Courtenay Council Meeting Highlights for November 8
November 11, 2023
This update covers highlights from the November 8, 2023 Council meeting. If there’s something from the meeting that you’d like more detail on, the full agenda, video, and minutes (when available) of each meeting are posted on the City of Courtenay website at www.courtenay.ca/councilmeetings
Council respectfully acknowledged that the lands on which this meeting was conducted are the Unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
Councillor Cole-Hamilton: Monday, November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. On this day, we honour the memories of transgender people who have tragically lost their lives due to acts of violence and discrimination. This day of remembrance serves as a solemn reminder that we must continue our efforts to support a safe and inclusive community for all, where hate has no place.
Mayor Wells: Métis Week is from November 12 to 18, a time to celebrate Métis culture and history in BC and Canada, including the importance of Louis Riel (1844-85) as a political leader and advocate of justice for the Métis people, who continue to strive for rights and recognition to this day.
The Métis are a distinct Indigenous people with a unique history, culture, language, and way of life and are one of three recognized Indigenous peoples in Canada, along with First Nations and Inuit.
Councillor McCollum: Indigenous Veterans Day is observed today, November 8, in Canada in recognition of Indigenous contributions to military service, particularly in the First World War, Second World War and the Korean War. Indigenous peoples have served in times of war and peace for more than 200 years since the War of 1812 to Afghanistan and many continue to serve.
- Comox Valley Arts – Duncan Commons
Presentation by Jennifer Casey, Comox Valley Arts, and Twila Skinner, Comox Valley Farmers Market, regarding a pilot project to create a public gathering space on Duncan Avenue for gatherings, markets and cultural events. They requested a pilot program to close Duncan Avenue from 5th to 6th Street for a portion of the summer 2024.
- 2024 Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) Tactical Plan
Presentation by Tanya Massa, Tourism Development Specialist for Experience Comox Valley. The agreement between the City and 4VI provides for management, delivery and reporting of the MRDT funds on behalf of the City of Courtenay requires that 4VI submit an annual MRDT Tactical Plan for review and approval. Council approved the 2024 Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) Tactical Plan as prepared by Experience Comox Valley (4VI) and staff.
- Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3094 – 1560 Grieve Ave
This application is to permit a 16-unit multi-residential development contained in six buildings. Council directed staff to issue public notice per Section 467 of the Local Government Act that a public hearing will not be held for “Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3094” (1560 Grieve Avenue).
- 1st Street Lift Station Project Update
The existing lift station is at the end of its service life and is operating over capacity. The project upgrades are essential to improve the overall service of the local sewer system, mitigate operational risk, and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
Council directed staff to proceed with re-tendering the 1st Street Lift Station tender in early 2024 with the intent to schedule construction for spring, summer, and fall of 2024; and Council increased the "1st Street Lift Station Project" budget to $3,698,000 funded from Sewer Operating and Capital Reserves.
- Home Energy Navigator (HEN) Program
Council supported participation in the home energy navigator program, in collaboration with the Comox Valley Regional District.
The HEN program provides start-to-finish retrofit support. Key features:
- Provides information, advice, and guidance without pressure to implement retrofits.
- Reduces barriers to completing upgrades, especially converting from fossil fuel to electrical heat pump space heating
- Works with residents to overcome barriers to completing upgrades.
- Advises on the renovation approach to incorporate House-as-a-system concepts
- Provides objective advice throughout the retrofit process, including quote review and context to understand differences between quotes.
- Provide guidance and confirmation that proposed upgrades are eligible for rebates, and assistance in completing rebate submissions.
- Regional Recreation Pass and LEAP Pilot Report Back
Council approved not moving forward with a regional recreation pass at this time based on analysis including costs and community survey results.
Council approved making the Leisure for Everyone Accessibility Program (LEAP) a permanent financial access program for all ages in Courtenay Recreation.
Due to the success of the regional financial assistance program (LEAP), each local municipality and the regional district have moved forward with making LEAP a permanent membership within their recreation departments. Courtenay Recreation is the only municipality remaining in pilot status and staff are recommending it become a permanent financial access program for recreation in addition to our Recreation Access Program (RAP).
- Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) Board 2024 Appointments
Council appointed Councillor Cole-Hamilton to the VIRL Board for a one-year term, January 1 to December 31, 2024 with Councillor McCollum appointed as alternate.
- Park Playground Design Standards Project Update
Council received the briefing note Park Playground Design Standards Project Update.
The project started in October 2023 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of April 2024. The scope of the Park Playground Design Standards (PPDS) project includes:
- classification system review / updates;
- playground development standards and targets;
- future needs assessment;
- parks and open space recommendations;
- playground design standards recommendations; and
- preliminary order-of-magnitude cost estimating and financial recommendations.
- Safe & Inclusive City Facilities - Councillor Jolicoeur
Council passed the following resolution:
Council’s strategic priorities, values, anti-discrimination policy statements, and guiding principles recognize the importance of upholding the community values of respect, equality, and diversity;
The City recognizes and respects the rights of individuals and groups to freedom of expression, it is imperative to balance these rights with the responsibility to ensure the safety and the protection and well-being of all residents;
This resolution serves as a proactive measure to maintain a safe and inclusive environment within City-owned facilities and reinforces our dedication to promoting diversity, fostering understanding, and rejecting acts of discrimination or hate;
Council directed staff to prepare a report outlining options to keep City facilities free of hate and inclusive of all people.
- Comox Valley Nature (CVN) Vanier Nature Park's Garry Oak Restoration - Councillor Frisch
Council converted this notice of motion to a resolution and passed the following:
Based on the delegation by Comox Valley Nature in regards to Vanier Nature Park and the Garry Oak grove located in the park, Council directed staff to report back to Council on options for working with Comox Valley Nature and other partners to support the restoration of the Garry Oak grove in Vanier Nature Park.
Notice of Motion
- Activating Downtown - Duncan Street Pilot Project - Councillor Jolicoeur
The following notice of motion will be considered at the next Council Meeting:
Downtown Courtenay is a commercial, cultural, social, artistic, and culinary hub of the Comox Valley;
The City of Courtenay Downtown Playbook 2016 identifies the following goals to support the revitalize downtown more people downtown, a connected downtown, special events, learning, playing, living and shopping downtown;
The Playbook prioritizes “Create the Heart - Duncan Commons/Mews” where special events can occur and people can gather truly anchoring downtown for social & cultural events;
The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, Comox Valley Arts Council, Comox Valley Art Gallery, Comox Valley Farmer’s Market, Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce have been working towards supporting the temporary summer closure of Duncan Street from 5th to 6th street;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct staff to bring forward a report on the Duncan Street Summer Pilot project outlining considerations and financial implications for implementation in 2024;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct staff to collaborate with the Duncan Street working group to review options for the design, implementation and evaluation of the pilot and include in the report back to Council.
For First, Second and Third Readings
- Building Bylaw No. 3114 and Municipal Ticket Information Amendment Bylaw No. 3115
Council gave first, second and third readings to “Building Bylaw No. 3114” to update Zero Carbon Step Code information and the Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw.
- Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3063 - 1814 Grieve Ave
Council adopt “Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3063” (1814 Grieve Ave)
Members of Council are given the opportunity to describe various meetings and events they have attended. See attachments in the agenda with submitted written reports.
In Camera Resolution
Council closed the meeting to the public pursuant to the following subsections of the Community Charter:
90 (a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality;
((c) labour relations or other employee relations;
(i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.
The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m., the next meeting is Wednesday, November 22 and will be available on the City of Courtenay’s YouTube channel.