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West Kelowna Council meeting highlights

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April 06, 2017 - 1:52 PM

Hillside Development Permit Guideline Amendments
Council approved changes to its Hillside Development Permit Guidelines bylaw aimed at improving monitoring and enabling enforcement in cases where regulations are being ignored. Amendments include:

  • A provision to ensure that a qualified professional monitors construction and reports regularly on progress
  • Assurances that setbacks for structures located on crests of slopes will take into consideration the long term impacts on the site and neighbouring properties
  • Landscaping requirements that focus on slope re-naturalization that is complementary to geotechnical and climatic conditions and that use plantings that need little water in order to maintain slope integrity
  • Improvements to site design and grading guidelines that ensure impacts on up- or down-slope properties are mitigated from project beginning to end
  • The provision for enforcement action in cases where deviations from the development permit have occurred after construction has taken place

The City’s Enforcement and Municipal Ticket Information Utilization Bylaws were concurrently amended to enable staff to issue fines in cases where the Hillside Development Permit Guidelines bylaw has been ignored.

Sign Bylaw Review
Based on current trends, Council requested a review of sign regulations. Council supported the following recommendations that arose from the review, which propose that:

  • Animated signs be prohibited
  • Digital and electronic screens be permitted only as a component of a freestanding or fascia sign - The size and brightness of such digital and electronic screens be restricted and that they require automatic dimming technology
  • Commercial banners on a premises be exempt from obtaining permits and the issue of their use be revisited in future if the city receives complaints about such signs in future
  • Portable, changeable copy signs be restricted to advertising for special purposes and only on a temporary basis

The proposed recommendations will be referred to the Economic Development Committee, Advisory Planning Commission and the Greater Westside Board of Trade for further feedback before staff begins drafting the necessary bylaw amendments. An amended bylaw will be brought back before Council for consideration at a later date.

Agricultural Land Reserve Exclusion at 4066 Gellatly Road
Council supported the potential exclusion of a 1.98 acre property, at 4066 Gellatly Road, from the Agricultural Land Reserve. Staff indicated that the property is currently zoned as light industrial and the owner intends to apply for rezoning to allow mixed use development if the Agricultural Land Commission supports the exclusion. Only one-fifth of the sloped lot is within the reserve; and the land is found to be poorly suited for agricultural production. The exclusion application will be forwarded to the Agricultural Land Commission for its review and consideration.

Booking Charges for Westbank Lions Community Centre
First, second and third readings were given to amendments to the Fees and Charges Bylaw to include the current fee schedule for bookings at the Westbank Lions Community Centre and to add rates for outdoor volleyball courts. All existing community centre bookings are being honoured; and any new bookings can be made now, through the City of West Kelowna, by calling 250-768-2322. The fees for the volleyball courts are required to accommodate a new league that is requesting to book the courts. The charge will formalize the league’s court uses outside those times designated for the general public.

Draft 2017 to 2026 Financial Plan Amendments
Council gave second reading, as amended, and third reading to the Draft 2017 to 2026 Financial Plan, which will include a 3% tax increase as planned. The amendments include: the addition of $350,000 to the 2017 Road Rehabilitation Program, bringing the total to $1 million; $300,000 for maintenance at Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant to prevent backwash of sediment into the system; and $53.5 million for construction of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant and connections to West Kelowna Estates, Sunnyside and Pritchard Systems to be funded through a combination of federal and provincial grant contributions, existing reserves and development cost charges, and short-term borrowing. Council held an open house at the Westbank Library Branch on February 15. Forty people attended and the majority of those surveyed indicated support for Council’s proposed budget. The financial plan will be adopted by May 15 in keeping with provincial legislation.

Bylaw Enforcement Policy
Council adopted a Bylaw Enforcement Policy which contains four primary requirements, which are that:

  • Staff report quarterly to Council
  • Staff report statistics pertaining to such things as: The amount of fines levied/collected, the number of complaint-based files and the number generated through pro-active bylaw enforcement, trends in enforcement activity (i.e. parking issues, graffiti, vandalism, etc.), and the number of disputed tickets and their outcomes
  • The department set annual goals to be considered annually during Council’s Strategic Priorities Sessions
  • A business case be created to examine the costs of a proactive bylaw enforcement strategy that can be discussed as part of future budget deliberations

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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