Friday January 28 2011

The Municipal Rub

Vandalism, big townhouse projects and councillor's reports



3pm Session


Vandalism in the City


andals keep striking the City's amenities with parks suffering the brunt of the damage. In October there was a total of $1733 damage done to five parks ranging from graffiti to washroom attacks.

November saw $4369 damage from destructive people. The largest single entries on the list were Townsend Park where the locks and doors were damaged to the tune of $1225 and fireworks damage to the building and graffiti at Fairfield Island Park.

In December, the toilets at Sardis Park were destroyed, the skate park fences and gates sustained $705 in damage and Sappers Memorial Park was struck by wire thieves who got away with copper wire and left behind $567 in repair work that needed to be done.

In October someone managed to break the Cheam Centre Skylight in October which cost a whopping $3200 to replace. Additionally, the wireless system at the Centre was wrecked and cost $1050 to fix.

Also in October, kids pegged rocks at the Chilliwack Library and again at Yarrow Library causing $1159 in total.

Not mentioned in the vandalism totals because it was unclear if the damage was an accident or not but Public Works reported that $4700 in repairs to signs was made in October, $4645 damage done in November and $6825 worth of damage done in December.

Streetlight wire theft continues to plague the City with $6,735.68 damage done in October and December. No theft occurred in November.

Utilities Upgrade

Sandpiper Contracting LLP, won the contract to install water mains and sanitary sewers on Marble Hill and on McNaught Ave. as well as in various locations around Chilliwack. The contract amount is for $914,404.96.


Records For Destruction

Council voted to approve shredding of the City's Corporate Service records from 1984 to 2008. None were put on microfilm however the Chilliwack Museum went through the documents and determined that they were okay to destroy.


Townhouse Project on Yale Rd. and Macken Ave.

Flora Park Development Co. has made rezoning applications for properties on Macken Ave and in the 46000 block of Yale Rd. to make way for a 36-unit townhouse development. There will be a Public Hearing on Feb 15 regarding the proposal. According to City documents, staff indicated that the project is in keeping with the Downtown Neighbourhoods Plan. The Official Community Plan states that projects must maintain density to support a growing housing demand and provide affordable housing. The City's Tree Management Plan stipulates that at least 50 trees per hectare must be planted and one "prominent tree" on the SW Corner of the proposal on Yale must be kept.


Townhouse Project

Promontory Village Heights Inc. wants to build a 28-unit townhouse complex at 47315 Sylvan Dr. The proposal indicates that there will be 7 blocks of 4-units each in the development. Because the location is on a hillside, the plans call for terraced landscaping.


Going To The Dogs

Abbotsford is losing it's dog pound at the end of January. The facility hich is privately owned won't be available after the end of the month and Abbotsford will be bringing their dogs to Chilliwack and paying a flat rate of $4000/mo. for temporary shelter of their animals.

7pm Session

Rezoning To Double Up

Daniel Werener, owner of property at 46670 requested a zoning change to allow him to subdivide the property, tear down the existing home and replace it with two houses.

The current zoning in the Official Community Plan is for low-density residential, one-family structures in that area.

Neighbour Marika Ryan expressed concerns that the builders would go higher because the property was small and then he and her neighbours view of the surrounding mountains would be diminished.

"I think that just doesn't fit with all the little bungalows," she told council. "When all of a sudden there are two big towers standing there and makes the whole street look uneven."

Mayor Sharon Gaetz informed Ryan that the "highest that they would be able to build any building up to 10m".

"So they can do as they like and we still have to say thank you?" asked Ryan.

"As you could on your own property as long as it was zoned correctly for that, yes," responded the mayor.

Coun. Huttema asked Ryan about other houses on the street, referring to them as newer.

Ryan said that there were some however not right across the street from her.

Remax realtor Clark Hitchcock, who was representing the owner, told council that Werner has always adhered to bylaws and building codes and the homes enhance the neighbourhood.

"Daniel has built several homes and infill over the years," said Hitchcock.

"The homes that he builds are two-storey and they are very attractive and I've had a number of clients who have purchased his homes and are very happy with them."

Coun. Huttema expressed a "slight concern" about

the driveway at the back of the property.

"If there were to be more houses put up on there that one-way lane could fairly busy and it is a dead end lane as well that goes on to Menzies St. which is a fairly busy street and there could be traffic concerns there as well, so I just want to caution staff on that," he said.

Rezoning Application

SSC Ventures (No. 37) Ltd. wanted an amendment to the CD-7 zone bylaw text so that they could put in a VQA wine store at 6640 Vedder Rd.



Councillor Reports

Coun. Stam

Last week in the evening, myself and councilor Huttema and several staff members attended the DFO Open House with regards to the Salish Sucker and it's habitat protection.

There was well over two-hundred landowners there. Unfortuneatly none of our friends in the media made it to the event.

There was a very good discussion. Some heated discussion as you can well imagine when you're discussing effective expropriation up to 30-meters of some of these farmers who make a living off of the land and very little supporting evidence that the Salish Sucker population is actually in decline.

When respectful answers were asked about the Salish Sucker, some very thin discussion points came back. No evidence other than the fact that it's on a list in Ottawa is the only reason this is being carried out.

Carried on a lot of research, both members have brought information to me since then and we'll be building a bit of a case as to how to take this forward and which departments we want working on this.

The effective policy, when you read the interim report, or the draught report, it says thou shalt not plow, disturb the soil, mow the grass or anything within that 15-meter or 30-meter set-back, which according to our GIS staff here, effectively removes 502-acres from the ALR.

So, this discussion will continue. I thank the DFO for coming to the community and for opening up their doors and for allowing this discussion to start, but it's far from over.

Coun. Huttema

Coun. Huttema dittoed Coun. Stam. "What Coun. Stam said," reported Huttema.


Coun. Janzen

At the 3pm session, Coun. Janzen said that they were moving ahead with the Health COntact Centre and that they will see what happens in the next two-weeks regrading the finalization of a location.


Coun. Attrill

I had the pleasure of going to see Suessical the Musical that was at the Cultural Centre and the kids from the schools did an absolutely amazing job. I really, really enjoyed it and everytime I go there I am just so thrilled that we have that in our community.

The other thing i attended was the Operation Rednose Volunteer Appreciation event yesterday. Chilliwack Restorative Jusctice does a great job of organizing Operation Rednose every year and I'm just so amazed at the volunteers.

Some of those volunteers volunteered for every single night that they could and quite often they are there from early evening to 5 o'clock in the evening driving people.

So, the spirit of volunteerism in our community is amazing and I was very very impressed.

Coun. McLean

Just one item, on Friday I made my way around the CUPE 60th Anniversary and free luncheon and beside the chilli being really good, it was a good opportunity just to talk with different members of our staff from CUPE and some of whom themselves have been around a number of years and it was just refreshing to have that chance to chat with them.


Coun. Clark

As Coun. McLean did, I joined our colleagues here in the lunch room on Friday for a chilli luncheon celebrating CUPE's 60th Anniversary in our municipality and thank you to them for all the work that they do day in and day out.

I joined the mayor and councillor Attrill at the performance of Suessical the Musical and I am just blown away by the high quality of performance as well as the amount of work that, not just the kids of Chilliwack School of Performing Arts puty in, but their parent and families as well in building sets and taking them to rehearsal and all that sort of thing. So, well done to all of them.

And also for tomorrow, Happy Robbie Burns Day to everyone who is Scottish or wishes they were Scottish and celebrates Robbie Burns Day.