Council Meeting Highlights: March 8, 2021
Mar 8, 2021
The proposed 2021-2025 Five-Year Financial Plan is essentially the Proposed Budget for 2021. Council approved:
- a proposed operational tax increase of 1.48%; and
- an Asset Levy of 2.5%
…for a total increase of 3.98%.
Learn more about the budget at westvancouverite.ca/budget.
Navvy Jack House is the oldest continuously occupied home in the lower mainland, and its history is one of the beginnings of the municipality of West Vancouver and the shared history of First Nations and European settlers. The history of this municipally-owned property was shared in public consultation in 2019. In 2020, Council decided to demolish the building due to its poor condition and high cost of salvaging it. A Citizens' Group formed and requested Council not demolish the house. Council then subsequently deferred the demolition as part of a nine-part resolution that included submitting a grant application and completing a selective deconstruction of the building to allow for heritage assessment and cost estimates for restoration. This report provided an update on actions taken relative to investigating the options for Navvy Jack House, including:
- Heritage – the heritage report confirmed there is significant original material in the house and it can be restored successfully
- Creek Restoration – for many years, Streamkeepers have been committed to performing a stream restoration at the site. Staff will work with Streamkeepers on a detailed design, for implementation in 2022
- First Nations Engagement – this will be a fundamental part of the project
- Use of the House – Staff will conduct a feasibility analysis to explore uses of the house, including commercial, so as to not be a burden to the taxpayer
- Fundraising – In October 2020, the District applied for a grant under the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. On February 22, the District was advised that the grant application was unsuccessful. The Citizens' Group is pursuing private fundraising.
Council resolved that:
1. In order to facilitate private fundraising, the matching amount to a maximum financial contribution of up to $1 million from the Community Amenity Contribution Fund referenced in part 5 of the October 5, 2020, Council Resolution, also apply to funds raised by the Navvy Jack House citizen group and any other privately raised funds for the purpose of conserving and repurposing the Navvy Jack House;
2. Staff work together with the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society to start detailed design now in 2021 on the creek restoration project based generally on Option 1 as presented by the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society and as explained in the March 2, 2021, Council Report titled Navvy Jack House Update with completion of the creek restoration project in 2022;
3. The District proceed with a feasibility analysis (considering factors such as size, siting, access, integration with John Lawson Park and the Spirit Trail, cost, funding sources, rent revenue and commercial interest) based on a full time commercial use (food and beverage establishment) for the House, for two scenarios:
a. a smaller ground floor footprint based generally on the original form (approx. 800 to 1,000 sf); and
b. a larger ground floor footprint based on the original form plus an approximate 1,400 sf addition; and a third scenario suggested by the citizen group of a coffee shop and gift shop area (approx. 800 sf) that could also be used for multi-use purposes (including: heritage exhibit space, local art/craft sales, education, concerts, etc), with a 1,000 sf annex building to the north connected by a breezeway of approx. 400 sf;
4. Staff engage with Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil Waututh Nation on both the creek restoration project and the House, including discussions about potential uses, and how to commemorate the historical and cultural significance of the Navvy Jack site, and report back on the progress of the discussions; and
5. Staff report back by July 2021 to provide Council with the information necessary to determine: use, size, siting, funding and other key project elements relating to the House; and design, cost, funding and other information necessary to plan for completion of the creek restoration project in 2022.
The next Council meeting will take place on March 29, 2021.