Category Archives: Prince George City Hall

UBCM Asked To Consider Increased Sanctions On Elected Officials That Breach Confidentiality

4 resolutions are being sent to the Union of BC Municipalities from the City of Prince George for consideration for their next convention.

Three resolutions deal with increasing sanctions for those elected officials that fail to respect confidentiality despite their oath to office. The justification for doing so is that the current $2000 fine for a guilty offender is not high enough to discourage one from offending.

The first resolution asks the government to add more possible sanctions, up to and including disqualification from office on council, to those elected officials who breach the duty to respect confidentiality. The second resolution asks for the same thing for elected officials who breach of the required oath of office.

The third resolution asks the government to amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to increase the maximum fine of $2000 to individuals that are guilty of unauthorized disclosure of information.

The fourth resolution (which was a paper attachment distributed to Council Chamber, with the result being that the author does not have a copy) is a generalized resolution asking that a official discussion in regards to breach of privacy by elected officials be held among municipalities, so that they can share best practices.

Councillor Brian Skakun asked what was driving these resolutions. Mayor Dan Rogers responded that it was to provide clarity on the issue and to ask Council if they wish to see legislative changes. Beyond that, the Mayor thought that the driving force behind the resolutions was obvious.

Councillor Garth Frizzell added that these resolutions were about strengthening privacy in the future based on Prince George’s experience and not looking back on the past.

Councillor Skakun also wanted to know what kind of checks and balances there would be to ensure open government. Councillor Frizzell response by saying that these resolutions would be strengthening one of those checks. Councillor Skakun expressed concern that these changes would make a Council Judge, Jury, & Executioner. He said he wanted changes to legislation so that elected officials could be whistle-blowers.

Mayor Rogers disagreed that Council would become Judge, Jury, & Executioner if these changes were made. He stated that the Community Charter has a process from removing elected officials that requires the use of the courts.

The resolutions to be sent to UBCM were approved, with Councillor Skakun being the only one opposed.

Council Applies For P3 To Fund Performing Arts Centre

Council has unanimously supported applying for a grant for a public-private-partnership (P3) to crown corporation P3 Canada to fund a new Performing Arts Centre.

The application would be a “Phase 1 Application,” which allow the federal government to examine the project and compare it with other proposals while leaving the city with no commitment to actually go through with the project.

The proposed would cost $42.5 Million facility, with $1 million/year in operating costs with only $700,000/year revenue. A “Phase 2 Application” would examine how the City would raise it’s share of the start-up costs (with the idea of using the Playhouse as leverage being floated) and how the $300,000/year operating shortfall would be made up. The project would be City’s centennial project, in recognition of the city’s 100th birthday in 2015.

Council as a whole wanted to ensure the arts community that the Performing Arts Centre was something that they supported and wanted to see happen.

Councillor Cameron Stolz, thought that the P3 route was an innovative way to meet a need for the city, and would provide a good bang for the buck. Councillor Debora Munoz expressed a similar sentiment, saying that using the P3 process was to right way to go with this project. Councillor Murry Krause also thought that the P3 process was a creative way to get something the city wanted.

Mayor Dan Rogers reminded council that there is lots of work to be done before the Performing Arts Centre comes to fruition, such as finding a private sector partner that is interested in the project and is willing to assume some of its risks.

Council Meeting: June 27th, 2011

Public Hearings

Variance To Build Garage

Subdivision On Noranda Road
→Approve Rezoning

→Approve Variance To Waive Works & Services Requirements
→→Adjourn Variance Hearing Until July 11 to Allow Staff To Consult With Applicant

Flood Plain Regulation Bylaw Update

Delegations

Northern Sport Centre Annual Report to Council
→Approve Directors

YMCA Facility Renovations
→Get Information In Regards To Status Of Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Prince George Account

Mayors Reports

Proposed Resolutions To Union of BC Municipalities Increase Sanctions To Those Elected Officials That Breach The Duty To Respect Confidentiality

Supported: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Frizzell, Green, Krause, Munoz,  Stolz, Wilbur
Opposed: Councillor Skakun

Reconsideration Of Additional Ice Surface
→That Administration proceed with construction of a standalone arena facility that will meet the standards of the Canada Winter Games, subject to the concurrence of the Canada Games Council.

Supported: Councillors Green, Skakun, Stolz
Opposed: Mayor Rogers, Councillor Bassermann, Frizzell, Krause, Munoz, Wilbur
→Refer the issue of financing options to Administration, to begin discussion with affected parties such as the Canada Games Council and the Host Society, and to include participation of His Worship Mayor Rogers, and Councillors Bassermann, Green and Stolz.

