To the Reader:
This blog entry needs to read in conjunction with the ‘Seniors Speak from the Ledge”, a report from the seniors on the Grandview Seniors Project located on 16th Avenue, Castlegar, B.C.
There is also an update on the above report published in my blog.
There were Report references to the influence of the City of Castlegar on the outcome of the project in the above blog entries. This letter from the Approving Officer (AO) was sent just after a meeting that the Writer had with the recently elected Mayor who was sympathetic to the potential financial implications of the AO actions and met with the AO to discuss same.
I do not believe that the office of AO was in question by either seniors nor the Mayor but unfortunately the interpretation by the AO was different.
The Grandview Project was situate where future development would take place and the discussions of the Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative (KCSHC) with the Mayor was to recognize where services installed at Grandview would be ultimately service these future developments. These services should then be financed in a special manner so as not to impact KCSHC.
In hindsight, this lack of communication caused the seniors to finance:
- $1 million to construction part of 16th Avenue already legislated by a municipal by law
- Construct a $400,000 pumping station that only required some $70,000 booster pump to achieve municipal standards
- Construct a $300,000 storm overflow structure where the Storm Lagoon has remained essentially dry since construction
- Request to construct a water loop to existing Emerald Green that did not have this capacity
- Much more
It was obvious from the above list that the Grandview Project would fail financially as was part of the concerns discussed with the Mayor and part of this reference letter.
Again, posting the Grandview reports and this reference letter is for community information and perhaps to assist future Developers in achieving success.
“……..City of Castlegar February 19, 2007 File: 3320-20 S-5/06
Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative Inc. No. CP0001997
902 – 6th Street
Castlegar BC VIN 2E5
Attention: Mr. Elmer Verigin
Re: Withdrawal of Preliminary Layout Review Letter December 19, 2006.
This letter is to advise that the Preliminary Layout Review letter of December 19, 2006 is no longer valid as the 2 preliminary subdivision drawings provided by WSA on February 1 5 th indicate a substantial change from the previously reviewed drawings used to set the terms and conditions of the subject PLR.
The previous application allowed for 28 fee simple lots and 29 strata units in Phase 1 of the development. The drawing provided on February 15 th shows 55 fee simple parcels and 40 strata units.
The previous access to the property was from the south. The new access is proposed from the North.
The new preliminary drawings show different locations for waterlines, sanitary and storm lines.
There is an additional parcel involved in the subdivision.
The development now is impacted by the Phase 3 Emerald Green Development.
Although the PLR is no longer valid, the comments provided should be of use to your engineer in moving the process forward.
a City Hall 12 Fire Department
Phone: 250.365.7227 Phone: 250-365.5979 Phone: 250.365.5151 Phone: 250.365.3266 Fax: 250.365.4810 Fax: 250.365.0594 Fax: 250.365.5949 Fax: 250.304.2562 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Address: 460 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, BC VIN IG7 • http://www.castlegar.ca
12 Transportation & Civic Works Municipal Airport
Attached please find an additional application form.
The application fees based on the revised number of lots is $2, 125.00 for the fee simple parcels and $500.00 for the phased strata development (total $2,625.00).
Some of the initial comments that come to mind with respect to revised application are:
- Additional consultation with the public with respect to the initial zoning application (additional public hearing and referrals necessary)
- Zoning and Official Community Plan Amendment of the property to the north will be necessary (application fee $715.00)
- Preliminary Design Drawings to be provided for the proposed access through the northerly lands (including Phase 3 portion of the Emerald Green Development).
- The City of Castlegar will require a sketch plan showing the final method of subdivision of the Lands to the North (including Emerald Green’s Phase 3 Lands) and showing how the present phase fits into such a final subdivision. (Article 3.2.3 of Subdivision and Development Bylaw 1018).
The adjacent 20 acres to the north means additional lots, which would change KWL’s water modeling. KWL was requested to determine if looping the water main to the end of the existing 14th Avenue (adjacent to Venture Mechanical) was necessary, and to produce an estimate. If the initial 14th Avenue extension is abandoned we have wasted KWL’s time and our money.
- If the main road is now constructed from 37th Street, there may be a possibility that the site can be serviced with water from 37th as well as off the main line. This totally changes the modeling and scope of KWL’s work.
- If the site is serviced/accessed from the north then we will need to request that KWL separate and categorize their invoice into which work can still be used for the new layout (including future buildout) (internal modeling, etc.) and which work now becomes useless. It is staffs opinion that the Society should be responsible for covering mounting costs due to changing directions.
- Highways consultation on the 37th Street access (and possible upgrades) required.
- Construction traffic through 37th Street would be a concern to the area residents.
