Council Meeting Highlights: October 5, 2020

Oct 5, 2020

Here is a quick snapshot of the outcome of this week’s Council meeting. For further details, please watch the video or view the minutes once they are posted.

Appeal of Director of Planning’s Denial of an Encroachment Application for a Trellis at 375 St. James Crescent

Boulevard care is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, and a well-maintained boulevard adds beauty to the neighbourhood. However, changes made by residents to the boulevard cannot negatively impact municipal services, reduce public safety or restrict public access. For this reason, there is a Boulevard Bylaw and a process to regulate and balance the beautification of boulevards with public access.

Many boulevard alterations require an encroachment permit. Earlier this year, following the guidelines of the Boulevard Bylaw, staff denied an encroachment permit for a trellis on the boulevard. Also under the Boulevard Bylaw, the owners are entitled to appeal to Council to overturn the staff’s decision.

After considering the specifics of the case, Council resolved that the application for the trellis be approved, that staff be instructed to enter into a licence agreement with the owners, and the fee be waived.

Proposed Development Permit Exemptions and Delegations

Council considered a proposal to amend two bylaws for the purpose of increasing efficiency and freeing up Council time by delegating minor exemptions to the Director of Planning.

The exemptions are intended to facilitate District works, including emergency works, and encourage re-use of materials on construction sites, which will reduce trucking traffic and the associated GHGs. On development sites, it would allow staff to approve small structures such as sales centres and construction trailers. It would also allow for staff approval of construction or addition to, a cabin in the designated cabin area.

First reading was given to proposed amendments to the OCP Bylaw and the Development Procedures Bylaw, to proceed to a public hearing. Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide input at a public hearing on November 17, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Proposed Cemetery Regulation Bylaw Amendment

Council considered bylaw amendments to provide for the administration of Capilano View Cemetery. The amendments respond to family requests, consider greener operational practices, conserve grave space, and to deal with issues like littering.

Council gave the bylaw amendments first, second, and third reading. Adoption will be considered at a future Council meeting.

Navvy Jack House – Next Steps

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. Earlier this year, Council decided to demolish the building—due to the poor condition of the home and the high cost of salvaging it—and to proceed with a commemoration of the site and history in consultation with First Nations.

Subsequently, Council deferred the demolition order to allow the Navvy Jack House Citizen Group to submit a report to Council with a proposal for preserving the house. District staff then reviewed the citizen report and balanced the recommendations against existing District resources and Council priorities.

Given the existing budget and work plan, staff were obligated to recommend demolition, but acknowledge that it is Council’s decision to consider changes to their strategic objectives and major project priorities to accommodate a project to preserve Navvy Jack House.

Council then proposed a new resolution that will allow time to take steps to qualify for grant funding to support the preservation of the house, while continuing to work with stakeholders to determine the final use of the house, and amending Council's Strategic Goals and Objectives to allocate resources to the project.

The resolution (unadopted) is in nine parts. That:

  1. the demolition order for Navvy Jack House be rescinded
  2. that Council allocate up to $150K from the Community Amenity Contribution Fund to determine the feasibility and cost of restoring and relocating the Navvy Jack House as soon as possible
  3. that staff work toward legally protecting the Navvy Jack House via a heritage designation bylaw
  4. a District staff member be identified to work with the Navvy Jack House Citizen Group to complete a Heritage BC (CERIP) application by October 29, 2020, which envisions a flexible multi-use facility for public benefit, with a potential commercial element so as to not create a revenue deficit for the District of West Vancouver
  5. a matching amount to a maximum financial contribution of up to $1 Million be allocated from the Community Amenity Contribution Fund towards the costs of conserving and repurposing the Navvy Jack House pending a successful CEIRP grant application, recognizing that an overall funding strategy will be required to cover all project costs
  6. Staff develop a plan to respectfully and meaningfully engage with First Nations regarding their connection to Navvy Jack House, including archeological considerations
  7. Staff identify the optimal structure for an advisory body, including terms of reference, for how to best work with the citizen group to move the project forward, and report back to Council by November 30, 2020, and
  8. the Navvy Jack House be either relocated or removed, subject to the underlying condition and movability of the 1907 form, prior to the anticipated start date of the Lawson Creek Restoration Project in order to ensure that the project can proceed as intended; and
  9. staff prepare a brief report by November 30, 2020, outlining the impact of this project on Council’s identified goals and objectives, including what Council goals and objectives will have to be removed to accommodate this project.

The next Council meeting will take place on October 19.

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