October 5, 2009 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

General Purposes Committee





Monday, October 5, 2009


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair

Councillor Linda Barnes

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Greg Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Bill McNulty


Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.









It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on Monday, September 21, 2009, be adopted as circulated.












(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2723858)




In reply to a query from Committee, Glenn McLaughlin, Chief Licence Inspector & Risk Manager, advised that the applicant is seeking a deferral to allow for more time to respond to staff’s recommendations.  Mr.  McLaughlin noted that due to a Liquor Control and Licensing Branch deadline, and a previous extension, the application can only be deferred for another two weeks.



Soon Keong Chung, Owner of Red Palms Malaysian Pondok Inc., requested that he be granted a deferral in order to better respond to staff’s recommendations.



It was moved and seconded



That the application by Red Palms Malaysian Pondock Inc., to extend the hours of liquor service from 9:00 a.m. to Midnight, Monday to Sunday to 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Monday to Sunday, be deferred to the next General Purposes Committee meeting to be held on Monday, October 19, 2009.








(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2714108v3)



Aida Leung, Owner of the Salle de Thé Tea Room, provided background information related to her business and explained why she is seeking a Liquor Primary Licence.



It was moved and seconded



That the application by Golden Harvest Management Ltd., doing business as Salle de the Tea Room, for a Liquor Primary Licence at 8571 Alexandra Road Unit 113, in order to offer liquor service, be supported and that a letter be sent to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch advising that:




Council recommends the issuance of the proposed  licence based on the community responses received and that the operation will not have a significant negative impact on the community;




Council’s comments on the prescribed criteria (set out in section 10(3) of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act Regulations) are as follows:





The potential for additional noise and traffic in the area if the application is approved was considered;





The application for a 20 person capacity operation, with liquor service hours of 3:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday to Sunday, will not pose a significant negative impact on the community based on the lack of responses received from the residents and businesses in the area;





The proximity of the proposed location to residential districts that may be impacted by the application was considered;





The proximity of the proposed location to other social or recreational facilities and public buildings was considered.  There are no schools and parks within a 500 metre radius of the proposed liquor primary location;





The number and market focus or clientele of liquor primary licence establishments within a reasonable distance of the proposed location was considered;





The issue of parking was considered;





The zoning of the proposed location, Automobile-Oriented Commercial  District (C6) was reviewed and the use conforms to the regulations;





The 2008 population figure of  42,600 for the City Centre area with a projected growth to 90,000 by 2031 was considered.  Relevant socio-economic information was considered;





The impact on the community if the application is approved was considered;




As the operation of the establishment as a licensed establishment might affect nearby residents, the City gathered the views of the residents as follows:





As per City Policy, residents, property owners and businesses within a 100 metre radius of the subject property were contacted by letter detailing the application and were provided with instruction on how comments or concerns could be submitted;





In addition, signage was posted at the subject property and three public notices were published in a local newspaper.  This signage and notice provided information on the application and instruction on how community comments or concerns could be submitted; and




Council’s comments and recommendations respecting the views of the residents are as follows:





The only response to the public notifications was a letter dated July 21, 2009 from nearby business owners.  Based on the lack of any responses from residents in the nearby area, Council considers that the application is acceptable to the majority of the residents in the nearby area.








(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2718088v2)



It was moved and seconded



That Council decline to comment on the Liquor Primary License amendment application submitted by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, doing business as River Rock Casino Resort, to expand the area affected by the license and to increase the person capacity in the expanded area, and that a letter be sent to the General Manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch by the City advising of the City’s decision.







Discussion ensued regarding recent complaints related to Bed & Breakfasts and noise levels at True World Foods of Canada Inc., and as result:



It was moved and seconded



That the issues of ‘Bed & Breakfasts’ and ‘noise levels at True World Foods of Canada Inc.’ be added to the Agenda as Items 9 and 10.








(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2724557, 2724604, 2704103)



It was moved and seconded



That Business Licence Bylaw No. 7360, Amendment Bylaw 8543, to create revised fee schedules, be introduced and given first, second and third readings.



