Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Notes From City Council Meeting Mar. 14

Newcastle & Brechin 
Neighbourhood Plan Dominates
  • Newcaste & Brechin Neighbourhood Plan:A total of ten delegations spoke to council on this contentious issue, which occupied the first two hours of the council meeting. Those with interests in allowing high rise buildings along Newcastle Channel including a proposed 105 unit, upscale hotel planned for the old Moby Dick site, demonstrated the economic value to the city and the contribution more hotel space would add. While some residents were in favour of the plan, most did not support the plan in it's present form. When it came to supporting the staff recommendation to support the plan as presented, Council voted only to receive the report, meaning that both sides are going to have to compromise on what they deem to be ideal for the area and come up with changes acceptable to both sides. You can view a copy of the 'draft' Newcastle & Brechin Neighbourhood Plan HERE.
  • Ms. Andrea Rosato-Taylor: spoke to council expressing the Chamber of Commerce's support of the proposal to establish a new economic development office, arm's length from city hall to help craft a vision and plan so that Nanaimo can attract and keep business. When asked if Chamber members would support the new corporation by way of a membership, she was not able to say. She did express her concerns that currently in the city of Nanaimo many businesses are 'hurting' in the current economic environment.
  • Mr. Fred Taylor: presented his objections to altering the 'container' bylaw to accommodate wider use within the city. He points out the fact, that such containers are in fact becoming additional space that benefits a business while not requiring them to pay any taxes, as they would if they erected a similar size building on their property.
  • Arm's Length Economic Corporation: Council (with the exception of Councilor Sherry) voted in favour of the EDC recommendation to proceed with the establishment of an Economic Development Corporation within the constraints of existing city funding and appoint the existing Commission members as the interim board of directors. In addition staff will bring a report on the establishment of a 'Progress Board' to assist Council in making sure the new Corp. is accountable to the community. The new corporation would receive approximately $1.3 million in funding from the city, and Councilor Kipp pointed out that since this new corporation is to see the combining of existing entities that a cost saving should be expected.
  • 7 / 11 Business Licence: Council defeated a motion that would have seen a change to the Business Licence Bylaw which would restrict the hours of operation in the South End Neighbourhood Plan Area,, so that a retail business could not operate between 2:00 am - 6:00 am. This will allow the new 7/11 to operate 24 hours per day in the location on Nicol Street, with a clear understanding from Council that they will revisit the matter of hours of operation if needed.

At this point the live broadcast from City Council was cut off, so I was unable to view the last 20 minutes of the meeting. The last thing I heard, Councilor Sherry was moving they extend the meeting and Councilor Holdom was expressing his disapproval to the motion, stating the reason for ending meetings at 11:00 pm related to council's ability to perform due to the lateness of the hour.



  1. Holdoms comment about ending the meeting was in response to the last 5 minutes of the meeting (televised) and the number of errors by John Ruttan in those 5 minutes.

  2. I watched the televised meeting and agree with what Jim has advised in his report! Did we miss something?


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