Council back at work after holiday break

Briefs from Castlegar city council meeting from January 7th.

Council were back at work on Jan. 7 after the Christmas holidays

Council were back at work on Jan. 7 after the Christmas holidays

Woodstove exchange

At Monday’s Castlegar city council meeting, council approved a request for resolution regarding the RDCK’s wood stove exchange program.

Castlegar city council approved a request on January 7 for resolution regarding the RDCK’s wood stove exchange program.

The city will contribute to 10 rebates at a cost of $100 each.

The wood stove exchange program is a provincial initiative to encourage homeowners to replace their inefficient wood stoves with cleaner burning appliances.

The RDCK receives funds from the provincial government and provides $350 rebates to those in rural areas to replace their stoves.

In urban areas the local government (council) must provide a resolution to contribute $100 to the $250 rebate in order for residents to receive any rebate at all.

“Through our wood stove exchange program, we are committed to reducing the number of old inefficient wood stoves in B.C. and replacing them with more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly models,” said B.C. environment minister Terry Lake in a press release. “By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health.”




Development Variance Permit application




Council approved a Development Variance Permit application for a single family dwelling on 14th Avenue. The property in question will be permitted to have a front yard setback of approximately 3.5 meters from the road.

“It really infringes on the setback,” said Coun. Kevin Chernoff. “You would have had to have chopped off part of the house and that really makes no sense. The resident has gone a long way to rectify it. To demolish the house isn’t good for anyone at this stage.”

Councillors Russ Hearne and Chernoff voted against allowing the variance. Hearne stated that the neighbours weren’t happy with the property and that the owner hadn’t been very cooperative. Councillors Deb McIntosh, Gord Turner, Dan Rye and Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff voted for the variance, and thus it passed.







Property maintenance bylaw enforcement




Council withdrew a recommendation to enforce a Property Maintenance Bylaw on a property on Hanville Place. The property owner appeared in front of council and told them his place was not the only property in Castlegar with debris on it, and that the complaint was from an angry neighbour. The owner received a letter from the city on Dec. 3 stating he was in contravention of the bylaw and had to remove “all unlicensed vehicles and rubbish” within 14 days.

“The biggest part of the complaint was that there was rubbish in the back yard and unlicensed vehicles,” said mayor Lawrence Chernoff. “There’s a bylaw in place and it fits in the bylaw. Under his estimation, he feels he was treated unfairly. I think we just need to have more discussion with him and come to some resolve. We received a complaint, we dealt with the complaint and this is where it got. We’re just following procedure. The city doesn’t want to be heavy handed here.”

After some trepidation, the property owner eventually agreed to meet with Phil Markin, director of development services. He refused to meet with the city’s bylaw officer Fred Nevakshonoff.

“He’ll have a discussion the director of development services and they’ll hopefully get this resolved,” said Chernoff. “If they can’t resolve it we’ll go back to square one and start all over.”




Open Air Burning Amendment




Council approved the open air burning amendment bylaw (#1170). The new amendment prohibits the burning of yard and garden rubbish.

“You can still have campfires and recreational fires,” said fire chief Gerry Rempel. “We’re in a position now where we do provide the vegetation collection at the complex. Public Works also has curbside pick-up twice a year. So the options are there that you don’t have to burn anymore. The rest of the bylaw will remain. It’s just the part of the open burning of yard waste that will no longer be permitted.”