Broken Paddle DVP debated; city finances solid
By Nowell Berg
On June 26, City of Kimberley council held its bi-monthly meeting.
Councillors Kent Goodwin, Albert Hoglund, Bev Middlebrook, Sandra Roberts and Darryl Oakley were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Coun. Nigel Kitto was absent.
City on solid financial footing
Council received the 2016 Annual Report, Financial Statements and Audit Report.
According to the city’s auditor, Harley Lee of BDO Canada, the city is in a “strong position” compared to other municipalities. He has “no concerns” regarding the financial statements produced by the city.
“In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the City of Kimberley as at December 31, 2016 and its statement of operations, its changes in net debt and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards,” said the auditor’s prepared statement.
Chief Financial Officer Jim Hendricks and senior city management prepared the 2016 consolidated financial statements.
Financial assets were $3 million more in 2016 compared to 2015. This was due to the success of the city in securing almost $6 million in grants. The Gerry Sorensen Way re-construction was 100% covered by a $4.5 million grant.
Compared to 2015, 2016 liabilities remained stable at $16.7 million. Tangible capital assets increased almost $3 million in 2016, most of which came from the Gerry Sorensen Way project.
Mayor McCormick gave a shout out to all city staff and managers “who kept everything under budget.” All councilors expressed a similar sentiment, handing out kudos to city employees.
Fun Fact: 239 outdated and redundant bylaws and policies were repealed.
The financial statements and the annual report can be found here.
Broken Paddle spurs lengthy debate
Council was presented with a Development Variance Permit (DVP) for the Broken Paddle Diner, formerly known as BJs Restaurant and Creekside Pub.
Owners Korene and Brian Molloy applied to the city for the construction of an outdoor deck that would span the entire south side of the building. The proposed deck would be 30.5m (100 feet) long by wide 3m (10 feet).
At the June 12 council meeting, city staff were instructed to issue a notice to adjacent residents and property owners.
Responding to neighbour’s concerns, the DVP presented to council reduced the length to 20m (65.5 ft.), stipulated a maximum width of 3m (10 ft.) that “does not extend past the stream-facing edge of the top stones of Mark Creek” and submit a lighting plan that “demonstrates zero light trespass beyond the edge of the deck.” The deck would also be separated into two sections, one for the restaurant and the other for the pub.
Two respondents wrote letters to the mayor and council raising concerns about the deck.
Carol McGregor, who lives next door to the diner, raised two concerns – noise and parking. She wrote, “it is not uncommon to have the owners’ vehicles parked in the lane.” She cites numerous occasions when she has “to find the owner and ask to have vehicles moved so that we can access our parking spaces.”
As for the noise concern, she asked if any plans would be put into effect to mitigate noise from the deck reaching her home.
The other respondent, John Allen, also raised the noise concern in his three page written submission to the city. Read it here, on page 172.
In a break from procedure, Mayor McCormick allowed the proponent, Brian Molloy, and opponent, John Allen, to speak to council.
Mr. Molloy said the purpose of the deck was aesthetics, to improve the appearance of the building as it was now more visible from Wallinger Avenue bridge. Additionally, the deck would provide better wheelchair access to the building. He noted smoking was not allowed on outdoor decks and patios. As for the number of people who could occupy the deck at any one time, he put that number at 40 – 50 people based on Liquor Board rules and the number of washroom facilities.
He told council the restaurant and pub each operates at different times of day which will limit congestion and possible noise impacts. As for noise, Mr. Molloy contends that sounds from the flowing creek would drown out any noise from the deck. Regarding parking, Mr. Molloy said that he rents parking across the street, and being a liquor establishment most patrons walk or take a cab. He ended by stating, “I prefer to have the full length of deck.”
Mr. Allen, who lives directly across from the diner on the other side of Mark Creek, spoke to his issues of due process, parking, deck capacity, smoking, light pollution and noise.
He began by stating when he heard of the deck proposal he was in “disbelief, despondent and angry.” He noted residents only had “two weeks” to respond while the proponent had several months to prepare material for the city. He felt the city DVP report was “unchanged” from the original plan except for the addition of a lighting plan.
He stated that sound is wave based and the creek audio was a consistent frequency of white noise while people’s voices modulate a different frequencies and would travel across Mark Creek into his backyard. He urged the city to demand the proponent hire an acoustic consultant to figure out what could be done to reduce noise traveling across the creek. He also urged council to have the deck closed at 10 p.m., which the city cannot legally do.
After these presentations, council weighed in with a lengthy debate that lasted over one hour, which ultimately pushed the whole council meeting to nearly three hours.
Council raised many concerns regarding the pros and cons of the deck, but circled around to the central issue being one of noise.
In the end, Council approved the DVP and the original deck length (30m) with the conditions of the lighting plan and a railing that would be higher than the building code requirement of 42 inches. The railing must also have plexiglass to dampen sound and noise from traveling across Mark Creek.
Marysville Eco Park License of Occupation renewed
Council approved a motion to grant a license of occupation to Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook for the land known as Eco Park.
In the license renewal, Wildsight requested the city take over the responsibility of mowing and maintaining the lawn at the park. City staff recommended that this not be done as the cost, estimated at $1,200 per year, is not accounted for in the 2017 budget nor the 2017 – 2021 City Financial Plan. The staff report also noted the previous occupation license stipulated that “Wildsight would maintain the park at no cost to the city.”
In a subsequent motion by Coun. Goodwin, seconded by Coun. Oakley, it was proposed the mowing cost be paid for from the “in-kind grant” budget. Goodwin noted the “in-kind grant” budget always ran a surplus and the $1,200 per year would only have a small impact on it.
Coun. Hoglund disagreed with using the “in-kind grant” budget to pay for a service that Wildsight should be performing.
The motion passed with four votes yes and one vote no. Coun. Hoglund being the only councillor to vote against Coun. Goodwin’s motion.
After paying the bills and hearing council comments on sundry events, the meeting ground to a halt after nearly three hours by which time the gallery was reduced to one person and three journalists.
Kimberley City Council meets twice monthly. All meetings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. Check the city’s website here for the meeting agenda. Click on the 2017 folder and follow the link.
The next council meeting is Monday, July 10.
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