Supported: Councillors Green, Skakun, Stolz
Opposed: Mayor Rogers, Councillor Bassermann, Frizzell, Krause, Munoz, Wilbur
→Ask Staff To Examine The Creation of An Additional Ice Surface In Prince George In The Capital Plan

→That Staff Vigorously Create A Plan To Minimize Lost Ice Time

Director of Community Services Reports

Rename Glenview Park To Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park

City Manager Reports

Apply For P3 Grant For Regional Performing Arts Centre Project

Elect Replacement Member To Library Board
→Appoint Gervin Halladay to the Library Board

Approve Committee of The Whole Resolutions:
THAT the City of Prince George 2010 Annual Municipal Report be approved;
THAT the Initiatives Prince George Mid-Year Update Report be received; and
THAT the Initiatives Prince George Shareholder Resolution be approved.

Proposed Downtown Incentives Program Update
→Direct Staff To Draft A Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw

Director of Community Services Reports

Renew City/School District #57 Shared Use Agreement

Director of Corporate Services Reports

Approve Borrowing For Simon Fraser Bridge & River Road Improvements

Acting Director of Planning & Development Reports

City’s Feedback on PG Air Improvement Roundtable Phase III Implementation

Rezone Greenbelt To Residential And Residential To Greenbelt On Barnes Ridge To Reflect Topography More Accurately

Rezone Walkways Behind Foothills Plaza To Commercial

Bylaws

Convert House To Doctor’s Office

Convert 3 Residential Lots Into 2

Allow Nancy O’s Restaurant To Become a “Liquor Primary” Liquor Licence Site

Rezone & Support Liquor Licence Application To Establish 100 Seat Cabaret At Learn to Earn Bartending School

Council Meeting: June 13th, 2011

Acting Director of Planning & Development Reports

Variance For Renovations To Steamers Pub

Public Hearings

Convert 3 Residential Lots Into 2

Delegations

PG Airport Authority 2010 Financial Report

Portraits of Honour Mural Project
→Refer Matter of Proposed Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park Project To Staff

→ Provide Reasonable Support To Portraits of Honour

City Manager Reports

Review Initiatives Prince George

Fill Vacancy On Prince George Accessibility Advisory Committee

Policy Review: Human Resources Policy

Supported: Mayor Rogers, Councillor Bassermann, Frizell, Green, Munoz,  Stolz
Opposed: Councillor Skakun

Director of Community Services Reports

Sign Letter of Agreement for the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay and End of Day Celebration

Stand Alone Arena Facility Comparison to 2015 Canada Winter Games Capital Plan
→That Administration proceed with construction of a standalone arena facility that will meet the standards of the Canada Winter Games, subject to the concurrence of the Canada Games Council.

Supported: Councillor Frizell, Green, Munoz, Skakun, Stolz
Opposed: Mayor Roger, Councillor Bassermann
→Refer the issue of financing options to Administration, to begin discussion with affected parties such as the Canada Games Council and the Host Society, and to include participation of His Worship Mayor Rogers, and Councillors Bassermann, Green and Stolz.

Director of Public Safety & Civic Facilities Reports

Security Alarm System Bylaw Changes

Acting Director of Planning & Development Reports

Flood Plain Regulation Bylaw Update

Bylaws

Modify Zoning Bylaw To Allow For Forestry, Environmental, & Ecological Consulting Businesses

Rezone Residential

Increase Water Meter Replacement Fees

Correspondence

Support Prince George Exhibition’s Application to the Northern Development Initiatives Trust (NDIT) Marketing Grants

Council Approves Recommendations Of Remuneration Review

At last night’s Council Meeting, City Council choose to approve all of the recommendations set out by the Council Remuneration Advisory Committee.

The recommendations, which will not be implemented until the next term, include keeping the Mayor’s pay for 2012 at 2011 level, setting each Councillor’s pay at 1/3rd the Mayor’s, ensuring that Mayor and Council receive a small wage increase each year in order to keep up with the cost of living, and improving the Mayor’s benefit plan coverage to that received by full-time City Exempt Staff.

The Committee found that the Mayor’s pay at $90,658 was above the average of peer communities outside of the Lower Mainland ($87,281); however, Council’s pay at $23,342 was below the peer communities outside of the Lower Mainland average of $30,766. By setting each Councillor’s pay at 1/3rd the Mayor’s, the 2012 for each Councillor in 2012 will be $30,219.

