Courtenay councillor’s homeless motion forwarded to regional district

Courtenay council voted to forward a Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard resolution to the Comox Valley Regional District.

Courtenay council voted to forward a Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard resolution proposing a community forum about homelessness to the Comox Valley Regional District.

Leonard said her resolution was prompted by Lake Trail Middle School student Rachael Jancowski’s Feb. 18 presentation to council on homelessness in the Comox Valley.

The resolution suggests a community forum “to hear from service providers and experts in affordable housing provision regarding the dependent-end of the housing continuum” and that the Comox Valley Housing Task Force be asked to organize the event.

Coun. Starr Winchester pointed out the housing task force is a regional body and homelessness is regional issue, so to resolution should be forwarded to the CVRD for consideration.

The resolution will be forwarded to the CVRD for inclusion on the next available meeting agenda.

• • •

Water and sewer user rates will officially go up by 10 and 20 per cent respectively for 2013 as council approved final adoption of the new rates Monday.

The annual water user fee for a single family dwelling will increase by $31 and the sewer user fee will increase by $33, according to a staff report.

The water frontage tax will also increase from $1.09 per taxable foot to $1.14 per taxable foot.

Much of the increases are due in higher costs, and the need for infrastructure improvements.

• • •

Applications to rezone and amend the Official Community Plan for the proposed medical centre on the corner of Mission and Lerwick Roads were given final approval by council.

The project would see a two-building medical and office centre next to the new regional hospital.

• • •

Development activity in Courtenay has been fairly stable over the past few years, council heard during a report from the City’s development services department.

“In 2012, the City had a total construction value of $51,670,337 as compared to $57,297,883 in 2011,” wrote Peter Crawford, director of development services in his report, adding, “the construction values have been relatively stable over the last three years.”

Some of the major building permits issued were: Target department store, Lewis Centre renovation and expansion and the Thrifty Foods at Crown Isle development among others.

Some major bylaw applications included: the Comox Valley hospital, the medical clinic at Mission and Lerwick Roads, 32 residential units on Dingwall Road, 32 residential units on Arden Road and the first phase, (lots one to 69), of the Buckstone development in South Courtenay.

Although Crawford said he doesn’t have a “crystal ball” he noted some upcoming work and potential projects for 2013: more commercial development in the Crown Isle area, three development projects in the Arden Road area and two multi-family residential projects on Cliffe Avenue south of 30th Street, among others.

The department is also in the process of creating and updating various City plans and bylaws, such as the Arden Area Local Area Plan and the Tree Management and Protection Bylaw.

• • •

Courtenay council received the City’s State of the Environment 2013 report which outlines how the City is doing in terms of its carbon footprint.

The report will be posted on the City’s website at for the public.

It is the first time Courtenay has produced a ‘sustainability audit’ tool, according to a City staff report, and the report will act as a baseline for future reference.

The report features information on where Courtenay sits in terms of air, water, transportation, land use, waste and energy.

• • •

Courtenay will host the 2015 Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities annual general meeting and convention.

The convention will bring municipal leaders from all over Vancouver Island and some of coastal B.C. here in April of that year.

Coun. Doug Hillian noted the timing ties in well with Courtenay’s centennial year.

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