#1 – Zoning Bylaw Amendment Moving Forward
➢ A public hearing was held during the November 13th Regular Council meeting to give the public an opportunity to provide input on proposed Zoning Bylaw No. 1750, Amendment Bylaw No. 79, 2007. The draft bylaw proposes to rezone the lot at 461 – 9th Avenue from R1-Single Family Residential to R2- Duplex Residential. There is an existing duplex on the lot but the R1 zone does not permit this use.
Consequently, the change to R2 would legalize the existing duplex. No comments or submissions were received from the public. Council read the Bylaw a third time and referred it to the Ministry of Transportation for comment and approval. After Ministry approval, the Bylaw will come before Council for consideration of adoption.
#2 – Development Variance Permit Approved
➢ After fulfilling notice requirements, Council approved Development Variance Permit (DVP) #175. The Permit applies to the residence at 192 – 2nd Avenue and will allow the applicant to construct a 6.7 metre by 7.3 metre detached carport on the north side of an existing single detached dwelling.
The DVP varies the minimum side yard setback in the Zoning Bylaw from 4.5 metres to 1.5 metres and the projection of the eave for the structure into the minimum 4.5 metre side yard setback from 1.0 metre to 3.7 metres. No comments or submissions from the public were received.
#3 – Solid Waste Transfer Station Issue Clarified
➢ Council confirmed the City’s commitment to helping the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) find a solution to the longstanding issue of identifying a suitable location for a new regional solid waster transfer station for Fernie and area. Under provincial legislation, the management of solid waste facilities and programs is a Regional District responsibility.
Additionally, Council agreed to ask the RDEK why it appears to insist that a sub-regional transfer station must be located within City boundaries when the RDEK’s Regional Solid Waste Management Plan says that one will be located in or near Fernie. Once established, a new transfer station will serve residents of the City of Fernie as well as residents from surrounding rural areas.
Council’s resolution also directs the City to advise the RDEK that the City of Fernie is not prepared to pay the costs of commissioning and decommissioning a temporary solid waste transfer station as the RDEK Board has resolved it should, as legal and financial responsibility for solid waste management lies squarely with the Regional District.
#4 –Funds Approved for Coal Discovery Trail
➢ Council approved submission of an application for a $5000 grant from the Union of British Columbia’s (UBCM) Community Tourism Program to be used toward promoting and improving the Coal Discovery Trail between Fernie and Sparwood. The District of Sparwood is spearheading the project which would promote and improve the trail through the creation of detailed maps, improved signage and limited trail surface enhancements. The project would create many benefits including healthier, more active communities, increased appreciation for the environment, wildlife, human history and responsible industry stewardship, and increased tourism visitation and revenues.
If it proceeds, the $30,000 project would be funded by grant monies awarded to Sparwood, Fernie, the RDEK and through the sale of advertisements.
#5 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan Proceeds
➢ Council authorized Wildsight to utilize $2000 of funding from the Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiative fund to complete a comprehensive municipal vehicle emissions inventory. Council also authorized Wildsight to utilize $15,000 obtained from the Community Action on Energy and Efficiency program to complete the first three milestones that Council earlier agreed to aim for through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection Program.
The three milestones are to create a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast, to set an emissions reduction target and to develop a local action plan. Once the work has been completed, the result will be the creation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan for the municipality and the community at large.
#6 – Council Denies Request to Waive 10% Tax Penalty
➢ In a letter to Mayor and Council the Controller of a local business asked Council to consider reversing the 10% penalty imposed for late payment of 2007 property taxes. The Controller describes how an untimely health emergency disrupted her plans to pay the tax bill on the final due date. Council denied the applicant’s request.
While it was acknowledged that her circumstances were unfortunate, a report from the Director of Financial and Computer Services pointed out the fact that the Provincial Government’s Municipal Tax Regulation states that a 10% penalty must be added to any unpaid property taxes after the final due date. In other words, neither City staff nor Council has the authority or discretion to waive the mandatory penalty. With approval of the Minister of Community Services, a municipal council may be granted authority to reverse a tax penalty. It was noted that tax penalties are necessary to produce an incentive to pay property taxes when due as the City has operated for ½ a year before current revenues are payable.
#1 – Zoning Bylaw Amendment Moving Forward