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Posted: September 29, 2021

Addition to Veteran Memorial Park proposed

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On September 27, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, Darryl Oakley and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick.

The press and public were not in attendance. The meeting streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.

Veteran Memorial Park addition

Cindy Postnikoff

Cindy Postnikoff, Military Ames facilitator, made a presentation to council regarding a new addition to Veteran Memorial Park.

Phase One of the parks development, completed in 2016, followed the decommissioning of the aging Cenotaph. The park now contains two memorial walls, a Vimy oak tree and an accessible fountain. “We accomplished our vision beyond expectations,” said Postnikoff.

Moving forward, Military Ames wants to install a granite statue of a K9 service dog to “recognize the significance of service animals – soldiers of another kind.”

Postnikoff said the statue would sit on a concrete base which, Military Ames proposes, would house a Columbarium for military service animals. She added, “It may be a first in the world.”

The initiative continues the Military Ames’ “efforts to honour, educate and enrich our community.”

“We [council] don’t intend to deal with this at tonight’s meeting. We will take this back and have an opportunity to pause and think about what the strategy is, then we’ll be able to provide you with our feedback,” said Mayor McCormick.

Short-Term Rental Feedback Report

Council received a report from planner Justin Cook regarding feedback from the Short-Term Rental (STR) Bylaw consultation process.

Check out the City webpage for details.

Between mid-May and mid-June, the city undertook a public survey to gather feedback on the Bylaw. Of the 369 respondents, 83 were from STR Operators and the rest residents.

Cook summarized the feedback and the city’s response:

1 – The requirement to post signage at the STR location brought up privacy rights and strata sign rules. The city investigates.

2 – The responsible person requirement is a “very important aspect of the Bylaw,” said Cook. He added staff are making sure this concern does not impose “unnecessary restrictions or requirements on STR owners.”

3 – STR operators sought clarification on “enforcement evidence.” Cook indicated the city is conducting a legal review of the bylaw “to ensure that substantiating evidence meets the requirement of judicial reviews.”

4 – Tourism and negative economic impacts were raised. Cook said there was “no evidence this [decreased tourists and property values] happens in other places that have implemented an STR Bylaw.”

Coun. Nigel Kitto

Coun. Kitto said signs all over town would be “pretty ugly.” Adding, “I think there are better ways to maintain privacy and neighbourhood beauty rather than putting up additional signage in front of STRs.”

Noting that in Europe window stickers are used to identify STRs, Coun. Roberts said, “Once the bylaw is in place and we take away the fear factor, and you understand what it is; it’s just not that bad, it’s not that complex.”

Mayor McCormick said, “I share Coun. Kitto’s concerns over signs. However, the neighbourhood needs to know who to contact if a complaint arises.”

Purcell Golf Expansion

Council received a Development Permit request from Purcell International Education (PIE) for the Purcell Golf Course expansion plan that “involves land clearing and grading to construct new holes along the St. Mary River.” These new river golf holes would be situated on an old flood plain. Details at PIE.

Coun. Kitto said, “I cannot support this in any way, shape or form. I think developing on a flood plain is a really bad idea. Any movement of the soils down there, chemicals used on golf courses that can go into the river. I can’t support this as it’s been written.”

Planning manager Troy Pollack replied, “We don’t have current or updated flood plain mapping for the area.” It will be done as part of the Water Act review and permitting.

He noted, “Recreational use of a flood plain is an allowable land use in that area.”

Coun. Kitto said, “There are hundreds of feet of irrigation pipe, soil and tons of sod, there is infrastructure any way you look at it.” In the event of a flood, “It would all be washed down stream for miles.”

At the vote, Councilors Kitto and Goodwin were opposed. The Mayor and other councillors voted in favour of the Development Permit.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. Due to pandemic restrictions, the public is not allowed to attend Council Chambers.

The next scheduled council meeting: October 12. It live streams on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel.

e-KNOW file photos


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