Courtenay council is considering options to improve pedestrian infrastructure on Lake Trail Road between Arden Elementary and Lake Trail Middle School.
Discussion at the Nov. 29 meeting followed a 2018 request from a delegation of students — the ‘Arden Ambassadors’ — who were seeking improvements on the Lake Trail corridor.
An engineering review produced two options: A sidewalk on both sides of Lake Trail with bike lanes, which would cost about $7.7 million; or a gravel path on the north side of Lake Trail, and a small section on the south side between Webdon and Arden roads, worth about $623,000.
“This is a much needed piece of infrastructure,” Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton said.
Council’s preference is the gravel path, which aligns with eligibility requirements for grant funding, and with the Cycling Network Plan. The Transportation Master Plan recommends a multi-use path from the city boundary to Willemar Avenue. This aligns with the Arden Corridor Local Area Plan, which identifies a priority for roads to maintain the rural character of the community.
Council directed staff to design a multi-use path that meets BC Active Transportation grant requirements, and then to apply for funding.
Solid Waste RFP
Council directed staff to solicit proposals for a three-stream curbside collection service, for a five-year contract with the provision for a five-year extension. Staff will also seek a memorandum of understanding between the City, the Town of Comox and Village of Cumberland to undertake a joint Request for Proposal.
Courtenay’s solid waste collection service contract expires April 30, 2022.
“This is a major change that we’re contemplating,” said Coun. Doug Hillian, noting new containers and a new collection system. He anticipates public concern about cost and reliability of service.
A fully automated collection service requires one person, while semi-automated needs two people.
Solid waste service RFPs will be issued this month and awarded in February. Council will make decisions about service cost and service levels next spring. Transition to an automated collection service is to be determined.
Amenity contributions/development variance permits
Council approved a resolution from Cole-Hamilton to have the City negotiate amenity contributions as part of the development variance permit application process.
He notes the impact of growth and development imposes a burden on the demand for amenities, particularly affordable housing.
“This resolution is designed to fill a gap in the process by which the City works with developers to secure amenities that benefit our community,” Cole-Hamilton said. “Where the City grants a request which increases the value of a property, that increase in value should be shared between the developer and the community. We have a clear process in place for rezoning, but do not have a similar process for variances.”