Terrace council opposes Stewart border closure plan

And city backs project to highlight the history of the Second World War in Terrace, including a 1944 army mutiny.

Support letter for Stewart residents opposing border closure

Council voted unanimously to write a letter of support for Stewart resident Angela Brand Danuser who represents other residents and business owners opposed to daily Hyder/Stewart border closures to be imposed as of April 1.

Councillor Michel Prevost hinted that an alternative to the midnight to 8 a.m. gate closure would be a check-in system like what was in place before the Canadian border office opened there.

“Will it be formally gated,” Prevost asked, “or have invisible access?”

Councillor Lynne Christiansen said she thinks council should “support this any way we can.”

And Councillor Brian Downie noted that bear viewing at platforms on the American side is usually done early in the morning and late at night, making the nighttime closures a real problem for bear watchers.

Councillor Stacey Tyers, on speakerphone from a conference, said that the single ambulance in Stewart would be impeded were the closure to take effect.

In opposing the closure, Terrace council joins growing opposition to the planned closure.

Old land system up for cancellation

Council also passed first and second reading of a bylaw that will begin to terminate an old system of land regulation called Land Use Contract Bylaws.

Currently there are seven such areas of residential and commercial buildings in Terrace, and back in the 70s developers and owners were signed up on these land use contracts that contained special provisions for permitted uses, height, size, accessary buildings and parking.

In return for the variances contained in the land use contract the owner provided incentive to the city in the form of services.

However, now the BC government has given municipalities until 2024 to phase out all such contracts.

The current phase will see four of the eight specific residential contracts for the seven areas annulled, and city planner Ken Newman said these are the easier of the seven. They include two areas on Webber, and the ones on Munroe and Mountain Vista Drive (see list below).

The remaining contracts are for commercial parcels containing the Bank of Montreal and Pizza Hut buildings, and the parcel containing McBike and Community Future buildings, as well as townhouse complexes and the All West Glass mall.

Although the city zoning matches the old contracts, there will be certain uses and variances no longer allowed once the contract is stripped away.

Owners have the option of retaining the contract until the 2024 deadline but must apply for a city variance.

This is the total list of properties affected:

1. 78 residential parcels along Mountain Vista Drive

2. 8 residential parcels on Munroe between Straume and Soucie and 10 residential parcels on the south side ofthe 4800 block on Soucie.

3. 2 townhouse complexes on the 4700 block of Walsh and a row house complex on the 4700 block of Davis.

4. 2 commercial parcels on the corner of Sparks and the 4600 blocks of Lakelse and Lazelle (Bank of Montreal and Pizza Hut)

5. A commercial parcel on the 4700 block of Lazelle (McBike and Community Future Building).

6. A commercial property on the corner of Keith Ave and Tetrault St. (All West Glass mall)

7. 55 residential parcels on Webber and Goulet Ave.

Archiving the mutiny

Council also voted to write a letter of support for the Terrace and District Museum Society’s application to the World War Commemorations Community Fund for money to support a website, manuscript and archival project.

The society wants to produce a website related to Terrace’s place in the history of the Second World War, assemble archival material and publish a manuscript by Karen Kuechle commissioned years ago by the then-District of Terrace about a 1944 mutiny here of soldiers in the Canadian army.

“We get a number of research requests about the mutiny, which is relatively unknown, and feel that it would be useful to compile all of the information that is out there, especially while a few of the veterans and community members who witnessed the mutiny are still alive,” wrote museum curator Kesley Wiebe in a letter to council, who gave her permission to publish the long-forgotten manuscript.

Colourful affair

At last night’s meeting mayor Carol Leclerc had a purple scarf and jacket, councilors Michel Prevost and James Cordeiro had purple dress shirts. Corporate administrator Alisa Thompson was also flashing some purple.

Purple is one of the colours of International Women’s Day that was marked this past Sunday, March. 8.

However, apparently it was just a coincidence that so many at the meeting were wearing that colour, according to councillor James Cordeiro.