For Immediate Release
April 27, 2016
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE APRIL 26, 2016 COUNCIL MEETING
20162016 Citizens’ Survey
Council agreed to distribute the 2016 Citizens’ Survey to 1,000 randomly-selected West Kelowna property owners with the deadline for return of June 10, 2016. This is the City’s ninth annual survey which is the only anonymous, statistically-accurate polling of West Kelowna citizens. As well as mailing to 1,000 property owners, the City will make the survey available on it’s website for any member of the public to print and complete and copies will also be available at Municipal Hall.
Council gave first three readings to a new Sign Bylaw for the City, which is intended to revise the current Sign Bylaw to increase user efficiency and clarity. Generally the new bylaw maintains the regulatory framework of the existing bylaw with a few minor regulatory changes including lighting regulations intended to reduce impacts on surrounding properties and vehicular traffic. Corresponding amendments to the City’s Bylaw Notice Enforcement and Ticket Information bylaws were also given first three readings.
Temporary Use Permit for 1680 Ross Road
Council approved a Temporary Use Permit for 1680 Ross Road to allow for consignment sales and parking of vehicles for a three year period. The property had been used as a sales lot for the past 25 years and recently had two commercial buildings constructed on the southern portion of the site. It is located adjacent to Highway 97 and the Boucherie Mountain Transit Exchange. The applicant will operate consignment sales of automobiles, recreational vehicles and boats. This activity is expected to limit collection of garbage on the currently vacant site and deter criminal activity.
2016 Visit Westside Operational Plan
Council received the 2016 Visit Westside Operational Plan which outlines the activities to be undertaken by the City’s Economic Development office this year. Visit Westside continues to rely on the tourism promotion activities carried out by Destination BC, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Tourism Kelowna to attract visitors to the Central Okanagan from outside the Okanagan Valley. The activities in the operational plan are generally targeting visitors who are already within the Okanagan area. Activities include producing a new Visitors Guide, maintaining the www.visitwestside.com website, administration of the Visitors Centre and hosting a Tourism Industry Expo. The costs to implement the activities will be funded through a Destination BC Visitor Centre Grant of $10,000, the City’s tourism budget of $97,440 and an anticipated contribution from Westbank First Nation.
Council adopted the 2016 Financial Plan Bylaw with a tax rate increase set a 3%. The final growth number from BC Assessment for the community was 1.5% which represents $404,068 in additional revenue. A 3% tax increase represents $808,136 in additional tax revenue. Council also gave first three readings to the 2016 Tax Rate Bylaw.
Vacant & Abandoned Buildings Bylaw
Council gave second and third reading to the City’s Vacant and Abandoned Buildings Bylaw which is intended to reduce the risk of fire, safety hazards, and urban blight, and to improve the cosmetic, economic and social development of the community, by regulating vacant and abandoned buildings that remain inactive for extended periods of time. After first reading in September 2015, the draft bylaw was presented to the public at an open house and comments were sought from the Economic Development Committee, the Advisory Planning Commission and the Greater Westside Board of Trade. The bylaw would require owners to obtain a permit within 30 days of a building standing vacant and abandoned, provide proof of insurance of the property and secure and maintain the building to the standards set out in the bylaw. If the building is remediated or demolished within six months of the permit being issued, a portion of the fee would be reimbursed.