Rossland City Council approved two bylaws regarding new developments out at Red Mountain after what turned out to be a lively public hearing, according to Rossland’s mayor.
Monday night’s council meeting took place at the Rossland Miners’ Hall, as the roof at City Hall is still being repaired (see below), and it was probably for the best that the meeting took place in a larger space, as Mayor Kathy Moore estimates 60 to 70 people turned out for a public hearing regarding two zoning bylaw amendments out at Red to allow for new developments.
The first bylaw (Bylaw #2653) was to allow for a hostel on a lot off of Red Mountain Road and the second (Bylaw #2654) was to allow for the construction of 11 cabins (10 for guests, one for a caretaker) near Paradise Lodge.
“There didn’t seem to be too much resistance towards the hostel,” said Moore. “There were some neighbours that were concerned that there’s actually no setback on that property, so I think when they heard from Don Thompson, [president and general manager at Red Mountain Resort], that they’re planning a 10-meter buffer between any neighbouring properties, I think they were somewhat appeased. I think they’re concerned about noise and that kind of thing, but that property is zoned for multi-family residential … so a hostel probably isn’t going to be that much different.”
Moore pointed out that the Good Neighbour Bylaw will also apply.
But she said most of the concerns expressed during the public hearing were regarding the cabins at Paradise.
“Part of what I understood from people’s comments is they were concerned that Red was prioritizing cabins ahead of addressing things like parking and long lift lines and a connector between Silverlode and Grey, and some of the other concerns that have come with the success of the ski hill,” said Moore.
She also said that Thompson did a great job of addressing people’s concerns during the meeting.
Moore said people also expressed concerns about environmental impacts and said that an environmental impact assessment will, of course, be done for the area.
Council approved both bylaws during the regular council meeting that followed the public hearing.
Council approves requests from Skatepark Association for fundraising event
The Rossland Skatepark Association (RSA) is holding a fundraising event at the Rossland Skatepark on June 2 from 12-10 p.m. and requested free use of electricity, free use of the city’s stage, free use of tables and chairs and a variance to the Good Neighbour Bylaw to be able to play music until 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.
The RSA also requested use of the cover and fencing that were used at Rossland Winter Carnival, but as neither belongs to the city, council wasn’t able to grant those requests.
“But the things that we control we approved,” said Moore.
Cannabis survey still open
The City of Rossland has received 403 responses to its Legalization of Retail Cannabis Survey and the survey is still open until the end of March.
To complete the survey, visit rossland.ca/cannabis-survey.
City staff working from Miners’ Hall
With the roof at City Hall under repair, city staff will be working from the fourth floor of the Rossland Miners’ Hall.
Rosslanders can contact city staff using email or by calling 250-362-7396 and following the switchboard instructions. Leave a message for the correct department and someone will respond as soon as they can.
Moore also asks for people to be patient with city staff and council at this time.
“Because we do have an awful lot on our plate, trying to deal with this,” she said.
Council to review recreation financial assistance policy
Council received two letters regarding financial assistance for use of recreation facilities in Trail.
The first was from Trail Minor Baseball and Trail Girls Softball requesting that council use the unused funds from the city’s differential fee subsidy program’s 2017 budget to top off their subsidy request from the 25 per cent they received to the 100 per cent they’d requested. The subsidy goes towards paying the difference in fee for Rossland participants.
The letter also said that changes made to Rossland council’s recreation subsidy policy over recent years have made it harder for recreation programs to make budgeting decisions.
The second letter was from “a group of over 55 Rossland citizens (and growing), working together for a resolution to regional recreation funding” and spoke against the current recreation financial assistance policy for excluding seniors and people with disabilities, and for being set up in such a way that the groups that are still eligible, who can only receive up to a maximum of 25 per cent of the additional fee, will always receive less than what is actually budgeted for the program.
The letter supports the request from Trail Minor Baseball and Trail Girls Softball and also requests that the group be allowed to meet with council at the March 26 council meeting.
“We basically have directed our staff to bring that subsidy policy forward and, going forward, look at doing a 50 per cent reimbursement, instead of 25,” said Moore.
But she explained that going back retroactively to spend last year’s budget doesn’t work.
“Money in our budget that’s allocated for something — unless it’s like a reserve, like a capital reserve or a reserve for a specific thing — it just goes back to general revenue,” said Moore. “So since this was 2017 that they’re requesting, that money has already gone back into general revenue.”
She said they didn’t come to any firm decision on whether or not to reimburse Trail Minor Baseball and Trail Girls Softball, but they did direct staff to bring the policy forward again.
Moore also mentioned that city staff is working on a plan for community outreach regarding recreation.