Midway council has given Ted and Noreen Neuman the green light to make application to the Agricultural Land Commission with their proposal to subdivide into two pieces their 70-acre property that sits uphill from the Midway cemetery.
The Nuemans sent Brad Elenko, Senior Planner with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. of Osoyoos to make the request and answer any questions from council or staff.
This is only the first step in a long process ahead for the landowners. The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) requires that municipal government be consulted prior to making application for subdivision of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
The Nuemans had come to council a few years ago with a more ambitious subdivision proposal for the property that would have seen the property divided into more parcels; but that would have required exclusion from the ALR and the property owners decided against submitting their application to the ALC at that time.
Councillor Marguerite Rotvold voiced her concern that animal grazing on the property might contaminate the village water system or aquifer. Elenko said they would not be opposed if the village wrote to the ALC saying that council is not in favour of using the land for grazing.
He told council that the application that is now being put forward would see the property divided into two lots, each lot having its own house and septic field. He said it might expand to something bigger in the future.
Elenko explained that Cemetery Road would provide access to one parcel, while the legal access for the other parcel would need clarification.
Council agreed to allow the application to go forward, with the understanding that the proposed subdivision would still be subject to council approval and in compliance with existing village zoning, subdivision and utilities service bylaws.
Councillor Gary Schierbeck reported that the Boundary District Curling Club is still struggling to reopen for the season because of failure of the chiller equipment; and recent price quotes from FortisBC and others has moved the project even further from reality.
Council agreed to offer local tree planter Owen Stewart and Greenpeaks Resource Management a renewal on the rental contract for hangar space at an increase of $25 to $225 per month. Councillors Darrin Metcalf and Schierbeck argued in favour of increasing the rent by $50 but it was carried at $225 by a vote of 3 – 2.
While they argued that the rate was too low, others reasoned that there wasn’t a line-up of renters ready to pay more and that a $50 increase would amount to a 25-per-cent jump in the rate, which was felt was to be excessive.
Area E director Vicki Gee has sent a letter to both Midway and Greenwood councils requesting that Area E-West Boundary be included as a shareholder in the West Boundary Community Forest. It was agreed that Midway council should meet with Greenwood council before replying to Gee’s request.
Midway council continues their war of words with Canada Post, this time on behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Council is writing to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to request that they urge the federal government to consult with the public about what kind of postal service they need before allowing Canada Post to make major changes to public postal service.
A Parcel Tax Review Committee has been formed that includes all members of council. Staff told council that they are aware a resident is considering asking for a review and the committee needs to be struck so that the village is ready for the procedure to go forward.
The zoning bylaw meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4 has been postponed until Monday, Feb. 16 in village council chambers.
The recent advertising done for the meeting did not fully comply with the Local Government Act and the meeting had to be rescheduled to allow for two consecutive weeks of advertising.
The zoning bylaw is actually being rescinded and brought back through the approval process, including the public meeting, after a resident complained to the Ombudsperson that they had not been properly made aware that the zoning on their property was changing last year.
The Ombudsperson also found that the notice of the public hearing at that time had not complied with the basic requirements of section 892 of the Local Government Act. The village agreed to conduct a new public hearing on the zoning bylaw, ensuring that the public notice was consistent with the Local Government Act.
Under Rotvold’s report regarding a budget meeting at the regional district level, it was noted that Phoenix Ski Hill is being considered for a $5,000 grant from the recreation commission. Mayor Randy Kappes said that if other organizations are going to be guaranteed an annual grant from the rec commission, he would like to know what is there for the arena in terms of an annual grant.
Rotvold said she would take the question to the next budget meeting; that she will not support the request until she can bring more information back to council.