Council Meeting Highlights: April 12, 2021
West Vancouver has a thriving arts and culture community without any purpose-built arts facilities. The West Vancouver Art Museum, Ferry Building Gallery, Silk Purse, to name the most well-known, are located in old residential buildings that are now being used as public gathering spaces. Except for the Ferry Building Gallery, which is undergoing restoration, these buildings were built for residential purposes and are past the end of their useful lives, costly to operate, and unsuitable for restoration. In 2018, Council created the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee to consider all the existing needs of arts and culture activities in West Vancouver and to develop a facilities plan that takes into consideration existing buildings and their condition, identifies alternate spaces that could support the arts, and prepare an arts and culture facilities plan.
Next steps and timing
This is a multi-year planning project that will take years to realize. The current stage is to identify potential sites in Ambleside where an arts and culture hub could be built to replace the aging residential buildings. The next step is to consult the community to determine preferences for an arts and culture centre's future location. Once a site is selected, costing work can take place. When costs are determined, a funding model will need to be determined. It will be several years before funding will be in place to allow construction to begin, and there will be future community engagement as the process proceeds.
Leading up to tonight's decision
The Arts Facilities Advisory Committee has reviewed several potential sites and been before Council to present their recommendations twice, on March 9, 2020, and on September 14, 2020. Two of the identified sites are on District-owned land. Council directed staff to engage with private property owners to explore the possibility of incorporating an arts and culture facility into a mixed-use development, at no capital cost to the District. The owner of the first identified site was not interested in pursuing an arts and culture centre. The second provided a proposal, which was the subject of the presentation to Council at this meeting.
Briefly, to incorporate an arts and culture facility on the 1400 Block of Ambleside at no cost to the District taxpayer, the District would need to approve a mixed-use development that includes retail at street level, a 21,000 square foot arts and culture facility on the second floor, and residential above, either in a nine-storey building or two 12-storey towers.
Council received the report for information. Council also directed staff not to include the option presented at this meeting in the upcoming public consultation on public preference for a future arts and culture centre site.
Under the Local Improvement Bylaw, residents can petition the District for various improvements that directly benefit the owners of adjacent parcels of land. The residents of 1110-1160 Palmerston Avenue and 1105-1165 Ottaburn Road have petitioned to have their lane paved. The total project cost is estimated at $30,000, with the owners paying 70% ($22,050) and the District paying 30% ($7,950, from the Roads Capital Budget).
Council gave the bylaw first, second, and third reading. Adoption will take place at a later meeting.
The purpose of this Road Closure Bylaw is to close a portion of a municipal road allowance that has never been opened and consolidate it with the adjacent Brissenden Park. This will increase the size of Brissenden Park.
Council approved the bylaw.
This motion was made as a call to action to draw attention to the opioid crisis.
On behalf of Council, Council resolved that the Mayor write to both the federal and provincial governments requesting that the opioid crisis be declared a national public health emergency and that a national action plan be developed with a sense of urgency.
Council approved the motion.
Mayor’s Motion regarding Aftermarket Exhaust Systems (for submission to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2021 Annual General Meeting)
This motion was made to develop a resolution to submit to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for consideration at their 2021 Annual General Meeting. If supported by a majority of municipalities, UBCM will present the motion to the province on behalf of all British Columbia municipalities.
Aftermarket exhaust systems can create unnecessary noise and public disturbance, and, while the Motor Vehicle Act addresses unnecessary noise, there are no provisions to regulate aftermarket exhaust systems. With input from the West Vancouver Police, the motion requests that the Motor Vehicle Act be amended to prohibit the installation of aftermarket exhaust systems that exceed the legal decibel limit.
Council approved the motion.
On March 29, Council gave first, second, and third readings to a bylaw to approve funding for various parks projects. Council adopted the bylaw.
The next Council meeting will take place on April 26, 2021.