Aug 23, 2019

Ladysmith Council Notebook for August 19, 2019

Ladysmith Council had a full agenda on Monday, August 19, 2019 and met for just over two hours.

The meeting started with a delegation from resident Kelly Dunn who requested the Town remove several problem black locust trees along Halliday Place and Fourmeaux Road.

Council referred the request to staff and a report will come back in October with options on how to address the concerns of residents in the neighbourhood. 

There was also a delegation from Small Craft Harbours, a program run by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, on proposed improvements to the Ladysmith Fisherman's Wharf, as well as another presentation from Carmen Hildebrand of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association on a study underway for the restorative justice program in the community.

Council reviewed the design concept for a three storey mixed-use building at 336 Belaire Street and directed staff to prepare a bylaw to amend the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw for the property.  The property just off Dogwood is currently home to the vacant RCMP station and the applicant is proposing commercial space for the ground level and residential units on the second and third floors.

A Development Variance Permit was approved as part of the Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary's Thrift Store expansion on First Avenue.  The new addition expands the store's sorting area but the actual size of the retail space remains the same.  Included in the DVP application is a reduction in the off-street parking space requirements to seven, from the required 26 based on the site improvements.

Council received the results of the community survey on the retail sale of cannabis that was mailed to 3,461 homes in Ladysmith earlier this year.  The majority of residents (59 per cent) supported the retail sale of cannabis in Ladysmith, while 37 per cent indicted they were opposed.  The response rate for those residents using their unique identifier code was 34.53 per cent, or 1,195 returned submissions.  Another 297 surveys were completed using the open online survey.

Staff will bring back recommendations for permitting recreational cannabis sales in town.

Two versions of a potential draft concept plan for the recreational complex known as Lot 108 were also presented to Council.  Staff consulted with stakeholders and user groups to arrive at a list of potential amenities for the site surrounding Forrest Field, including: a walking trail, outdoor exercise stations, park service building, bike skills park and trailhead, warm-up/practice pitch, multisport courts and ball diamond.  

A final concept plan and the results of the stakeholder engagement will be part of a future meeting.

Council authorized staff to work with the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to allow the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District to use the vacant École Davis Road School for the Waterfront Gallery and classrooms for up to nine months while renovations are taking place at the Arts Council’s current home in the Machine Shop on the Ladysmith waterfront.

The Town has been working to accommodate Machine Shop tenants as structural, seismic and code upgrades are completed on the 75-year-old building thanks to a grant of $1.8 million in federal Gas Tax funding received in 2018.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for September 16, 2019.