Three things to watch for at city council this week

This week at city council, topics such as further limits to home sizes on the ALR, renovations to the historical McKinney House and a final draft plan for TransLink’s southwest region will be discussed.

Richmond's city council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 26 in council chambers at 6911 No. 3 Rd. The public is welcome to attend or watch an online broadcast of the meeting. Here’s a deeper look at these three agenda items:

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Further restrictions to home sizes on the ALR

On Monday, council will vote on whether or not to further restrict home sizes on the ALR to 5,382 square feet. This comes after a planning committee meeting last Tuesday where staff presented a report with public feedback on the issue. While the staff report offered no specific recommendation, 12 options for how home sizes could be limited were included.

Coun. Harold Steves put forward a motion to select the option which would limit home sizes to 5,382 square feet. This was seconded by Mayor Malcolm Brodie with amendments. By the end of the meeting, the vote was a tie with planning committee members Steves, Brodie and Coun. Chak Au voting to restrict home sizes and Couns. Bill McNulty, Linda McPhail and Alexa Loo voting against.

Now the matter goes to council for a vote on Monday with no recommendation from the planning committee as a result of the tie.

McKinney House

Staff is recommending that a heritage alteration permit be issued for the historical McKinney House in Steveston to undergo renovations. Constructed in 1911, the McKinney House is considered a prime example of Foursquare Edwardian-era architecture with Craftsman influences. The house became a protected heritage property in 1988 through a heritage designation bylaw.

Alterations would include changes to historic windows, the porch and the upper balcony, painting of the exterior cladding, the demolition of an existing non-historic rear addition and the construction of a new rear addition.

TransLink's southwest area transport plan

Staff are hoping council will endorse TransLink’s southwest area transport draft plan after more than three years of development. The southwest region includes Richmond, South Delta (Ladner and Tsawwassen) and Tsawwassen First Nation. The purpose of the plan is to identify priority strategies and actions for the region.

The plan’s construction began in February 2015 and the last report to council was in November 2017, which included public feedback. In November, staff were asked to prepare a final draft plan which they will now present to council on Monday.

The transit recommendations included in the plan include:

  • Improved service levels (e.g., upgrade of existing routes to Frequent Transit Network status such as the 401, 402 and 403);
  • Improved service reliability via splitting and/or realigning long routes (e.g., 407 and 410);
  • Improved service to industrial areas and business parks (e.g., Riverside, Crestwood, Fraserwood, Fraserport);
  • New or improved service to neighbourhoods (e.g., new route along Blundell Road, extension of new service to London Landing and north Bridgeport).

The plan also identifies transit infrastructure upgrades identified in the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision such as Canada Line improvements and a new bus exchange in Steveston.

TransLink will post the plan to its website and recommended changes that can be implemented by reallocating existing resources will be considered in TransLink's quarterly service changes.

Recommendations in the plan that require additional funding or detailed planning and design will be considered based on demand and future funding.

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