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Jan 29, 2019

Council Notebook for January 21

Ladysmith Council met at Eagles Hall on Monday, January 21 night because of a public hearing on the agenda for the proposed development of 314 Buller Street.  (City Hall is not generally large enough to accommodate all those who want to attend a public hearing.)

The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association previously submitted an application to amend the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw to build 36 affordable housing units on the former St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church property.

After the Public Hearing, Council approved the bylaw amendments, paving the way for the new development to move ahead.

A housing agreement between the Town and LRCA approved by Council also ensures that the housing complex is entirely rental suites, and that 70% of the units are occupied by renters with an income equal to, or less than, the Housing Income Limit for Nanaimo.

Later on the agenda, Council approved a federal grant application to help fund the first phase of the Arts & Heritage Hub concept plan.  The Hub is a key part of the Waterfront Area Plan.  The site currently includes the Machine Shop and the surrounding industrial heritage buildings.

The proposed first phase of the Arts & Heritage Hub concept plan, estimated at $4.3 million, could include artist studios, a cafe and gift shop as well as landscaping and parking improvements.

If the grant application is successful, the Town will commit up to $430,000 from its reserves to help fund the project.

The overall vision for the Arts & Heritage Hub will be carried out in multiple phases in future years as prioritized by council.  View plans for the area here.

Across the highway, along Canada's Great Street for 2017, the downtown public washroom could be one step closer to being built.

Council approved having the Town submit a federal grant application for the project on First Avenue.  

The proposed location of the washroom is between 521 and 531 First Avenue.  View draft artist renderings of the building in the agenda package here.

The Town previously agreed to contribute $32,000 for the building of the downtown washroom, while the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club has also raised $18,121.  The Ladysmith & District Credit Union, Ladysmith Eagles, Ladysmith Rotary and Nanaimo Airport Commission have all agreed to provide $1,000 each for a total of $54,121.  The Town's share of funds came from the sale of a laneway to the Ladysmith and District Credit Union in 2014.

A letter of support is being provided by the Town for the Coast Salish Development Corporation's grant application to undertake environmental remediation of a portion of the Ladysmith Harbour.  This is an important step in a project that both Ladysmith and the Stz'uminus First Nation have agreed is a top priority for both communities.

Mayor Aaron Stone and CAO Guillermo Ferrero met with the Hon. Francois-Phillippe Champagne, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, last August and discussed the Waterfront Area Plan, undertaken in collaboration with Stz'uminus First Nation.

Working collaboratively with the Coast Salish Development Corporation, more recent discussions have taken place with BC ministries around the importance of remediating Ladysmith Harbour.

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