The Committee also recommended that a Council Remuneration Advisory Committee consisting of members of the public be struck every 2nd quarter of the last year of each Council’s term.

Councillor Brian Skakun declared that he had mixed feelings about the review. On one hand, he thought that Councillors were underpaid. On the other hand, he thought a increase of $6,877 between 2011 and 2012 was too much for a year and would only vote for the review’s recommendations if the raise was implemented incrementally over a few years.

Mayor Dan Rogers asked the Committee if an incremental approach was considered. It was, but their conclusion was that remuneration for Prince George City Councillors had to catch up to the wages of Councillors in cities of similar sizes, and that Council might as well be brave enough to get the raise to catch up done and over with by 2012.

Councillor Cameron Stolz wanted to know if the Committee considered merit based pay. The Committee did examine the issue, but was unable to find an effective method for doing so. In the end, the Committee chair concluded, merit would have to be decided by those that elected Council.

Councillor Garth Frizzell thought it was important that Council remuneration was fair and not serve as a barrier for those people considering running for Council. Mayor Rogers echoed those sentiments, stating that it was important to consider what Councillors had to give up in order to serve for the public.

All of council with the exception of Councillor Skakun voted for the Committee’s recommendations.

Council Meeting: May 30th, 2011

Public Hearings

Variance To Allow Carport

Variance To Allow Patio & Landscaping Upgrades To Steamers Pub
→Postpone to June 13th Council Meeting With More Information In Regards to Parking Effects

Support: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Green, Krause, Munoz,  Stolz, Wilbur
Opposed: Councillors Frizzell, Skakun

Modify Zoning Bylaw To Allow For Forestry, Environmental, & Ecological Consulting Businesses

Allow Nancy O’s Restaurant To Become a “Liquor Primary” Liquor Licence Site (Currently “Food Primary” Liquor Licence Site)

Rezone & Support Liquor Licence Application To Establish 100 Seat Cabaret At Learn to Earn Bartending School

Delegations

Prince George Folkfest Society: Support for the 2012 Coldsnap Winter Music Festival
→Provide $1500 in 2011 & In-Kind Use Of Playhouse For 2 Days In 2012

→Ask Staff To Examine How To Integrate Future Funding Of Coldsnap To The Social Grant Policy

Habitat for Humanity: Support for Construction of Habitat Homes
→Refer to Staff To Examine The Creation Of A Business Agreement With Habitat for Humanity

Council Committee Reports

Council Remuneration Advisory Committee: Council Remuneration Review

Support: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Green, Frizzell, Krause, Munoz,  Stolz, Wilbur
Opposed: Councillor Skakun

Increase Water Meter Replacement Fees

City Manager Reports

Updated Strategic Plan

Director of Public Safety & Civic Facilities Reports

Downtown Business Association 2010 Audit & 2011 Budget
→Approve of 2010 Audit

→Approve Budget

Director of Corporate Services Reports

2010 Elected Official Remuneration

Director of Community Services Reports

2015 Prince George Canada Winter Games Society Interim Memorandum of Understanding

Acting Director of Planning & Development Reports

Apply for $50,000 Grant From Vancouver Foundation with Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable

Glenview Crescents Neighbourhood Plan

Reconfigure 3 Residential Lots Into 2

Monthly Building Permit and Development Permit Summary, April 2011

Bylaws

Rezone North Nechako Property From General Industrial To Minor Institutional

Establish 2015 Canada Winter Games Facility Improvements Reserve

Increase City Parking Lot Rates

Phone Attendance

Allow Councillors Krause & Wilbur To Attend Next Meeting By Phone

Correspondence

UBCM Municipal Fiscal Management Study

Support for Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park and the Portraits of Honour Event

On Hiatus

Due to other commitments, I’m afraid that I will be too busy to cover the next three City Councils.

I’ll cover the May 9th meeting, and try to cover the highlights of the previous 4 council I missed.

Council Meeting: March 14th, 2011

Public Hearings

Amend Restrictive Covenant To Extend Maximum Height To Allow For 4 Storey Hotel With 150 Restaurant on 3191 & 3221 Highway 16 West

Delegations

Communities Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth – Sexual Exploitation of Youth Awareness Week (March 7 – 13th)

Mayor Reports

Tourism PG Board Appointments

Council Committee Reports

Prince George Advisory Design Panel Annual Report 2010
→Approve Updated Terms of Reference.

