO.

Public Hearing regarding Bylaw 1369.
(This would amend Zoning Bylaw 1255 and allow the allotments on Towner Park Rd. to be treated as individual lots.)

Dwight Davies (677 Towner Park Rd.) president of the Towner Bay Country Club, spoke on the history of the neighbourhood and on the process of amending bylaw 1255. He remarked on the interactions with Mr. Buchan and Staff, characterizing them as excellent and very cooperative, and expressed his appreciation for their work throughout the process.

Public Participation   
John Kafka, spoke on the  CR-FAIR proposal for community consultation on Sandown that was discussed at last week’s meeting. He agreed that public consultation was important and thought that $25,000 is probably a figure which would allow for a robust consultation process. He added that he had no doubts as to CR-FAIR’s competency but asked for greater clarification on the proposed consultation activities noting that NS residents have not always perceived “community consultation” as a positive process. 

He suggested that if Council and the consultants were asking the community to contribute in a meaningful and respective way that the following two pre-requisites should be considered:

1.    The community needs to be aware of and understand the consultants approach, process and activities for community engagement; and
2.    Before proceeding, the community should be afforded an opportunity to review the community consultation approach/process proposed by the consultants.    

He also asked about the District’s policy on sole-sourcing.

Mayor Finall requested that Mr. Kafka submit a letter to Council on the matters he has raised.

Colin Ross, referring to the letter he received concerning secondary suites in Dean Park, asked if the letter was sent to everyone in Dean Park, or just the Dean Park Estates Community Association.

Mayor Finall: Responded that it was sent to everyone.

Quoting the letter, that “these changes are at the municipal zoning level only”, Mr. Ross asked what that meant.

Mayor Finall: Responded that the zoning bylaw does not invalidate the building schemes.

Mr. Mari here noted that through the zoning bylaw under discussion the secondary suite policy would now apply to all residential zones in NS – R1, R2, and R3. The intention is to eliminate the current map and go to a text based secondary suites policy, in which zones that are R1 and R2, including Dean Park and other areas, would be allowed to have secondary suites.

Mayor Finall reiterated that the zoning bylaw does not invalidate the building schemes,  that they will be just as effective as before this bylaw change. 

Amended Council External Appointments

Mayor Finall identified the changes in the District’s commission structure and the consequent need to change the appointments. 

(These changes can be found in bold in Items 6 and 7 of the agenda for March 23rd that is available on the District’s website.)

Coun. McClintock stated that he was looking forward to serving as a liaison to First Nations. He credited Coun. Orr’s significant outreach and connection to Tseycum Chief Jacks, and stated his desire to work collaboratively with Coun. Orr on this appointment. (It should be noted here that Coun. McClintocks’s alternate on the two commissions directly involving First Nations will be Coun.  Stock.)

Coun. Gartshore asked if Coun. McClintock was suggesting that there would be two liaisons there.

Coun. McClintock: Yes, not to split up the appointment, but to work collaboratively.

Mayor Finall stated her concerns that this would in fact split the role; and that Coun. Stock has a lot of experience in this area whereas Coun. Orr has indicated in the past that he didn’t have a strong interest in acting as liaison.

Coun. Stock ‘s stated that her feeling is that local First Nations would rather be working Nation to Nation with a higher level of government than the municipal.

Coun. Weisenberger agreed with Coun. McClintock’s thinking on this, declaring his preference for establishing relationships first, and then figuring out the District’s role.

Coun. Orr talked about the importance of engagement on a personal level with the community that’s in our midst, and discerning our mutual needs and expectations that way.

Coun. McClintock: If we do nothing more in the first year than to achieve trust and respect for one another, then we will have accomplished a lot. The agenda can come second.

Coun. Stock agreed with those statements, but highlighted the difference between reaching out to First Nations as a private citizen and as a Councillor representing the Municipal government. She thought there needed to be some awareness of what the relationship was building towards.

Coun. Orr appreciated these comments, and stated that whether Council delays a discussion of the First Nations liaison appointments or not, whoever ends up in the role will take direction from Council.

Coun. Thornburgh thought that it would be a good idea to defer this discussion for a few weeks until there is more clarity about the role itself.

Coun. McClintock:  I would like to suggest that we look at the successes of the past.  If we measure things by successes, then I don’t think great strides have been made in the past.  I think this is an initiative that we should move forward on.

