What's up at council this week? (Oct. 19)

District of North Vancouver

District of North Vancouver’s council members have a year’s worth of legislatin’ packed into one meeting starting at 7 p.m. Monday.

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Council generally agreed at the last meeting to stop issuing warnings and increase fines for people who leave bear attractants in their yards or leave put garbage bins at the curb outside of required hours. On Monday, they will formally debate how high those fines should be. The current proposal is $100 for the first offence and $500 for subsequent infractions.

District council will have their first vote on an all-affordable housing project on district-owned land at 271 Orwell St. The 90 units from Sanford Housing Society and Hollyburn Family Services are fully funded by BC Housing and will be offered to households at a range of incomes – but all at below-market rates.

Later in the agenda, Coun. Mathew Bond has a motion pushing council to do much more on the housing crisis. The motion asks staff to begin drawing up plans for similar affordable housing projects on district-owned land on Riverside Drive, St. Denis Avenue, Lillooet Road, Mountain Highway at Hunter Street, on the Maplewood Lands and on Burr Place where district council previously voted in-camera to renege on a deal with Hollyburn Family Services and BC Housing to build below-market units.

An Upper Lynn homeowner may face orders to clean up the junk and derelict vehicles from their yard, or face consequences. The property at 4592 Ramsay Rd. has become “so unsightly and unclean as to be offensive to the community,” the district staff report states.

Council will also seek to put higher energy efficiency standards on new builds.

Coun. Megan Curren says it’s time to ban the sale and use of consumer fireworks and smoke generating pyrotechnic devices. In her report, Curren agues they pose negative impacts for people, animals, and the environment, as well as wildfire risk.

Lastly, Couns. Bond, Jordan Back, Jim Hanson and Curren have submitted a motion to repeal the district’s year-old bylaw banning pigeons and replace it with a bylaw that explicitly allows them. The ban is currently being challenged in court and Couns. Betty Forbes and Lisa Muri are facing conflict of interest allegations for the way they brought it to council. (The only known pigeonkeeper in the district is Forbes’ neighbour.)


City of North Vancouver

Council will hear their first major update on the work of the Balanced Housing Lab – the group council formed in 2019 to come up with new ideas for creating affordable housing.

City residents may be up for another round of legal drinking in parks. The pilot program to allow public consumption of booze within designated areas of nine city parks and plazas was largely a success, a staff report suggests, and council will vote on whether to make the program permanent.

Council will also be taking stock in all the changes they’ve made to help adapt the city to COVID-19, including closing streets and opening patios, and planning some next steps as the fall and the opening of the economy bring on a second wave of infections.

And Black Kettle Brewing – one of the first breweries to open on the North Shore – remains the only one without a proper tasting lounge. That could be changing Monday night if council agrees to their request for a lounge that would allowe them to serve more than samples.


District of West Vancouver

Now that both residential and business taxes have been (mostly) collected, District of West Vancouver council will be getting an update from their finance staff on the state of the 2020 budget.

Council will decide on whether to allow a real estate sales centre to be temporarily located on McGavin Field, off Cypress Bowl Road.

And council will vote on making permanent its Interim Tree Protection Bylaw, which gives automatic protection of trees with a circumference of 75 centimetres or more at chest height.

Perhaps most interesting on the agenda though is an update to council on enforcement taken against people responsible for cutting down a perch used by two resident eagles near Stearman Beach.

On Tuesday, council will hold a public hearing and a special meeting to vote on a proposed coach house at 1186 Duchess Ave.

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