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West Kelowna council highlights: May 13, 2014

May 14, 2014 - 4:08 PM

Local State of Emergency for Gellatly Road
Council acknowledged the declaration of the state of local emergency by Mayor Doug Findlater on May 12 regarding the slope failure on a section of Gellatly Road. Gellatly Road, from approximately Witt Road to Angus Drive, was closed May 2 due to erosion of the bank on the west side of the road, adjacent to Smith Creek. The District has received confirmation of $440,250 in funding to come from the Province of BC through Emergency Management BC, with the support of the Regional Emergency Program, to conduct emergency repairs to the roadway. Recognizing that the District had planned to upgrade this section of Gellatly Road in 2015, it is working cooperatively with the Province on this emergency repair, and will contribute $1.3 million in order to conduct repair and upgrade works at the same time. The Local State of Emergency was called in order for the municipality to access the powers authorized in Section 12 and 13 of the BC Emergency Program Act. The slope failure has put the roadway at risk, which is a transit and emergency services route, and also a nearby watermain, a gravity sewer main (owned by Regional District of Central Okanagan) and private utility infrastructure. A geotechnical report indicates there is high probability that additional erosion will occur and that stabilization measures should be carried out immediately in order to protect the public and the existing embankment and roadway as well as buried and overhead utilities. Emergency works will begin immediately starting with the temporary relocation of the sewer line. Work will entail the installation of a culvert for Smith Creek to flow through for approximately 160 metres in the affected area. The District expects the work to be done within five weeks.

2013 Audited Financial Statements
Council received a report from its auditor, Grant Thornton, and accepted the 2013 audited financial statements. The full audited financial statements will be included in the 2013 Annual Report and are available to view online at

Strategic Priorities – First Quarter Update
Council received an update on progress made on items within its 2014 Strategic Priorities. Noteworthy achievements include:
-  Residents’ Associations presentations to Council held this quarter
-  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver designation achieved for West Kelowna RCMP Detachment building
-  Design completed for upgrades to Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre
-  Four sites in Westbank Centre shortlisted for Municipal Hall
-  Zoning Bylaw No. 0154 adopted
-  Medical Marihuana Zoning Bylaw adopted
-  Sewer Master Plan adopted
-  Transportation Master Plan adopted
-  Brown Road construction 90% complete
Council’s 2014 Strategic Priorities is available for viewing online at under Mayor & Council/2014 Strategic Priorities.

Rose Valley Development
Council gave first and second reading to an amendment that would allow recreational vehicle parking within a 1.64 hectare property at 1506 Rose Meadow Drive that is the subject of a Zoning Bylaw amendment application from Rural Residential Large Parcel to Compact Single Family development. The rezoning is intended to facilitate a 12-lot subdivision of the subject property and an adjacent property to the north. The application will now be schedule for public hearing.

Tallus Ridge Development
Council gave third reading to an Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendment for the remaining lands within the Tallus Ridge neighbourhood to a mix of park and open space, compact housing, single family residential, low density multiple family and medium density multiple family. The application was the subject of a public hearing on March 25, 2014. Council further directed that staff to bring the bylaws forward for final consideration following resolution
of the following:
-  ALC approval of the concurrent exclusion application
-  Registration of an environmental protection covenant for all ESAI and associated buffers located within the P1 zoned areas
-  Registration of a wildfire covenant incorporating the strategies from the 2014 wildfire report
-  Registration of two road reserves
-  Installation of a PRV at the corner of Mountains Hollow Lane and Tallus Ridge Drive to the satisfaction of the Development Manager

Memorial Park Playground
Council agreed to set a trust account to hold donations for the purchase and installation of a playground at Memorial Park, adjacent to Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre. Currently the District has no funds allocated towards playground improvements at Memorial Park, but the District has been approached by the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club that it was initiating a fundraising program for a playground at Memorial park. To date the club has raised approximately $20,000. It is estimated that a playground of suitable size and age appropriateness could cost as much as $100,000. The club intends to raise a minimum of $50,000 towards the purchase and the District has $25,000 budgeted for new playgrounds in 2015 and another $25,000 for playground replacement.

Highway 97 School Safety Committee
Council directed staff to suspend major work on the Highway 97 Safety Committee until a cost sharing agreement is completed between School District #23 and West Kelowna for safety improvements to municipal rights of ways surrounding Constable Neil Bruce Middle School. The District has spent consider staff time and funded a consultant report to date to improve pedestrian safety and traffic issues in the area. SD23 has indicated that it will not provide financial support for any work on the roadways adjacent to the school.  Council also directed staff to lobby SD23 and the Provincial Government to help fund student safety resulting from school customer parent parking. In the meantime, Council wants staff to prepare a report on potential improvements near the school to some of the issues.

Pedestrian and Bike Infrastructure Plan
Council was advised that an appendix to the recently-adopted Transportation Master Plan will be undertaken for a Pedestrian and Bikeway Infrastructure Plan. The Transportation Master Plan was adopted on February 25, 2014 and focusses on vehicle transportation. After hearing from community groups and cyclists about the need for pedestrian and cycling improvements in the community, the District has retained Boulevard Transportation Group to complete the Pedestrian and Bikeway Plan. The key deliverables of the plan will be:
-  Recommended improvement program
   ...Existing cycling lanes, pedestrian walking facilities, such as sidewalks and hiking trails will be reviewed. A proposed network will be mapped connecting existing infrastructure throughout the District.
   ...Proposed design facilities will be completed for system improvements
-  Improvements prioritized with preliminary estimates.
   ...The proposed network will be prioritized based on several factors including connectivity, safety, community facilities, capital improvement projects, and costs. Timelines will be provided to be included in future budgeting considerations.
-  Consultation & open house
   ...Cycling and pedestrian groups, ICBC, MoTl, WFN, RDCO, and BC Transit will be consulted for development of the draft plan. Once Council is presented a draft plan, an Open House will be scheduled to obtain further public input.
A draft report is expected to be presented to Council in July.

Tax Rate Bylaw and 2014 Budget
Council adopted the District of West Kelowna Financial Plan Bylaw and the Tax Rates Bylaw for 2014. The budget includes a 2.95% tax increase.

2014 Citizens’ Survey
Council approved its 2014 Citizens' Survey which will be the seventh such survey conducted by the District. The survey is the only anonymous, statistically-accurate polling of West Kelowna citizens that West Kelowna Council undertakes and provides relevant, un-biased information directly from West Kelowna citizens for Council's consideration. ln May, the District will mail out 1,000 surveys to randomly selected West Kelowna property owners. The survey is prepared, compiled and analyzed, in house with only mailing and printing costs associated with it. This year, the District has agreed to include a short survey from the Sterile lnsect Release program within the mail out. This year the survey was revised significantly to enhance clarity, accuracy and relevance of findings and to reduce the time it takes to complete. Questions have also been grouped into categories to aid in analysing results.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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