December 27th, 2007 Noon.
In attendance: Mayor Caisley and Councilors White, Colledge, Holmlund and Hunter.
There were approximately 25 people who were in the gallery.
Official minutes can be obtained for this meeting at Town Hall.
1. Call to order: 12:00 noon
2. Two Year Building Covenant on Lot K
At the regular meeting of Council December 4th, a motion to extend the building covenant by one year, giving Kees VanDeBurgt until December 31, 2008 to build his new store, was passed with a vote of 3:2.
Since that meeting, The District has been in contact with their solicitors and and they (solicitors) feel the December 4th motion is ?problematic?.
Thus, the issue was brought back to Council with motion to rescind the extension given to Kees VanDeBurgt with regards to Lot K (directly across from the fire hall) and to motion to exercise the 1$ buy back policy.
The issue was moved to a general discussion and the following are comments from the Councillors and the Mayor:
Councillor White began the discussion by reading a prepared statement.
He started by telling Mayor and Council and the people in attendance that he had been talking to many people, including business owners and residents of Tumbler Ridge. He said he wanted to to be sure that he was going to be ?unbiased, fair and just? when he made his decision. He took a lot of time to look at both sides of the issue and found when he was talking to people, there is a feeling that Tumbler Ridge is ?not open for business?. The building covenants counteract development and they discourage development, which makes people feel Tumbler Ridge is closed for business he said.
White also talked about the lack of a Board of Variance within the District. A Board of Variance, which is an appeal body, who hears the appeals regarding zoning and development permits is not present in Tumbler Ridge. A local government that has adopted a zoning bylaws, MUST establish one or more Boards of Variance (BOV). Tumbler Ridge does not have one. This, said White, also shows that we are against development.
White concluded by saying he would be voting against the motion to rescind.
Councillor Holmlund also told those in attendance that she had thought ?about this long and hard?. She stated the last development in the downtown core of Tumbler Ridge was the Dragon Palace Building in the mid 1980?s. ?Since then, there has been no new development and that bothers me?, said Holmlund.
Councilor Holmlund spoke of Kees VanDeBurgt in a positive light, stating he had moved with his family to Tumbler Ridge in it?s lowest of lows. ?He has invested in the Dollar Store and he has invested in the Furniture Store and he has built a house?.
Holmlund stated by ?rescinding the motion, we are not encouraging, but we are discouraging development?. She also commented that she is tired of driving out of town to do her shopping.
Holmlund concluded by stating she would vote against the motion to rescind the extension.
Councillor Colledge stated ?she agrees with her colleagues (White and Holmlund). She will vote against rescinding the motion.
Councillor Hunter started by saying ?democracy demands choice?. Even though these covenants were put in place by the previous Council, ?this Council is responsible for upholding? them, he said.
He stated he disagrees with his colleagues and he ?sees a huge deviation of consistency with the last vote (extension)?.
Hunter is in favour of the motion to rescind.
Councillor Holmlund responded to Councillor Hunter by saying the word consistent is what helped her make her decision as we as a Council ?have done this before?. She stated,?the can of worms has already been opened?.
Mayor Caisley advised those in attendance that he is in favour of the the motion to rescind.
Caisley commented once again that he is confident with the staff and he ?finds no fault with our staff or Council? with regards to this issue.
He stated Kees VanDeBurgt was aware of the covenant on the property in question when he purchased the lot and when concerns surfaced later in the fall, Mr. VanDeBurgt ?consistently declined the District?s attempts to help him?.
Mayor Caisley feels the motion passed on December 4th is a ?major deviation from the other decisions? Council has made in the past.
The motion to rescind the decision of an extension on Lot K was defeated with a vote of 3:2.
Mayor Caisley and Councillor Hunter voted in favour. Councillors White, Colledge and Holmlund voted against.
Due to the suggestion by the District?s solicitors that a legal document accompanies the extension that will be upheld, Chief Administration Officer Lonnie Miller advised council it would be a good idea to pass the new motion.
That Council resolve to extend the option to purchase by one year on Lot K on the condition that a modification agreement is signed and registered in Land Titles prior to December 31, 2007.
3. Two year Building Covenant on Lot 1 and 3.
Motioned and Carried that Council resolve to extend the option to purchase by one year on Lot 1 and 3 on the condition that a modification agreement is signed and registered in Land Titles prior to December 31, 2007.
This gives the lot owner until December 31, 2008 to have these lots developed.
4. Adjourn: 12:30pm