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Posted: September 27, 2017

Sparwood Council Facts

The following is a synopsis of what occurred during the Sept. 18 District of Sparwood council meeting.


Heritage Society

Council approved the request from the Michel Natal Sparwood Heritage Society for $4,870 in financial support. The society will be using the funds, along with monies they have raised and a CBT Communities Initiatives Grant, to re-side the building located at 141B Aspen Drive.

Sparwood Public Library

Council authorized providing director’s insurance coverage for the Sparwood Public Library (SPL) Board of Directors through the Municipal Insurance Association’s Service Provider Program. The program extends Sparwood’s insurance policy, upon request, to individuals, groups and associations that “provide services for, or on behalf of members.” Deductible and annual insurance premiums will be payable by the SPL. By extending the district’s insurance coverage to the SPL their insurance premiums will be reduced helping to reduce their operating expenditures.

Ktunaxa Nation

Council members were authorized to attend the grand opening of the Ktunaxa Nation Solar Energy Array Launch in Cranbrook on September 23. The Ktunaxa Nation has installed solar panels on the roof of their government building located at 220 Cranbrook Street North. The solar panels will also power an electric vehicle charging station installed on the site through the Accelerate Kootenays project.


Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw

Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 1156, 2014, Amendment Bylaw 1209, 2017 was given three readings. Under the Community Charter Council may provide exemptions for certain properties for up to ten years. The bylaw proposes to exempt 120 Centennial Street (owned by the Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society) and 141B Aspen Drive (leased to the Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society.

Development Application Procedures Bylaw

Development Application Procedures Bylaw No. 1177, 2016, Amendment Bylaw 1210, 2017 was given three readings. This amendment incorporates the costs of development notice signs into the fees and charges schedule.

Council Procedure Bylaw

Council Procedure Bylaw No. 1022, 2009, Amendment Bylaw 1212, 2017 was given three readings. This amendment changes the timeframe when the inaugural meeting after a local general election is held from December to November. The bylaw will be considered for adoption at the October 16 regular meeting. In 2018 the local municipal election will be held on October 20.

Other News

Whiskey Jack Resort – Master Development Agreement

The Master Development Agreement (MDA) made between the District of Sparwood and WJ Lots ULC in 2010 for the Whiskey Jack Resort development requires construction of the golf course and other off-site and on-site improvements prior to development of the remaining lands.  As part of the MDA, the district agreed to fund a portion of the off-site works, budgeted at $10.8 million over the next 10 years, as portions of such works, in time, will be of benefit to the district. Further, the development of the golf course was determined to be of benefit to the community as a whole.

The development of the golf course was the primary reason for the sale of the lands to WJ Lots ULC in 2007. The MDA provides that other than Stage 1 of the Whiskey Jack development, the on and off-site works were to be completed, as well as the golf course in operation, prior to any further development occurring at Whiskey Jack.

To date there have been five (5) modifications of the MDA since 2010 to permit development of parcels (seven lots in Phase One and 51 lots in Stage Two) without the requirements of the MDA being met as well removing certain infrastructure requirements and modifying other development requirements. In 2013, council resolved to permit the development of two additional parcels, without the requirement to construct the golf course and other works as required by the MDA, in response to a request by WJ Lots ULC.

However, the actual subdivision plan to create the two additional parcels presented by WJ Lots ULC (and considered by council at the September 2017 meeting) increased the size of the two new proposed parcels significantly. Further, the golf course work, which was to occur in 2013 and 2014, as set out WJ Lots ULC’s 2013 letter, had not been completed.

Council resolved to rescinded their 2013 resolution (13-274) during the In-camera portion of the September 18 regular meeting and that Resolution (IC17-34) be released to the public, which states:
“THAT council rescind resolution no. 13-274 made on September 6, 2013, which reads: That the August 13, 2013 Staff Report from the Director of Engineering – Re: Whiskey Jack Resort – MDA Modification be received and approval be granted for the Density of 75 units for the “RV Lots” and 48 units for the “Adult Villa Extension” and further that approval be granted to relax the MDA, except for the requirement that the intersection with Highway 43 be completed and further that the Mayor and CAO be authorized to sign the related documents prepared and reviewed by our solicitor.”

Following careful consideration of the earlier resolution and consideration of the broader community interests, this resolution has been rescinded for the following reasons:
• The land area identified in the sketch attached to the request from WJ Lots ULC is substantially larger, by approximately 2.48 Ha (6.12 acres) from what had been approved by council in 2013 and thereby eliminates a golf hole;
• The commitments made by WJ Lots in their request for exclusion of the two parcels the letter dated August 2013, included work to be done in 2013 and 2014, of:

– Finish all features (greens, tees, bunkers, ponds, streams, etc.);

– Complete the installation of irrigation and drainage systems;

– Redistribution of turf and features;

– Start the seeding and growing process.

– This proposed development has eliminated a golf hole.

Pick Your Fruit Trees

It is time to pick the fruit off your fruit trees and clean-up all the windfalls as bears are starting to come into the community, as they are looking for easy food sources to bulk up before hibernation.  Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day, cleaning up fruit trees and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe and avoid unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.

Cemetery Management Bylaw No. 1017

Proposed Cemetery Bylaw changes, we want YOUR feedback!

District of Sparwood Mayor and Council will be giving further consideration to Cemetery Management Bylaw 1017 at the November 6, regular meeting. The major changes between the new bylaw and the existing Rivercrest Cemetery Bylaw 877 and Elk Valley (Michel) Cemetery Operations & Maintenance Bylaw 831 include pets will no longer be allowed in either cemetery; larger floral receptacles; no restriction on adornments or family keepsakes in Rivercrest Cemetery as long as they fit in the approved floral receptacle; and updates to the fees and charges. Refer to the handout for more details of the changes.

Please visit www.sparwood.ca to view the proposed and existing bylaws. Comments on the proposed changes can be forwarded in writing to the Deputy Director of Corporate Services, Sue Mortimer, at the District Office at 136 Spruce Avenue, before November 1.

Upcoming Meetings

Regular Meeting – Monday, October 2 at 1 p.m.

Regular Meeting – Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m.

District of Sparwood

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