Mayor Finall:  I suggest we deal with the other appointments separately from the First Nations appointment.

A Motion to do so carried, and the Motion to confirm the appointments for all external and internal roles (other than for the First Nations commissions) carried.

Coun. McClintock moved the appointments of Coun. McClintock and Orr as liaisons to Pauquachin and Tseycum respectively, with Coun. Stock as alternate.

(The original appointment was that Coun. McClintock would be the sole liaison and that Coun. Stock would be the alternate.)

Mayor Finall: Commented that regarding the lack of success in the past:  sometimes these types of relationship-building are affected by personalities involved.  Also, I think that this splitting up of responsibilities by First Nation may cause confusion.

Coun. Stock:  I don’t approve this but it has nothing to do with my previous professional experience, it’s just for the other reasons already stated.

 Coun. Gartshore: I don’t think this is about expectations, objectives or goals, it’s really about who is going to be in this role. 

Coun. McClintock’s Motion carried, with Mayor Finall, Coun. Thornburgh and Coun. Stock opposed.

Staff Reports

Bylaw 1391 (Proposed Amendment to Streets and Traffic Bylaw 1261) 

Coun. Orr:  It is not clear from the report what impact this will have, as it appears to open up parking on non-landscaped boulevards throughout the District. I would draw attention to a letter writer opposed to that. I’d like more information.

Mr. O’Reilly:  This is basically going back to how we used to regulate parking on grassed boulevards.  In practice we haven’t had a lot of complaints, but the ones we’ve had have been about parking on grassed, or landscaped, boulevards. The letter writer referenced by Coun. Orr was opposed to parking on grassed boulevards and staff feel that the amendment before Council tonight reflects that concern. As for allowing parking on graveled or hard-surfaced boulevards, that shouldn’t be a problem, unless traffic becomes an issue. In those cases the District could post No Parking signs for reasons of traffic control

The Motion to proceed with Bylaw 1391 carried, with Coun. Orr opposed.

Towner Bay area:  Zoning Bylaw 1255:
Passed third and final readings unanimously.

(Coun. Gartshore  suggested that the appreciation expressed by the resident be passed on to all the staff who worked on this.)

North Saanich Board of Variance no. 1387: 
Motion carried unanimously.

Streets and Traffic Regulation Amendment bylaw 1391 (see above)
3 readings:  carried with Coun. Orr opposed each time.


·      Letter rom W. Brown, re: the development of a Wellness Center on Willingdon Rd. whose clients would be people suffering from neurological difficulties.

Mr. Mari: This is in reference to two plots of land, currently Saanich Presbyterian Church property, that are just south of Canora Mews. The proposal would require a subdivision dependent on rezoning, as the north parcel does not meet the minimum lot requirements for a P2 zone.

Mr. Brodrick: This is in that area under scrutiny with bylaw 1352.  Also there is the issue of the interim policy re Bylaw 1352 regarding this area.

In response to Mayor Finall’s comments about needing more information, and help from Staff,
Coun. Weisenberger  moved to refer to Staff.

Mr. Mari:  We’ve had preliminary discussions with the church, and they are open to selling.  We’ve also discussed things with the letter writer.

Coun. Stock:  We can’t make a decision right now.  Also, since there is a medical component to this, not only in terms of equipment, should or would VIHA be involved?

Coun. Gartshore:  re:  interim policy:  I don’t believe we approved an interim policy yet, and this is an example of why we need one.  My understanding is that a version of the proposed Wellness Center is now operating out of Greenglade School, on a drop-in basis; that today there was such a large turnout that everyone could not be accommodated; and that VIHA is definitely not involved in the Greenglade program right now.

Mayor Finall:  Since this seems to be a program where people with similar issues gather, does this need to be rezoned for that, or can they continue as they are?

Mr. Mari:  We haven’t determined if this is a commercial operation or public use.
If commercial, it would potentially require a commercial zoning. If public-use, the existing zoning would be adequate to accommodate it.

Mr. Kingsley:  From a Staff point of view, we wondered if Council would want more information before making a recommendation.

