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Apr 10, 2019

Ladysmith Council Notebook for April 1, 2019

Ladysmith Council met for an hour and forty five minutes last Monday.

The meeting opened with Mayor Stone sharing with Council and the public how he enjoyed the hospitality and spirited energy at the Ladysmith Legion Branch #171 75th anniversary dinner on Saturday night (March 30).

The first item on the agenda was a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw for 379 Davis Road to change the designation of the property from Commercial to Single-Family Residential.

There were no submissions from the public during the hearing.

Council approved the changes and referred the matter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure because the property is within 800 metres of access to the Trans-Canada Highway.

Cowichan Housing Association’s executive director Terri Mattin was next on the agenda as a delegation and presented highlights of the not-for-profit's draft Cowichan Attainable Housing Strategy.

The 36-page report, and supporting backgrounder, provides a framework for all sectors to work together and with other levels of government to plan for and facilitate the development of affordable housing.

The proposed strategy also assists local governments to explore and adopt policies and regulations that can foster and encourage affordable housing.

Council referred further discussion of the strategy to its next Municipal Services Committee meeting on April 8.

Council also referred the recommendations contained in the Traffic Operations Review presented by Ministry of Transportation representatives at the Mar. 18 Municipal Services Committee meeting back to that committee for further consideration.

Council has received letters from the public about the study's findings since last month's meeting and decided to have a more fulsome discussion prior to proceeding any further.

Read a fact sheet of the Ladysmith Traffic Safety study's findings here.  The full study can be found here.

The Town also continues to make progress on the list of recommendations flowing from the Commissions and Committees Review approved in December 2018.

At last Monday's meeting, Council approved new terms of reference for the Parks, Recreation & Culture Advisory Committee - one of the recommendations contained in the Review. Among these changes was the decision to add a youth representative to the eight citizen member committee.

The Town is now recruiting seven citizen members, each for a two-year term, as part of the Community Planning Advisory Committee after also adopting the Terms of Reference for that new advisory body.

The mandate of the CPAC is to provide feedback to applicants and advice to Council on land use applications, policies, regulations and initiatives referred by Council.  This new committee will replace the Advisory Design Panel, Advisory Planning Commission, and some of the work of the Heritage Revitalization Advisory Commission.

More information about the Community Planning Advisory Committee can be found here.

Council approved additional funding for the Ladysmith & District Historical Society after a letter was sent from the organization in March outlining a shortfall.

The Town has an operating agreement with the LDHS to contribute $23,500, plus an additional 2 per cent annually, towards the operation of the Ladysmith Archives as well as the Museum on First Avenue.

Staff received Council direction at its March 18, 2019 meeting to explore how the Town could accommodate the LDHS' request to increase the current budget to $45,250 per year.

Council last week approved allocating an additional one-time funding of $18,100, with the bulk coming from monies set aside for the Heritage Inventory update in 2019. 

Council is hoping to engage the LDHS over the coming months on its Strategic priorities surrounding heritage for the coming term.

 Ladysmith is a spirited community that values its small town quality of life, where we work together as stewards of our heritage, environment and economy.

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