- The Applicants will have to provide alternate access for emergency vehicles. (The alternate access provision was a requirement of Emerald Green’s Phase 3 Development). The ITE publication “Residential Street and Traffic Control” recommends a maximum length for a cul-de-sac of 210 to 300 metres.
If a cul-de-sac is longer than 300 metres, many Municipalities typically require a secondary access for emergency vehicles and utilities.
There will also be a need to send out revised referrals to other agencies (eg. School District (demand for School sites), school bus routes); B.C. Transit (bus routes and stopping facilities; Fire Chief (fire hazards, emergency accesses); Ministry of Transportation; RDCK and affected utilities.
- Possibility of other changes.
Possibility of delays associated with review of Phase 3 of Emerald Green’s Phased Strata Development.
- I note in WSA’s letter of February 14, 2007 that there is a difference of opinion on item 16 of the rescinded PLR. The 1 1/20/0 inspection fee has been in place since at least 1994, has been a condition of subdivision since that time and is a bylaw requirement.
I would also like to bring to your attention the legislative requirements associated with my position as the City of Castlegar Approving Officer.
I must refuse to approve a subdivision if the subdivision does not conform to bylaws regulating the subdivision of lands and zoning.
I understand that you have been approaching members of City Council with respect to my role as the City’s Approving Officer.
Attached please find an excerpt from the Guide for Approving Officers that identifies the role of Council and the Approving Officer in subdivision approval.
This document states in part, that
“The Approving Officer is appointed by the local government as the official who has a responsibility to independently administer provincial statutes and use the Approving Officers own discretion in making decisions regarding subdivision approval. The Approving Officer is thus a statutory official with separate and independent jurisdiction from local government.
It is the responsibility of the Approving Officer to ensure that subdivisions are in accordance with provincial statutes, regulations and local government bylaws regulating subdivision and zoning.
The Approving Officer also has a wide discretion to refuse to approve a subdivision plan if the Approving Officer considers it inappropriate for a variety of reasons listed in the Act, including the deposit of the plan being against the public interest.
Independence from the council is important to the objectivity of the Approving Officer. No delegation of the Approving Officers responsibilities or discretion (to the council or otherwise) is allowed under provincial legislation. This was well summed up by Lander, J. when he said… “Clearly subdivision is beyond the jurisdiction or control of the (Council). Subdivision is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Approving Officer who is appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Land Title Act… Absent statutory power, the (Council) cannot interfere with the administration or direction of the Approving Officers decisions. Any such interference would be a serious breach of authority and duty and would not be condoned.”
Although a subdivision proposal may be discussed with the Council or a committee of the council, the Approving Officer and Council should both be aware of the limits on Council’s jurisdiction.
In forming an opinion about the public interest, the Approving Officer may try to interpret public policy as expressed in the Official Community Plan or other bylaws or municipal policy statements. The Approving Officer may hear from Council members, just as they can hear from the public, and consider possible reasons for not approving an application, but the Approving Officer must not take specific instruction from Council. To do so would be a fettering of the Approving Officers discretion and could result in the court overturning the Approving Officers decision.
As the document goes on to say, the Approving Officer must be consistent, fair, have a proper factual basis for the exercise of discretion and follow the laws of natural justice.
I have followed these guiding principles since 1992 and am very proud of that fact.
I have gone out of my way to try and move this very worthwhile seniors development forward within the guidelines of the city bylaws and provincial legislation.
As you will recall, I cancelled a portion of my vacation last August in anticipation of a subdivision application you instructed WSA Engineering to proceed with on July 25, 2006. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the application was not submitted until September 7, 2006.
In anticipation of the application, I had prepared the following documentation to try to assist in moving the process forward.
- An update status report to Council (dated August 2, 2006);
A draft Section 219 Covenant in anticipation of the Society wanting to move forward with the OCP and Zoning Amendment Bylaws prior to the Society reaching agreement on the offsite works;
A report to Council in anticipation of entering into a Service Agreement with the Society for the offsite works;
- A report to Council with respect to the Latecomer Charges associated with the 14th Avenue Extension;
- A draft Latecomer Agreement;
- Draft letters to the surrounding property owners; and a draft report to Council with respect to a Development Variance Permit as it related to Future Phase 2 works.
I am prepared to do so again.
Both the Society and the City of Castlegar have spent a considerable amount of time and money to get to this stage.
Please note that as there are no road works being constructed outside the boundaries of the lands being subdivided that there will be no Development Cost Charges credit applicable to your development or Emerald Green’s.
I am looking forward to receipt of the amended subdivision application.
Director of Development Services/Approving Officer
c: Mayor & Council
Chief Administrative Officer
Director of Transportation and Civic Works
Dan Sahlstrom, WSA Engineering……..”
Posted April 07, 2020 1020 hours by EWV