Bikes, Billboards and Building Permits

Highlights from the regular City of Castlegar council meeting held Monday, Aug 12

A proposed bike skills park at Millennium Park in Castlegar should have features similar to this one in Rossland.

Gordon and Marion Fischer of Now Advertising based in Trail appeared as a delegation requesting to work with the City of Castlegar on placing billboards within the city. “We believe a partnership can be beneficial to the city in many ways,” said Marion, who said they provide space on the approximately 3 metre by 6 metre (10′ x 20 ‘) billboards not just to paid advertisers but to non-profits at times, too. Gordon said they strive to ensure there is no “billboard graveyard effect” by properly spacing billboards and using steel not wood on their billboards. The company website shows they have six billboards along Highway 22 at Fairview, just south of Castlegar  and numerous other sites across the West Kootenay/Boundary area. In a letter to council, the Fischer’s said if city property was used it would be leased, with revenue paid directly to the city.

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Three representatives from Castlegar Friends Parks & Trails appeared as a delegation to request council direct planning and development staff to enter into discussions about the proposed Millennium Park Mountain Bike Skills Park. Lawrence Redfern, David Hall and Mark Jennings all spoke about the value of the roughly three-acre addition and answered questions from councillors regarding fundraising, maintenance, noise issues and construction. It’s suggested the non-motorized bike park will be similar to one already open in Rossland. The matter of the resolution will likely come before council in September.

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A new zoning designation, RR-3 (Rural Residential) will have to go to a public hearing before it can be approved. The issue arose after BC Assessment notified the city that a number of RR-1 zoned vacant/unused properties would have their classification changed to Class 06-Business/Other from Class 01-Residential. Creating the new designation would allow some property owners permitted uses that would help avoid the Business/Other tax rate. The properties in question are along Arrow Lakes Drive, Chickadee Lane, Woodland Drive, 14th Avenue and Columbia Avenue.

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The “City of Castlegar Re-plotting Scheme By-Law No. 277” from the 1980s came before council as the current owners of some of the properties in question requested a response to a delegation presentation on June 17, 2013, when they asked for a phasing in of development in the re-plot area. John Malcolm provided a history of the issue saying that two of three people affected by the replot scheme received earlier funds for loss of proerty value. “Once the survey was done, it was the respnsibility of the property owners to initiate any works and services and pay for it,” said Malcom. The item came before council now to discuss options, including having the city pay for such services. Malcolm said the city is not prepared to do so and is not even sure they can based on the community charter. The report to council was received for information only.

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Council passed a resolution allowing for the addition of a new $50 fine for portable or nuisance signs. The only councillor opposed to the resolution was Deb McIntosh, who briefly spoke about some organizations such as the Farmers’ Market that rely on such signage.

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There were five new business licences purchased in July, compared with 20 in 2012. Business licences declined to 76 for the month as compared to 91 in July of 2012. The total value issued year-to-date is over $1.85 million less than year.

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Coun. Kevin Chernoff unveiled the city’s new “My Waste” application. The free mobile app allows users to access information about waste collection, recycling facilities and provides tips on reusing, reducing and recycling. What may prove more popular, though, is that part of the app allowing people to report problems like missed collections, illegal dumping, overflowing garbages, potholes, etc. The GPS and camera found on most devices can be used to provide detailed information to city staff in a timely fashion. The app “…contains all of the information people need to know, tailored specifically to their neighbourhoods, about our residential garbage and recycling services,” said Chernoff. The app is available at www.my-waste.mobi/BC-Castlegar, then selecting the link either for iPhone or Android and following the prompts.

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The area between 6th Street and 13th Avenue will see a new sidewalk after a $90,460 contract was awarded to Civil Tech Services of Castlegar. Irrigation and future conduits for fibre optics will be built under the new sidewalk which will also see new trees planted.

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Council authorized city staff to proceed with an application to the BC Emergency Funds’ Flood Protection Program for funds to shore up the waste water treatment facility in North Castlegar. Inspections showed signs of slipping on the river side berm and the city wants to install rock to act as a defence against high water. If approved, the city share of the project is estimated at $75,000.

 

 

 

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