Jan 22, 2020

Ladysmith Council Notebook for January 21, 2020

Ladysmith Council met on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 with a public hearing on rezoning for a neighbourhood brew pub on Dogwood Drive and the new Public Art Policy among the highlights.

The meeting opened with the public hearing for 202/204 Dogwood Drive where the applicant has proposed to open a microbrewery, requiring amendments to the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw.

According to a submission from the applicant at Tuesday's meeting, the brew pub would accommodate both indoor and outdoor seating.  Patrons will be able to visit the establishment to consume alcohol and/or fill up growlers.

Council approved the amendments to the OCP, and the Zoning Bylaw changes were referred to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for input because the properties are within 800 metres of a controlled highway intersection.

Council approved a development variance permit so that Western Forest Products can change the shade tree requirement from 10 trees to zero for a gravel parking lot they are paving lot at 1221 Rocky Creek Road, given that the property is bordered by mature trees on two sides.

Council discussed the matter for some time before directing staff to request that WFP consider donating 10 trees to be planted in town.  The ask supports Council's strategic priorities for maintaining a vibrant community and protecting our natural assets.  

Next on the agenda, Council directed staff to submit an application to the Union of BC Municipalities' Community Emergency Preparedness Fund for up to $25,000.

This funding will help the Town to increase preparedness in the event of a major emergency, such as an earthquake or wildfire, where we will need to utilize our resources to full capacity.

More specifically, this funding would allow the Town to improve its emergency support services through more staff and volunteer training, as well as purchasing new equipment and supplies, including cots and blankets for our Emergency Reception Centre.  

The availability of more inventory locally in Ladysmith also increases the Town's response time for establishing a reception centre and group lodging or providing other support services.

Council approved the Public Art Policy that will now help guide how the Town can integrate and create opportunities for more art in public spaces.

The policy flowed from the Public Art Strategy which was adopted by Council last February and involved extensive public consultation with the arts community and general public.  More feedback was gathered recently from the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee, and the Committee of the Whole discussed the policy at a recent meeting.

What does the policy mean to you? Public art gives meaning to place by interpreting the natural, social, cultural and built environment. It also gives voice to community and can build relationships between diverse groups.

Funds have been included in the draft 2020 Financial Plan for implementing the Public Art Strategy and by extension the Public Art Policy.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2020 at 7 p.m.  The Committee of the Whole meeting that was rescheduled from earlier this month is taking place on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.