Friday, July 11, 2014
Bylaws, Buffers and differences of opinion for Lot 444
In addition to a presentation from Imperial Oil regarding their plans for a development of an LNG plant on a parcel of shoreline along southern Tuck inlet, City Council members also had some civic housekeeping matters to attend to regarding their newly acquired land.
Monday, the short bench of City Council (three of the six council members were not in attendance on Monday) tackled the process of putting the finishing touches on their expansion of the city boundary to include Lot 444, as Council considered Bylaw issues related to their acquisition of the land that includes the City's watershed.
The process provided for a bit of a difference of opinion among the usually collegial council members, as they gave consideration of the bylaw amidst a bit of confusion as to when a public hearing on the topic would be held.
City Planner Zeno Krekic outlined a report on the bylaw requirements, stating that the public hearing would take place on July 28th, a suggestion which would have the land bylaw issue included on the schedule with a number of other public hearings on zoning issues for that night.
That prospect did not sit well with Councillor Cunningham, who outlined his thoughts on the need for an separate public hearing on the Lot 444 process, a theme that the Mayor was in agreement with.
At that point City Manager Robert Long provided some guidance on the situation, suggesting that Mr. Krekic perhaps had his dates incorrect and that the plan all along had been for the issue to go to public hearing in September.
A date of September 15th was then put aside for the public hearing regarding Lot 444.
Councillor Cunningham also had a few questions on the nature of Lot 444 and proposed development options for it, in particular seeking clarification on whether there would be a buffer zone required between the Watershed and any land for development adjacent to it.
That would be a subject which will require further review from staff and the Mayor outlined that with the public hearing now planned for September, staff had some time to report back on the topic further.
However, so concerned was Councillor Cunningham about the process and the need for clarification on the buffer issue that he sought to delay the process of the introduction, first and second reading of the applicable bylaw, until Council had more information on the theme.
That was a recommendation that the Mayor and Councillors Garon and Carlick-Pearson chose not to accept, moving forward the motion to adopt the introduction and first and second readings of the bylaw.
Following that vote, the Mayor outlined that Mr. Krekic's report on the questions raised on the evening should be provided at the next council session.
The issue of Lot 444 in the past has been a rather passionate discussion point, not only for Councillor Cunningham, but for both Councillors Ashley and Thorkelson as well.
And as both were absent on Monday, the process of moving the bylaw forward might have best been deferred until they too could offer up their thoughts on the bylaw proposal and process.
The nature of Councillor Cunningham's concerns on the topic not only in the Lot 444 discussion, but during the Imperial Oil presentation for the LNG proposal, suggest that there may still be a number of issues to be resolved when it comes to zoning for the land across from Seal Cove.
A suggestion that wait until they have more information in hand (and a better attendance at Council on the night), is perhaps a course of action that might have provided for a better review of what is shaping up to be major discussion point for Council.
You can review the conversation of Monday night from the City Council Video Archive page, it starts at the one hour forty three minute mark and continues on until the two hour point.
For more items related to City Council discussions see our Archive page here.