Highlights from the council meeting Monday, Aug. 26.
Good Neighbour Bylaw
Coun. James Cordeiro put forward a motion to draft a ‘Good Neighbour Bylaw’ with the intent to mitigate unwelcome behaviour, vagrancy and loitering, and provide improved public safety and awareness of city bylaws.
Increasing the number of full time equivalent bylaw compliance officers to three positions, an $80,000 increase to the city’s legal budget to provide for the retention of a municipal prosecutor on a needed basis to prosecute repeat bylaw offenders, and the formation of a volunteer ‘Court Watch’ group to attend, monitor and report back to council of court proceedings on a quarterly basis was included in the proposal. Consolidating relevant existing bylaws into this ‘Good Neighbour Bylaw’ was also suggested.
City staff noted there are tools the city’s bylaw officer can use to deal with repeat offenders. For example, the bylaw officer can issue a summons to court, which has resulted in payment of outstanding fines before. It was also noted that if this motion was included in the 2020 budget deliberations, another priority project would have to come off the table.
Coun. Sean Bujtas questioned how the city would be able to fund the motion, estimating it would require a five per cent tax increase.
Council agreed to allow staff to conduct further research into the compound proposal in time for budget deliberations.
Debate over cannabis store
Council approved a resolution to support the establishment of a new recreational cannabis store at 3227 Kalum Street, but not after some debate.
Hive Cannabis Inc.’s new store on the west side of Kalum Street would move into an existing vacant building and operate between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. seven days a week. The store would be located on the first floor, with two residential apartments on the second.
Fourteen neighbouring businesses signed their support for the new store, and with the property’s history of vandalism and loitering complaints, city staff are hopeful the increased use and surveillance of the site will alleviate negative activity. Terrace RCMP stated minor concerns with the store’s close proximity to the Happy Gang Centre, but the impact on the community is expected to be negligible.
However, Coun. James Cordeiro wasn’t convinced the applicant was going to be compliant with exterior improvements of the building, citing a letter from the city’s bylaw officer. Hive Cannabis Inc. has owned the building since last November and has not covered up graffiti on one wall despite receiving a $100 fine.
Though a new coat of paint, exterior lighting, and other security measures are required with the development permit. In the end, four councillors including Cordiero voted in favour. Councillors Lynne Christiansen and Evan Ramsay voted against.
This is now the third cannabis application to gain the city’s support.
The Terrace Animal Hospital wants to relocate and expand their practice to where the former Greyhound bus depot was located on Keith Avenue.
Dr. Jatinder Kang proposed enclosing the covered area on the east half of the property that was previously used for parking to create office space and examination rooms for the clinic. The development would also add a new vestibule entrance onto the front of the building. The west half would likely be leased to another business.
A development permit would require a number of upgrades to the property including fresh paint, new mounted lights, and landscape cleanup with a $10,000 security deposit.
No more gravel
The city read amendments to a bylaw for the first time that would delete all sections allowing for construction of gravel road for new developments.
The bylaw was first adopted in 1997 and permitted developers to build gravel roads instead of paved roads in some areas of the city as an incentive for less costly construction. In 2008, the city amended the bylaw to require paved roads by the airport, but did not apply this rule to all road construction.
Staff say high workloads had delayed this change for the past four years, but due to recent increase in land development and subdivisions, the change was needed before 2020. Little Avenue is the sole roadway downtown still with a gravel standard.
Language change in museum bylaw
The Terrace & District Museum Society is hoping to change the language of their operating bylaw to identify them as a benefit to the community, not just the City of Terrace.
The word choice has prevented the museum society from securing Community Gaming Grants previously. It currently reads ‘The Society shall operate the museum on behalf of the City of Terrace.’
The society has been unsuccessful in securing Community Gaming Grants because of the bylaw’s language. In comparison, the Kitimat Museum and Archives had received around $100,000 from the gaming grants in previous years, and Prince Rupert’s museum received $56,000 in 2017-2018.
Councillors Brian Downie and Evan Ramsay will be attending the Nation2Nation forum from October 23-25 at the Thornhill Community Centre.
Tickets will cost the city $492 per person and come out of the city’s travel budget. There is $19,018 remaining in this fund.