Council Meeting Highlights: February 14, 2022

Feb 14, 2022

Here is a quick snapshot of the outcome of the February 14, 2022 Council meeting. Please watch the video or view the minutes (once they are posted) for details.

REPORTS

Coastal Marine Management Plan Working Group Final Report

For three years, citizen volunteers served on the Coastal Marine Management Plan Working Group. They were appointed to develop policy recommendations on the management of our coast. The Chair of the working group presented an informative summary of the report

While this work has been underway for several years, the storm of January 7, 2022, clearly illustrates that the community must have a plan for moving forward. The report is a high-level policy document that provides a framework for managing, protecting, and enhancing West Vancouver's coastlines.

Council thanked the working group for their effort and commitment. In addition, they endorsed the working group's final report and directed staff to incorporate it into District work plans and future budget processes.

NOTE: There is a direct connection between the Coastal Marine Management Plan and the following report. Both directly address the impacts of climate change in West Vancouver.

Foreshore Development Permit Area

As climate change causes increased sea level rise and storm surges, waterfront communities need to develop building regulations that specifically address the risk of coastal hazards and flooding. Staff provided information on the proposed Foreshore Development Permit Area, guidelines, permitting process, and a public engagement summary.

The Province of BC guides land use planning in coastal floodplain areas. District staff followed the provincial guidelines to develop the Foreshore Development Permit Area. The Foreshore DPA  requires future new buildings in the coastal floodplain to be constructed above the risk of coastal flooding. It also helps protect the natural environment of the foreshore from erosion and impacts related to new development.

The Foreshore Development Permit Area (DPA) will be a valuable tool for coastal property owners because it provides information about developing in a floodplain in advance. It also relieves the property owner of applying for rezoning to meet provincial requirements.

The proposed Development Permit Area is helpful for the community as a whole because it protects riparian environmental areas from development. 

There are approximately 800 properties in West Vancouver within the proposed Development Permit Area, including private residential and commercial properties. Community consultation was held in 2021, and the input led to refinements of the proposed development permit area.

To implement the DPA, Council must approve bylaw amendments. Council read Development Procedures Bylaw amendments, Fees and Charges Bylaw amendments, and Tree Bylaw amendments a first, second a third time.

Council read the Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw a first time and scheduled a public hearing for March 29, 2022.

Proposed 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets

In 2021, the operating budget was conservative due to uncertainty around the impact of the ongoing pandemic, so it was assumed that operations would be similar to 2020. However, in 2022, the District expects to resume most services and programs, and the budget reflects this.

Financially, 2022 will continue to be difficult for the District of West Vancouver because of ongoing challenges as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, deal with the impacts of climate change, face rising costs for services and materials, and address asset maintenance that has been deferred because of lack of resources or put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Efficiencies implemented during the past two years for finding new ways of delivering service during the pandemic will continue. Public engagement on the proposed budget took place from December 15 to January 28. 

The proposed budget includes:

  • The general fund budget requires an additional $1.4 million to maintain existing services. This is the minimum amount needed to respond to rising costs, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and deliver Council's 2021–2022 Strategic Plan. The operational budget portion of the property tax increase is 1.79%. 
  • A new Environmental Levy of 1.00% ($800,000) is proposed to fund programs that support protecting our natural environment and reducing our impact on it.
  • The Asset Levy was introduced in 2016 and increased by Council each year since then as part of a strategy to prevent municipal assets from failing by investing in maintenance at the optimum time. In 2022, the Asset Levy is proposed to increase by 1.00% ($800,000). This would bring the total Asset Levy amount available for capital investment to $10.3 million.
  • The total proposed increase, including the General Fund, Environmental Levy, and Asset Levy, is 3.79%.

Council approved the proposed general fund budget, the proposed asset levy, and increased the environmental levy to 1.5%, for a total increase of 4.29%.

Proposed Bylaw Amendments to Support the Local Economy 

The District of West Vancouver is committed to supporting our businesses in various ways. In addition to having one of the lowest business taxes in the regions, Council has ensured that support for West Vancouver's local economy is included in a variety of policy documents, including, but not limited to:

  • Council's Strategic Plan
  • Official Community Plan
  • Arts & Culture Strategy
  • Child Care Action Plan

In this report, staff proposed a suite of actions designed to strengthen the local economy across several sectors, including:

  • update definitions for beauty salons and barbershops
  • update permitted uses to encourage a mixture of vibrant retail and service uses at street level
  • create new definition to allow for microbrewery, winery and distillery
  • create additional flexibility for businesses
  • support additional opportunities for home-based businesses and art studios
  • address conflict between the District's childcare goals and zoning restrictions

The changes are proposed through bylaw amendments. Council read the bylaw amendments a first, second, and a third time and scheduled a public hearing for March 29, 2022.

Preliminary Development Proposal for Woodcrest Townhomes

The District has received a preliminary development proposal for 37 townhouse units on four lots on Woodcrest Road, just north of the Upper Levels Highway near Caulfeild Shopping Centre (4430 Woodcrest Road, 4450 Woodcrest Road, 4460 Woodcrest Road, and 4504 Woodgreen Drive). 

Staff noted that, while staff have not yet had time to conduct a detailed review of the preliminary proposal, the proposal merits further consideration as an opportunity to provide family-oriented housing.

Council received the report for information.

CONSENT AGENDA

A consent agenda allows Council to approve all these items together without discussion or individual motions.

NEXT MEETING

The next regular Council meeting will take place on March 7, 2022.


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