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The City of Campbell River acknowledges that we are on the territory of the Laich-Kwil-Tach people of the Wei Wai Kum and We Wai Kai First Nations.
Campbell River Point in Time Homeless Count
(Presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 23, 2024.)
Stefanie Hendrickson, Coordinator, Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness, and Madison Stewart, Coordinator, Strathcona Community Health Network, presented Council with an informational review of the Province’s 2023 Point-in-Time Homeless Count and work being done through the Systems Inventory Project to provide useful information to people experiencing homelessness. These counts take place over 24 hours and collect data about the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in an area during that period. During the 2023 Point-in-Time Homeless Count in Campbell River, 197 people experiencing homelessness were surveyed.
Council commended the Coalition for helping to coordinate the response to homelessness across multiple agencies and requested additional information that could help inform City programs and advocacy with the Province in the future.
Findings of the 2023 Point-in-Time Homeless Count are available on BC Housing’s website: Homeless Counts | BC Housing.
Presentation From Campbell River ATV Club and North Island 1000
Graham Lindenbach, North Island Director for ATVBC, presented on behalf of Campbell River ATV Club and North Island 1000. Graham discussed potential ATV tourism opportunities and requested the City’s assistance to locate or designate an area that could be used for staging and parking ATVs. Council directed staff to report back on the request and consult with the RCMP.
COMMUNITY SAFETY UPDATE
Consumption of Controlled Substances in City-Owned Public Spaces Is Still Prohibited
During the in-camera Committee of the Whole meeting on January 23, 2024, Council directed staff to rise and report that the British Columbia Supreme Court’s temporary injunction against the Restricting Public Consumption of Illegal Substances Act does not affect the City’s bylaw prohibiting consumption of controlled substances in specified City-owned public spaces. Campbell River’s Public Nuisance Bylaw prohibits consumption of a controlled substance within 15 metres of a playground, sports field, tennis court, picnic shelter, water park or bus shelter and on or within 15 metres of any parcel of land containing certain City facilities. Read the full bylaw on the City’s website: https://bit.ly/4974GuP.
BC's Modernized Emergency Management Legislation: Regulations for Local Authorities
(Received at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 23, 2024.)
The new Emergency and Disaster Management Act came into effect in November 2023. The legislation includes new and enhanced responsibilities for local governments. The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness has requested feedback from local governments about new local authority regulations.
Staff presented a report with recommended feedback that was prepared by a regional working group that includes representation from the City of Campbell River, Comox Valley Emergency Management and various local authorities, the City, the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, K’ómoks First Nation, Comox Valley Regional District, and Island Health/Health Emergency Management BC.
Council directed staff to submit feedback to the Province before the January 31, 2024, deadline. Staff were also directed to send a letter to the Premier and the Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness requesting that a local government emergency management operational working group be formed to collaborate on developing regulations under the Emergency and Disaster Management Act, and noting that local governments will require adequate financial resources to implement the Emergency and Disaster Management Act and regulations.
Downtown Security Patrol
Council approved awarding a contract for downtown security patrol to Footprints Security Patrol Inc., for a term of up to five years. The estimated annual contract cost is $187,866, excluding GST, and is subject to a 2.5 per cent annual increase. Council approved allocating a combined total of $400,000 from the Financial Stabilization Reserve to fund the downtown security patrol contract over 2027 and 2028. The 2024-2033 Financial Plan will be amended accordingly.
User Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw
Council gave first, second and third readings to User Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw No. 3947, 2024. A number of City fees were updated in 2023, when Council adopted User Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw No. 3928, 2023. The 2023 amendment bylaw did not include specialized fields as part of the updated parks fee structure. The 2024 amendment bylaw looks to clarify this and ensure accurate billing by adding the specialized fields. The designated specialized fields are Robron Park Artificial Turf Field and Willow Point Field #1, 2, and 3.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Economic Development Department's Annual Tactical Plan for 2024
Council received the Economic Development Department’s Annual Tactical Plan for 2024 for information. The plan follows a framework of seven strategic goals that are laid out in the department’s five-year rolling strategic plan.
Council Call for Advocacy Efforts for The Forestry Industry
Council directed staff to submit a request to the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to call on the Ministry of Forests to immediately halt any further reductions in the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) to ensure a stable fibre supply that would allow businesses to stay and grow in BC. Council acknowledged that forestry is, and continues to be, a critical industry across BC, providing approximately 1200 direct jobs in Campbell River and significant tax contributions that fund key municipal infrastructure and provincial services.
Development Applications Procedures Amendment Bylaw
Council adopted Development Applications Procedures Amendment Bylaw No. 3943, 2024, which increases the fees associated with development applications, such as rezoning, development permits and variances. Development application fees are the main source of revenue and cost recovery for the Development Services Department and the last substantive review took place in 2010. The new fees align the City with peer community averages and ensure that general taxation of existing properties is not subsidizing new development.
Development Variance Permit Application for 2040 Galerno Road
The City received a subdivision proposal for 2040 Galerno Road that includes a Development Variance Permit application to vary the works and services required under Subdivision and Development Services Bylaw No. 3419, 2010. Council approved a Development Variance Permit to waive the requirement to underground overhead wiring at 2040 Galerno Road. Following staff’s recommendation, and after considering a presentation by the applicant, Council did not approve a requested variance to waive other required frontage improvements, such as building sidewalks. This means that these improvements will be funded by the developer rather than the taxpayer. Notices were mailed to neighbouring properties and the City notified the public as per legislation, and Council considered the feedback received.
Development Variance Permit at 225 Dogwood Street South
Council approved a Development Variance Permit to reduce the front yard setback from 8 metres to 4.7 metres at 225 Dogwood Street South. The variance is for the construction of a new aquatic centre at Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. The variance is not expected to negatively impact off-street parking requirements or the community in the immediate vicinity. Notices were mailed to neighbouring properties and the City notified the public as per legislation, and Council considered the feedback received.
Development Services Activity Update
Since the last report was provided to Council on October 10, 2023, 23 new applications have been received and 21 applications have been completed. Currently, there are 83 active files.
HIGHLIGHTS of JANUARY 25, 2024 COUNCIL MEETING - NEWS RELEASE