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Oct 22, 2020

Council Notebook for October 20, 2020

Ladysmith Council met virtually on Tuesday, October 20 with the proposed downtown public washroom facility and grant opportunities for Town projects aligning with the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan among the agenda highlights.

As is local tradition, the Ladysmith Legion Branch recently presented Mayor Stone with the First Poppy, marking the start of the poppy campaign in the community.

During the Council meeting, the Mayor explained that due to COVID-19 poppy boxes will not be in available in local businesses. Rather, Legion members and volunteers will be setting up stands around town as part of this year's fundraising effort.

Mayor Stone also expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Resident Alien production crew for the positive interaction while filming downtown in recent weeks. 

Filming was postponed in March due to COVID-19. The first season of Resident Alien airs on SYFY in the new year.

Following the opening remarks, Mayor Stone proclaimed November as Adoption Awareness Month in the Town of Ladysmith.

The Town recognizes the care, compassion and unselfish commitment of BC adoptive families. There continues to be a need for adoptive families to nurture the growth and development of children, especially those with special needs because of physical, mental or emotional disabilities,

Next on the agenda, Council approved the development permit application for construction of a permanent downtown public washroom.  

The proposed facility will be located in the laneway between the Ladysmith Health Food Store and Ladysmith CrossFit.  It will be set back from the sidewalk on First Avenue and feature two separate and accessible universal washrooms.

The proposed building respects the character of the surrounding buildings and is consistent with the Downtown Development Permit Area and Downtown Commercial zone.  The Community Planning Advisory Committee recommended that the existing trees be maintained and these details are included in the development permit approved by Council.

Moving on in the meeting, Council approved an amendment to the Streets and Traffic Bylaw, which now allows sidewalk patio permits to be issued between October 31 and March 1.

The proposed change provides an additional tool for local businesses to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic while supporting increased vibrancy in the downtown during the winter months.

Council previously eliminated fees for sidewalk patios while at the same time streamlining the permitting process for businesses interested in building sidewalk patios and creating retail displays.   These efforts support the local COVID-19 economic recovery effort.

Next, Council directed that staff submit three grant applications to senior levels of government for projects aligning with its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.

The Lot 108 Park Plan, refurbishment of Town assets on First Avenue, including wayfinding signs, and infrastructure upgrades at Transfer Beach were identified as projects meeting the requirements of the three respective grants.

Stakeholder feedback received during the Lot 108 Park Plan Update engagement sessions indicates strong community support for expanding recreational offerings at Forrest Field.  

Similarly, the downtown and Transfer Beach are popular destinations for locals and residents.  

The business community has also indicated through feedback from other projects that it supports Town initiatives driving local economic prosperity.

Council directed staff to prepare amendments to the Streets and Traffic Bylaw that can be brought forward to a future Committee of the Whole meeting.

The changes will ensure the bylaw is up-to-date and reflects the realities faced in the community such as alleyways, boulevards and best practices for on-street parking.

The next meeting of Council is scheduled for November 3, 2020.   A Special Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for October 27, 2020 for an Official Community Plan review workshop.

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