After a long weekend, the next city council meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 13. Here are some key agenda items to keep your eye on.
Five year financial plan
Last November and December, items in the city’s 2018 budget were approved by city council. However, at tonight’s council meeting, the city is seeking approval of its five-year financial plan, spanning from 2018-2022. But before this financial plan can move ahead, a bylaw requires that the city seek public consultation on it.
Starting Feb. 14, the city will share a link to its five-year financial plan with the public. A public forum will be launched through Let’s Talk Richmond on Wednesday and copies of the financial plan will be available for the public to pick up at city hall. Public consultation will end on March 4.
Steveston Buddhist Temples rezoning application
Steveston Buddhist Temple has applied to rezone 4360 Garry Street so it can keep the existing temple in its location and develop a 107-unit housing complex on the south half of the property. The housing complex will be oriented to seniors (75 years plus) under an independent and semi-independent housing model. Steveston Buddhist Temple Society will keep ownership of the site and establishing a separate non-profit housing society, Wisteria Seniors Health and Housing Society, for the purposes of the housing facility. The society also intends to apply for provincial funding through the BC Housing Investment in Affordable Housing Initiative to assist with providing rents at below market rates to residents.
When first announced, several nearby residents were displeased with this application and wrote letters, some indicating a concern for increased traffic and emergency vehicles to the area, while others grieved the size of the proposed development and potential parking shortages.
“The height of the building far exceeds the surrounding dwellings,” wrote Mark and Angie Robertson to city council in 2016. “Due to the size of the proposed new building we will be deprived of sunlight to our property. Thus impacting our quality of life. This is unacceptable.”
To address some of these concerns, the site plan was adjusted in 2017 to reduce the building from four storeys to three. Feedback from a 2017 community meeting was generally positive, according to the society, but a few community members still expressed concern for how the building would affect light access to their property.
Subdivision of ALR property
Director of development, Wayne Craig, is asking council to deny a request to approve a non-farm use application and subdivide a property at 11200 Westminster Hwy., near No. 5 Road, into two lots. A non-farm use application requires council’s approval. If council approves the application, it is then passed on the Agricultural Land Commission.
According to a staff report, the applicant wishes to divide the property into two evenly sized parcels of land to allow for two single family homes, but does not plan to farm on either property. The report also states that while there is no farming on the property currently, a portion of the property may be used for agricultural activities in the future if it’s not divided.
“Allowing the subdivision of the property would likely set a precedent for similar subdivision applications in the ALR,” says a report from John Hopkins, senior planner. “Staff recommend that the ALR non-farm use subdivision application at 11200 Westminster Highway to create two evenly sized properties as outlined in this report be denied.”
Richmond's city council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in council chambers at 6911 No. 3 Rd. The public is welcome to attend or watch an online broadcast of the meeting.