Council Meeting Highlights: September 28, 2020

Sep 29, 2020

We’ve launched Council meeting highlights to give you a quick snapshot of the outcome of each Council meeting. For further details, please watch the video or view the minutes once they are posted.

Support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Council resolved to add their voices to others in the world concerned about nuclear armament by writing to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Prime Minister and urge them to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was put forward to the United Nations and supported by 122 nations on July 7, 2017.

Addressing the impact of anticoagulant rodenticides

Council asked staff to provide a report outlining a program to ban anticoagulant rodenticides on all West Vancouver properties, and also communicate their harmful effects, and alternatives, to West Vancouver residents and businesses. The staff report is expected by the end of October.

Proposal for a detached secondary suite 1186 Duchess Ave

Council gave first reading to a re-zoning application to allow a coach house to be built where a garage is currently located at 1186 Duchess Avenue. Although the proposal meets many housing objectives and policies, it requires an increased Floor Area Ratio, which can only be granted by way of a Public Hearing. The Public Hearing is scheduled to take place on October 20.

Proposed Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area

West Vancouver is located in a forested area, and forest fires are becoming more and more frequent. Council is committed to responding to climate change, which requires both the mitigation of our impacts on the climate and adaptation to the effects of climate change already taking place. The proposed Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area is an adaptation measure designed to, over time, ensure that homes in fire interface areas become more fire resilient by requiring that FireSmart techniques are incorporated into new construction. View the presentation

Council gave first reading to bylaws required to create the new DP area and scheduled a Public Hearing for October 20.

Council has previously adopted a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and this builds on that important work to protect our residents from the threat of wildfire.

LiDAR tree canopy study

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and it is a useful tool to measure the tree canopy in an area. In 2019, Council considered the Tree Bylaw Working Group’s recommendations for changes to the Interim Tree Bylaw. Before making significant changes, Council requested additional data in the form of a LiDAR canopy study, which was conducted in 2019. The results were compared to the last LiDAR tree canopy study that was conducted in 2013. View the presentation.

The 2019 study analyzed West Vancouver’s tree canopy by tree heights and neighbourhoods. Overall, it showed the tree canopy exceeds 50%, and that there’s been an increase in the tree canopy since 2013, although results varied by neighbourhood.

A LiDAR study is just one tool for urban forest management. More work is needed, specifically, the development of an Urban Forest Management Plan for West Vancouver.

Council directed staff to prepare an updated Tree Bylaw that strengthens tree protection by adding additional species for protection at smaller diameters, smaller trees in riparian areas, and heritage trees. Amendments will add additional protection for trees during construction, including critical root zones on a neighbouring lot. The bylaw will be updated and brought forward at a later date.

Council also directed staff to prepare funding requests to develop an urban forest management plan, which is key to setting future goals, measuring tree inventory, and determining if the bylaw is effective over time.

Council also added an additional motion directing staff to develop guidelines for the maintenance of hedges on private property.

The next Council meeting will take place on October 5.

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