→The Mayor, on behalf of Council and the Advisory Design Panel, send letters of appreciation for design quality in 2010 for the following developments: the UNBC Bioenergy Building; the Commonwealth Health Centre; and Lortro Developments Ltd.

→The letters of appreciation be followed by a Media Release indicating the recipients of the letters of appreciation.

→Exhibits of the recognized developments be displayed in the lobby of City Hall in conjunction with the media release.

Governance Review Select Committee – Updating Officer Positions and Delegation of Authority Bylaw

Beyond Homelessness Standing Committee Report
→Approve Updated Terms of Reference

Finance and Audit Committee: Green Fleet Strategic Plan

City Manager Reports

Council Committee Appointment

City of Prince George 2011 Social Grants

Director of Community Services Reports

Kin Centre: Costs of Cost Comparison Between Renovating Kin 1 & Building New Ice Surface.
→Instruct Administration to proceed with the work assignments necessary to complete a cost evaluation concerning a stand alone ice facility solution, and authorizes expenditure of $105,000 that would be generated by an increase in the tax levy, to complete that work.
Failed due to lack of seconder.
→Affirm the Kin Centre improvement project submitted within the City’s bid to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games

Support: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Krause
Opposed: Councillors Frizell, Green, Munoz, Skakun, Stolz, Wilbur
→Instruct Administration to proceed with the work assignments necessary to complete a cost evaluation concerning a stand alone ice facility solution, and authorizes expenditure of $35,000 that would be paid with the contingency fund, to complete that work.

Support: Councillors Frizell, Green, Munoz, Skakun, Stolz, Wilbur
Opposed: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Krause

Director of Public Safety & Civic Facilities Reports

Downtown Parking Public Consultation Process

Director of Planning & Development Reports

Rescind 3rd Reading of BBK Bottle Depot Expansion & Instruct Staff To Create New Bylaw That Would Amend Official Community Plan & Rezone Property Commercial

Support: Mayor Rogers, Councillors Bassermann, Frizzell, Krause, Skakun
Opposed: Councillors Green, Munoz, Stolz, Wilbur

Rezone Ferguson Lake Road Property From Agriculture & Forestry to Rural Residential

Rezoning For Westgate-Area Subdivision

Monthly Building Permit and Development Permit Summary, January & February 2011

City’s Participation In Earth Hour

Superintendent of Operations Reports

Road Rehabilitation Projects, 2011

Spring Snow/Ice Clearing at the Cottonwood Island Boat Launch

Correspondence

Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society (REAPS) – Permission to Access PG Hotel to Inventory Small Items that Could be Salvaged and Reused
→Delegate Staff To Examine Request To Allow REAPS To Access PG Hotel

Bylaws

Close George Street In Front Of The Keg For Renovations

Information Items

Concerns Resulting from Medicinal Marijuana Licenses – Letter from City of Langley
→Write a Letter of Support

Online Municipal Voting –  Letter from Coquitlam
→Refer To Policy Advisory Committee

City Hall Agenda: March 14th, 2011

Highlights of this Council Meeting:

  • A report examining the costs of a cost comparison between renovating Kin #1 and building a new ice surface.
  • Plans for public consultation in regards to downtown parking.
  • Staff reports that it is possible to keep the Cottonwood Island Boat Launch clear of snow during the Spring at no extra cost.

Public Hearings

  • Amend Restrictive Covenant To Allow For 4 Storey Hotel With 150 Restaurant on 3191 & 3221 Highway 16 West

Delegations

  • Communities Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth – Sexual Exploitation of Youth Awareness Week (March 7 – 13th)

Mayor Reports

  • Tourism PG Board Appointments

Council Committee Reports

  • Prince George Advisory Design Panel Annual Report 2010
  • Governance Review Select Committee – Updating Officer Positions and Delegation of Authority Bylaw
  • Beyond Homelessness Standing Committee Report
  • Finance and Audit Committee: Green Fleet Plan

City Manager Reports

  • Council Committee Appointment
  • City of Prince George 2011 Social Grants

Director of Community Services Reports

  • Kin Centre: Costs of Cost Comparison Between Renovating Kin 1 & Building New Ice Surface.

