FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2017
Council gave first three readings to bylaws which intend to lead to Council’s desire for one water system, one water rate, one quality of water for all West Kelowna residents. Users who will benefit from the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant, construction of which is to begin in 2018, will see increased rates to help cover the City’s portion of the $49 million project as well as related capital infrastructure (the City received a $41 million grant from the governments of Canada and BC towards plant construction). Users of the Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant will see increased rates to help pay for capital works to the system to improve upland storage and fire protection. The draft bylaws will merge three of its five systems (Lakeview, West Kelowna Estates and Sunnyside) and rename the system to the Rose Valley Water System, while maintaining the Pritchard service area separate. Council also gave three readings to a bylaw to re-label the Westbank system as the Powers Creek Water System. All systems will be named the West Kelowna Water System once the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant is operational. Rates will change for all customers effective January 2018. Council approved the following elements to the water rate structure:
- Uniform rates to be phased in over the next four years
- Residential, industrial, commercial and institutional customers to be charged both a fixed component (operational + capital + debt) and a variable component (consumption)
- A move to a single definition of "agricultural' (BC Assessment - Class 9) and an agricultural rate structure consisting of both a flat per hectare charge and a consumption charge (both effective January 1, 2020)
- The elimination of five non-conforming commercial/institutional rates from our existing bylaw effective January 1, 2019
- The inclusion of a "capital component" to the City’s "unimproved parcel" water flat fee
- An update to our bulk water rates
The City will undertake a variety of communication efforts to inform the public of the changes to water rates. More information is available at www.westkelownacity.ca/waterrates.
McIver Road Subdivision
Council gave first and second reading to a Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 3545 McIver Road in the Glenrosa Neighbourhood to facilitate a six-lot subdivision of the property. The property, adjacent to Glenrosa Middle School, is currently zoned Country Residential and the application requests rezoning to Single Detached Residential. The application will be scheduled for a public hearing once further information regarding the proposed access to the property is received.
Bylaw Amended to Allow Bitterroot Harvest
Council gave first three readings to changes to the Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw and related bylaw enforcement bylaws to specifically allow bitterroot harvest in Mt. Boucherie Park. Westbank First Nation indicated that lands within a dedicated parkland area related to the new Phase of the Vineyard Estates Neighbourhood have traditionally been where bitterroot has been harvested and Council fully supported allowing this tradition to continue.
Majoros Road Apartment Complex
Council authorized a Development Permit to construct a four-storey apartment building with 48 units and underground parkade at 2250 Majoros Road. The development will include a roof top patio, lake and city-oriented balconies and at-grade patios. The 48 units (39 - 2 bedroom, 8 - 1 bedroom, and 1 bachelor) will have both above and below ground parking. The development includes a community garden for owners, electric vehicle charging stations and roof top solar panels.
Council approved a budget amendment to the 2017 budget for the purchase of property at 1506 Rose Meadow Drive for parkland development. The purchase price of the 3.72 acre property is $450,000, with $203,591 coming from cash-in-lieu of parkland collected at time of subdivision and representing a 0.3 hectare deficiency of neighbourhood park in Rose Valley and $246,409 will be funded through Parkland Development Cost Charges.
After hearing information from BC Transit regarding its recent public engagement focused on improving West Kelowna transit service, Council agreed to:
- Direct BC Transit to integrate the Route 27 (Horizon) and 29 (Bear Creek) into one route and re-invest any resource savings into schedule reliability in 2018. These routes have seen ongoing low performance. No funding impacts result from this change.
- Direct staff to include in the 2019 budget funding to improve off-peak (mid-day, evenings and weekends) transit service on the Route 97 Okanagan.
- Direct staff to include in the 2019 budget funding to improve off-peak transit service on coverage routes.
- Direct staff to include in the 2018 budget funding to introduce new seasonal (summer only) coverage transit service to lakefront area.
- Direct staff to include in the 2019 budget funding to introduce weekday coverage transit service to Shannon Lake Road area.
The additional estimated costs for these improvements is $186,847. The earliest changes could be made is Spring 2018.
Flood Recovery Plan 2017-2018
Council amended its budget to fund capital and operational costs related to the 2017 flooding earlier that impacted the community. The total estimated recovery cost to repair the City’s damaged infrastructure is $5,243,148. The City anticipates provincial funding support for 80% of the costs. The City would need to fund approximately $1,048,630 of the total cost. The City identified 45 recovery projects in the community including asphalt buckling, creek aggradation, damaged retaining walls, plugged storm drain systems, infilled treatment plant intake ponds and damage to parks. The City will hire a flood recovery supervisor to manage the 45 projects which will take up to 18 months to complete.