In his final official act as a Town Councillor, Joe Snopek conducted a public hearing that invited input to the creation of a Northwest Boulevard Local Area Plan Bylaw at the September 20 regular Town Council meeting.
Justification for the Area Plan is “to ensure that commercial and multi-family residential development has a form and character consistent with the aims and policies of the LAP,” according to the document presented at the hearing.
No objections or comments were made by the public at the meeting, and no new comments were presented by staff.
“The process to get to this point started in 2012, Mayor Ron Toyota pointed out. “The effort of staff has been very important. I think we have created a wise plan, but time will tell as we move forward.”
The new bylaw was passed afterward, as was a required amendment to the Official Community Plan to allow the changes.
In other Town Council meeting news:
•Terry Nowak, chair of the Kootenay Community Council of Community Living BC appeared with a delegation of self-advocates and workers to talk about the importance of services and support of Town Council. The group posed with Toyota to celebrate a Town declaration making October Community Living Month. It included Nowak, Todd Dixon and his support worker Jeremy Quast, Mavis Vogel and her sister, Joy Craft, Jimmy Onfrychuk and Eric Kutzner.
Onfrychuck commended Council on the current construction of a sidewalk to connect pedestrians and mobility scooter users Northwest Boulevard and Canyon Street below the railway tracks.
“This is very much appreciated,” he said. “It will benefit many people.”
•The Town of Creston will partner with West Kootenay communities including Nelson, Castlegar, Rossland and Kaslo to create an intercommunity business license agreement that will reduce barriers for small enterprises that do business in more than one community. Only one license, at a cost of $85, will be required to operate in the designated communities. Creston will also explore a similar partnership with East Kootenay communities.
The regional licences are being encouraged by the provincial government as a way to encourage small business development. Several other regional agreements have been established.
•Council will provide a letter of support for a Creston Valley Bird Fest application for an environmental grant from the Columbia Basin Trust.
•Council approved an exception to its purchase policy so that a contract could be awarded to make upgrades to the bike park on Cedar Street. A $26,000 expenditure will allow construction to proceed immediately and work will be done by a contractor that has created other bike parks funded similarly by Columbia Basin Trust.
•Toyota and Councillor Jen Comer will represent Creston at a workshop called Healthier and Wealthier Through Food on October 13.
•At the recommendation of Snopek, a new sign will be created for the Japanese Garden in Millennium Park. He also acknowledged the volunteer efforts of artist Eileen Hirota who has been working to maintain the garden.
•Council approved a list of permissive property tax exemptions for 2017-2019 on the recommendation of a special committee. The exemptions represent 1.47 per cent of the total municipal taxation value, which is under the 1.5 per cent stated in policy.
New exemptions for the period will be extended to Valley Community Services Society for its building on Pine Street, Creston Valley Community Housing Society for the low cost units on 25th Avenue South, Creston Baptist Church property on Ash Street and Kootenay Employment Services Society properties on 11th Avenue North.