Director of Public Safety & Civic Facilities Reports

  • Downtown Parking Public Consultation Process

Director of Planning & Development Reports

  • Rescind 3rd Reading of BBK Bottle Depot Expansion & Instruct Staff To Create New Bylaw That Would Amend Official Community Plan & Rezone Property Commercial
  • Rezone Ferguson Lake Road Property From Agriculture & Forestry to Rural Residential
  • Rezoning For Westgate-Area Subdivision
  • Monthly Building Permit and Development Permit Summary, January & February 2011
  • City’s Participation In Earth Hour

Superintendent of Operations Reports

  • Road Rehabilitation Projects, 2011
  • Spring Snow/Ice Clearing at the Cottonwood Island Boat Launch

Correspondence

  • Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society (REAPS) – Permission to Access PG Hotel to Inventory Small Items that Could be Salvaged and Reused

Bylaws

  • Close George Street In Front Of The Keg For Renovations

City To Lobby For Better Medicinal Marijuana Grow-Op Regulations

Council has voted to lobby Health Canada along with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to strengthen regulations relating to medicinal marijuana grow operations.

Currently, all licences to grow medicinal marijuana are managed by Health Canada, which requires the licensee to follow all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal legislation. However, Health Canada does not ensure that the licensee does follow the necessary legislation, nor informs municipalities about licensees in their boundaries (currently city staff are aware of only one licensee in PG boundaries).

City Staff wrote a report in regards to how to handle medicinal marijuana grow-ops, with 4 options:

  1. Status Quo: respond to issues as they arise and deal with bylaw infractions by taking the appropriate action;
  2. Prohibit Grow-Ops in Residential Zones: This action would probably face a court challenge to determine if the city hasn’t gone beyond its legal authority;
  3. Regulate Grow-Ops via the Zoning Bylaw: This action would be able to place regulations on the growing practices of a grow-op, mitigating negative effects; however, creating a bylaw could be costly and may face a court challenge;
  4. Lobby the Federal Government via the Federation of Canadian Municipalities:along with continuing with the status quo, the City would lobby Health Canada to ensure that grow-ops demonstrate compliance with regulations and that the City is informed about licensees within city boundaries.

Staff recommended that Council support option #4.

Councillor Garth Frizzell wanted the public to know that this discussion was not about the appropriateness of allowing legalized medicinal marijuana; rather, it was about making sure that grow-ops were following regulations and that there would be an legal way to solve disputes.

Councillor unanimously supported implementing option #4.

Councillor Cameron Stolz, however, expressed some concern that medicinal marijuana grow-ops were not regulated enough, and was interested in having a greater look at option #3, making a motion to do so.

Councillor Brian Skakun wondered if an additional municipal regulation on grow-op would be overkill, considering that there was only one known licensee within PG, 2822 personal-use licences in Canada, and 754 designated-person production licences in Canada. Councillors Debora Munoz and Don Bassermann expressed the same type of concern.

The motion to examine the regulation of grow-op via the zoning bylaw was defeated, with only Councillor Stolz voting for the motion.

City To Draft Bylaws To Become Bear Smart

Council voted to approve the creation of bylaw amendments that would lead the City towards achieving provincial Bear Smart status and thus reduce the interaction between humans and bears.

The proposed bylaw amendments aim to reduce situations and things that attract bears into the city. They are:

  • prohibiting property owners from collecting and storing bear attracts unless they are stored in enclosed structures;
  • prohibiting the placement of garbage out for collection before 4:00am on collection day;
  • prohibiting ripened fruit from accumulating on trees or on the ground below the tress;
  • prohibiting property owners from placing bird feeders that are easily accessible by bears; and
  • authorizing the Conservative Officer Service to enforce the above bylaws.

As an gardener, Councillor Don Bassermann expressed concern that some of the proposals could limit his ability to garden; the response to that was that the bylaw amendments would be written in a way so as to not impede gardening, but encourage citizens to manage their garden property in a manner to avoid attracting bears.

Councillor Garth Frizzell wanted to know if there would be a public education component; the answer being that the Conservative Officer Service would be educating people about the bylaws, but that it was important that other organizations also discussed the importance of reducing bear attractants.

Council voted unanimously to support the drafting of the bylaw amendments.

Pine Centre – Golf Course No Development Zone Expanded To Ensure Functionality

Council has decided to expand the “no development zone” on the corner of Highways 16 & 97.

At the November 29th 2010 meeting of Council, Councillors voted to have a “no development zone” within a 100m radius of the Highways 16/97 junction (see picture to the left). However, that zone is so small that it would limit any future development.

City Staff therefore recommend to staff that the “no development zone” be expand to a size of 1.64 ha so that the area could be developed in the future for a use by the City’s choosing. The new “no development zone” (see picture to the right) would encompass the PG Playhouse and its parking lots.

Council voted unanimously to implement the expanded “no development zone.”