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Posted: June 16, 2017

Block Parties lodge waiver would be subsidy: DOI

What happened at Invermere council this week?

By Carol Gordon

The regular meeting of the District of Invermere (DOI) Council was held on June 13 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Office.

In attendance were: Mayor Gerry Taft and Councillors Greg Anderson, Paul Denchuk, Al Miller and Justin Atterbury.

Staff present were: Chris Prosser, Chief Administrative Officer; Kindry Luyendyk, Corporate Officer and Karen Cote, Director of Finance.

Gallery: Six people


Neighbourhood Block Parties lodge waiver would be subsidy: DOI

Crisanna MacLeod presented her new initiative of ‘Neighbourhood Block Parties.’ She plans to hold them in locations throughout the Columbia Valley and requested that DOI waives the rental fees of the CPR Lodge (pictured above), where she plans to hold one weekly from July 6 through Thanksgiving weekend. Her idea is to “welcome visitors to our valley to connect with full time and part time locals and to enhance reputations and revenue for local business owners.” For more information click on letter

During discussion with council it was clarified by Ms MacLeod that she is operating these Neighbourhood Block Parties as a business and that she will be using the CPR building for approximately two hours each week. Chris Prosser, Chief Administrative Officer, indicated that the fee is $50/day with a $100 damage deposit (refundable).

In response, Mayor Taft explained that “it’s not just a policy of council but it’s even a little bit in Provincial Legislation that we’re not supposed to subsidize private businesses. So we’re not supposed to give a grant to a private business and give anyone an advantage that somebody else doesn’t have. Would there be a way if Family Dynamics was the one that was renting the hall and asking for the fees waived?”

Taft added: “My personal opinion is that if Lake Windermere Ambassadors or Family Dynamics (two of the participating organizations) or some group is willing to come in and sponsor this and be involved and they were the ones that we were waiving the fees for and they were going to raise a little bit of money through it somehow, and even if you’re doing your business out of it, I would be comfortable with that as long as they were the ones making the official request.”

He said: “It may have also highlighted in our fee schedule, although we just adopted a new fee schedule, that maybe we should have in the future a pro-rated amount as well.”

Ms MacLeod requested returning to council “if there is one of the non-profit organizations that would like to be able to brand that as their event.”

Taft suggested she have “that conversation with Windermere Ambassadors or Family Dynamics and depending on how that conversation goes, if they’re on board then that’s easy if they are not then maybe you can have that conversation with Kindry (Luyendyk, Corporate Officer) about whether or not there can be any way of tweaking the interpretation of the fee schedule” (given the few hours the building will be used).


Cemeteries Operation and Regulation Bylaw No. 1528, 2017 was approved by council to receive three readings.

Karen Cote, Director of Finance, in speaking to the Bylaw said: “rather than to do an amendment to the existing bylaw, I have chosen to repeal the previous bylaw in its entirety and just replace it with these changes because it will be easier to follow and to email it to contractors and families.”


Statement of Financial Information (SOFI)

“The Financial Information Act (FIA) requires municipalities to prepare a Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) by June 30 each year to be filed with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. The FIA regulations require the SOFI to be presented to council for approval and be made available for examination by the public for three years after the year reported on.”

The Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) for the year ended December 31, 2016 was approved by council for filing with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development under the Financial Information Act.   SOFI

Special Events

The following Special Events were unanimously authorized by council. Any fees associated with policy 2008-01 for Bear Awareness Day and the Grade 7 Graduation and Loop the Lake are waived with the organization providing liability insurance, thereby eliminating liability from the District of Invermere: In discussion it was mentioned that the fees for ICAN had not been waived because “they didn’t request it.” For further information RFD

Wildsight Invermere

Ursus & Us: Bear Awareness Day (June 17)

BEAR-DAY event

J.A. Laird Elementary School
Grade 7 Graduation Ceremony (June 26)

Gr 7 grad event

Dog Jog (July 16)


Rotary Club of Invermere
Loop the Lake (August 5)
Rotary event


May Bylaw Report was presented to council. Click on report for details.


Wildsight – Invermere Branch

In a letter from Wildsight, Invermere Branch said: “On Saturday, June 17, Wildsight and WildSafeBC will be hosting Ursus & Us, a bear awareness day in support of the District of Invermere working towards becoming a ‘Bear Smart‘ community.” The letter invited the District to participate in the event. Mayor Taft indicated that he could make an appearance.


Council agrees to variance freeze

Coun. Paul Denchuk

Councillor Denchuk “We were talking about the OCP (Official Community Plan) design guidelines today and I got to thinking about the rash of variances that have come forth specifically around signage and a lot of stuff that has gone on downtown that has slipped under the radar. I just feel that until that process is done, we probably shouldn’t be granting any variances that fall into the realm of the design guidelines we’re going to be talking about, so really what I am asking for is that we vote on a resolution to put a freeze on variances specifically for the downtown area until we get things under control.”

Mayor Taft: “And the variances you would be talking about is animated signs and changes to colour?”

Coun. Denchuk “even changes to colour and all that sort of stuff.”

In response to Coun. Anderson, who asked about the timeline for the Invermere OCP, CAO Chris Prosser said, “The intent was that we would be starting over the summer the research behind it and then start presenting and collecting information about it through September and October, with potential design, draw-up bylaw maybe November early December. We don’t anticipate a lot of variances or DPs (Development Permits) coming forward at this time.

Denchuk added, “I just want to clarify. It’s variances. I do realize that things need to carry on. I’m not saying the development permits need to stop, I’m saying the variances. So people can still redevelop if they want to under the existing guidelines. But until we get some clarification direction.”

Councillor Atterbury commented, “I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it on the signage, I am really opposed on the colour because this is the time of year people start coming forward.”

Mayor Taft suggested: “what about splitting them up and voting on each part separately, so one part sign, one part colour palate/material?”

Coun. Denchuk’s motion was unanimously passed that council will not entertain any variance permits permitting animated signage or illuminated signs for all of the District of Invermere until the Design Guidelines are adopted until the end of the year.

Coun. Denchuk’s second resolution that council will not entertain any variance permits for facades for all the District of Invermere until the Design Guidelines are adopted until the end of the year was defeated with only Coun. Denchuk voting for the motion.

The next district of Invermere regular meeting is Tuesday, June 27 at 7 p.m.

The District of Invermere Council meets regularly throughout the year on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (second Tuesdays only during July, August and September) at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Office (914 – 8th Avenue, Invermere).


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