Cumberland council OKs street art and painting

Cumberland council adopted Monday a policy to allow neighbourhood street art and painting.

Cumberland council adopted Monday a policy to allow neighbourhood street art and painting.

In April, a group dubbed Village Art in the Streets (VAST) asked council to consider allowing public art. The group is proposing a street intersection painting called Intersection Repair by the City of Portland, Ore. The goal is to connect people and build relationships.

“I think this is a good beginning,” Coun. Roger Kishi said, noting chalk art at the recent Car Free Sunday event in the Valley and decorated telephone poles in the Fernwood neighbourhood of Victoria.

Kishi notes the policy can be fine-tuned at a later date.

Staff prepared the policy after consulting with the City of Portland, which claims projects do not adversely affect motorists.

The policy states that street art applicants need to receive 80 per cent approval from residents within a block of the intersection.

• • •

Council approved a policy that gives Village staff members a 50-per-cent reduction on fitness and recreation fees.

A staff report recognizes the potential for “lost revenue.” It also recognizes the premise that a healthy workforce means increased productivity and decreased sick days.

“It’s a small cost to the Village,” Mayor Leslie Baird said, noting sick time can be a “hefty cost.”

The Village employs 22 permanent and 16 casual staff members, not including council.

• • •

Council approved a Kishi motion to have staff explore guidelines and policies of other municipalities regarding community gardens.

At its previous meeting, Drew Henderson suggested a garden within a fenced area at Willard Avenue would give residents a chance to grow food and socialize.

Coun. Kate Greening finds the idea interesting but is concerned about costs to the Village.

Baird, noting calls from people opposed to the idea, questioned who would pay to restore the area if the project was discontinued.

“How would we specify the area?” Kishi said.

Coun. Conner Copeman opposed the motion. He had hoped to hear more about the idea from the public at a town hall meeting.

• • •

Copeman asked council’s approval to hold a block party that would close Derwent Avenue to traffic between Third and Fourth streets on July 14 from 3 to 9 p.m. The event would welcome new residents to the neighbourhood.

Baird said other block parties have been held in yards without blocking the street.

Greening feels 9 p.m. is a bit late for a Sunday. Council approved her motion for a report on the item.

• • •

A Bear Aware public information meeting will be held July 11 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

• • •

Proposed building regulation and subdivision/development bylaws will be discussed at a July 16 committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m.

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