It was a second attempt about six weeks in the making.
During the March 8 meeting, the Hope District Council approved preparing a temporary use permit for a 15-unit temporary worker housing lot at 21415 Trans Canada Highway near Landstrom Road. Council has not yet made a final decision on the permit as it is subject to a bylaw-mandated public notice period first.
This application first appeared before council in late January, at which time the council denied the permit for a 20-unit development. At that time, the council received 11 letters of opposition from nearby residents, who raised a number of concerns including increased likelihood for COVID transmission, traffic safety, noise pollution and an adverse affect on the feel of the neighbourhood.
This lot is expected to be used for no longer than three years.
Councillor Victor Smith excused himself from the vote due to conflict of interest.
In other council business, district council directed staff to begin public consultation for their Facilities Master Plan. CAO John Fortoloczky said this asset management plan spans 25 years and is necessary to have in place in order to secure provincial grants.
Most recently discussed in the Committee of the Whole meeting on Feb. 22, the Facilities Master Plan outlines upgrades to district buildings in poor condition. The plan calls for consolidation of the District Hall, Museum and Visitors Centre along with the Arts Gallery as well as a rebuilt emergency services facility. The plan takes into account population projects, current building conditions, assets and other factors.
The plan is available online in the Hope.ca document library under “2021-02-22 Committee of the Whole Agenda Package.”
Councillors Bob Erickson and Heather Stewin both had questions about developing on the current District Hall property as the changes may not be entirely classified as municipal business, for which the lot is currently zoned. Fortoloczky said the district would verify the possibilities.
Councillor Scott Medlock noted this plan is very much in its infancy and not set in stone.
Mayor Peter Robb said he is hoping to see more COVID-19 vaccine clinics open in the Hope area as the vaccine rollout ramps up. There are currently two vaccine clinics set to begin delivering doses starting March 15 – at the Hope Public Health Office (444 Park Street) and Fraser Canyon Hospital at 1275 7th Avenue.
Stewin took time to recognize International Women’s Day, which fell on the same day as the meeting, March 8. Stewin said the women in the community are strong, resilient and very important.
“It’s been a trying year for women, with COVID,” Stewin said. “When there’s cuts at work, usually it’s the women who tend to lose their jobs. This year, they’ve been teachers, they’ve been wives, they’ve been mothers, they’ve been employees from home. It’s been a challenging year, but my hat is off to them. We’re not where we used to be but we’re still not where we need to be, and we’re moving forward.”
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for March 22 at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/DistrictOfHope.