Mayor Finall:  Council has in the past done site-specific zoning (eg. the veterinary clinic on McTavish Rd. about 5 or 6 years ago).  We hadn’t done that before. Perhaps site-specific zoning would work in this instance. I certainly see the reasonableness of referring this back to staff.

Coun. Orr:  Yes, and let’s be specific so we get back what we are looking for. 

Mayor Finall: We can refer this back to staff to cover these kinds of details, but from my experience it is possible to do site-specific zoning without having density zoning in place.

Coun. McClintock:  I certainly support this but would like more information and details.

The Motion to refer to Staff carried unanimously.

·      Letter re Hockeyville received

Mr. Kingsley:  We have sent a letter to the Peninsula Recreation Commission thanking them for their efforts.

On Coun. Orr’s suggestion, a special file would be created for letters pertaining to Bylaw 1352, and the letters from H. Edwards and H. Horie re: Housing would be added to it.

·      Letter from D. Clark, Chair of Farmlands Trust, re:  Sandown Consultation and interest to be part of the process.  

Mayor Finall:  In the early days of Sandown in 2010/2011 we had quite a voluminous file of letters regarding Sandown.  I think we should add this to it.

A Motion to do so carried unanimously.

Letter from S. Robinson, MLA Coquitlam-Maillardville  (Opposition Spokesperson for Local Government and Sport regarding her concerns on the productivity of the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG). 

Coun. Orr:  Province has spent $5 million with very little output and now we’ve removed that person. I’d like to send a letter expressing concern about the use of funds for something that has gone off the rails.

Coun. Weisenberger:  I believe there is no value to the office of AGLG; that it’s a waste of time, it’s unnecessary, and we should communicate that to the Province.

Coun. Stock:  This is a provincial issue and a  human resources issue.  We need to tread carefully.I think we should query the creation of this position, rather than question the person.

Coun. McClintock:  I agree with Coun. Stock.  We might be stepping outside of our mandate to wade into something that the provincial government should sort out.

Coun. Stock:  Perhaps this could be a UBCM resolution. I’d like to move that we bring this up again at UBCM.

Coun. Orr:  Why can’t we or why shouldn’t we indicate to the province that we have concerns?  I think we do have an obligation if we think this is wrong. It is a municipal issue and I think we should be careful not to avoid saying something if we have something to say.

Coun. McClintock: I am supporting neither the Government nor the Opposition on this, but I worry that  we are feeding into this MLA’s own personal agenda.

Coun. Weisenberger:  I think we should stick with practical things. I would rather send a letter expressing our wishes that the office be eliminated. Its creation was a political move, and the practical thing would be to eliminate the office.

Mayor Finall:  This office came into being a couple of years ago, against considerable opposition.  The promise was there would be 18 local governments reviewed, but there were only two, I believe, and they were not productive reviews.  I met with the Premier just before this was brought in and I asked what the purpose was, and it seemed clear that it was done for reasons other than concern about how municipalities were managing their affairs.  I don’t think sending a letter is a personal vendetta.  It’s appropriate since this is the opposition critic who has sent the letter.

Coun. Orr: I would like to make a motion that we communicate with the province, and express our concern about the office of the municipal auditor.

This Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Finall:  What about a further motion that this go to the UBCM?

Coun. Stock: I move that we resolve to bring a resolution to the fall 2015 UBCM regarding the establishment of the auditor general for local government, questioning its utility and whether or not it should be abolished.

Mr. Kingsley:  Are you looking to have the UBCM resolution propose the abolishment of the office?
 (The answer from Coun. Stock was inaudible.)

Coun. Stock’s Motion carried unanimously.

Rise and Report

Appointments to NS Community Planning Commission and NS Community Stewardship Commission.

For the NS Community Planning Commission:
·      E. Djukastein
·      I.  Fancey
·      T. Gore
·      B. Greene
·      S. Harrison
·      J. Kingham
·      S.Pearce
·      C. Rintoul
·      T. Rolph
·      B. Smyth
·      M. Soellner
·      B. Tutt
·      I.  Wight

For the NS Community Stewardship Commission:

·      R. Bailey
·      L. Black
·      Burgoyne
·      R. Deacon
·      W. du Temple
·      L. Grant
·      D. Hartshorne
·      R. Imrie
·      F. Mailhot
·      J. Plant
·      W. Schiewe
·      N. Silzer
·      J. Thorp

The Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

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