The question on the motion was not called as discussion ensued regarding the necessity of the proposed revised fee schedules and whether the increase in licensing fees should be set aside this year in light of the downturn in the economy and in recognition of the difficulties experience by businesses locally. 



In reply to a query from Committee, Mr. McLaughlin stated that the proposed fess are primarily set for cost recovery.



The question on the motion was then called and it was DEFEATED ON A TIE VOTE with Councillors Dang, E. Halsey-Brandt, G. Halsey-Brandt, and Johnston opposed.



Given that there were no further recommendations proposed, the Mayor indicated that the matter appear on the next Council agenda without a recommendation.



Social Financial Hardship Assistance Fund

(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2651878)



Jerry Chong, Director, Finance, advised that Section 24 of the Community Charter stipulates that Council must give notice of its intention to provide assistance, such as a loan, to a person or organization.



In reply to queries from Committee, Mr. Chong and John Foster, Social Planning Co-ordinator, provided the following information:




the three month repayment period as described in the staff report can be revisited;




staff are unaware of any Richmond organizations immediately at risk;




the funds proposed to be allocated to the proposed Social Financial Hardship Assistance Fund currently earn a 3.2% rate of return, and it is anticipated that this rate will increase in the upcoming year; and




staff are unaware of other local municipalities with a similar program.



Discussion ensued regarding the purpose of establishing such a fund.  It was noted that the intent of a Social Financial Hardship Assistance Fund is to provide immediate assistance to bridge finances for groups awaiting funds from other levels of government. 



Committee directed staff to review and revise the following areas of the proposed Social Financial Hardship Assistance Fundto reflect Committee’s requests:




the amount and allocation of the funds should remain the same, i.e., $500,000 for a period not to exceed three years with a maximum annual allocation of $250,000 in 2010, $150,000 in 2011, and the remaining $100,000 in 2012;




the repayment period should be extended to six months;




the interest rate should be 2%;




the application and process should be simplified for quick allocation of the funds;




groups not eligible for City grants should be eligible for a loan;




any funds remaining at the end of the program should be returned to the City’s surplus only after the program has completed;




staff’s recommendations are to remain on a quarterly basis, however, urgent circumstances should be brought forward immediately; and




the funds for loans should be completely separate from the funds set aside for City grants.



Discussion further ensued and Committee requested that they be given an analysis with options between loans and grants, focusing, but not limited to terms, amounts, and assurances.  It was noted that advertising requirements between loans and grants also be reviewed and brought forward.



It was mentioned that the process could always be revised in extreme circumstances.



As a result of the discussion, the following referral was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That the City’s Social Financial Hardship Assistance Fund report be referred back to staff to revisit areas related to: 




the repayment period;




the reporting frequency;




the interest rate;




the application process and eligibility, with a view to simplifying the process;




the reallocation of leftover funds, if any, to the City’s surplus;




whether an option for a grant instead of a loan is possible in some instances; and




notice and advertising requirements for grants and loan under the Community Charter.



The question on the referral motion was not called as discussion ensued on the timing of the subsequent report and staff were asked to report to Committee as quickly as possible.  The question on the referral motion was then called and it was CARRIED.








The City of Richmond Olympic Plan Update

(File Ref. No.:  01-0340-20-OBUS1) (REDMS No. 2729535)



With the aid of an aerial rendering, Jeff Day, General Manager, Olympic Business & Major Projects, and Anne Stevens, Senior Manager, Richmond Olympic Programs, reviewed the O Zone site plan.  Ms. Stevens also commented that Volunteer Richmond has done a tremendous job recruiting volunteers, over 1,000 to date.



In reply to queries from Committee, staff advised the following:




the artificial turf bound by the Clement Track is open to the public, but will not house heavy structures;




approximately 30 different businesses are being sought for sponsorship opportunities;




information related to the home stay program for Canadian Speed Skaters can be found at Speed Skating Canada’s website;




the Minoru parkade will be painted orange, the structure will be utilized by the Holland Heineken House (HHH)  for operational reasons;




entrances and exits to the O Zone and the HHH face south, away from residences;




there will be two 42-metre LED screens, one of which will run a constant feed of CTV’s coverage of the Games;




sponsorship is challenging in such an economic climate, however, staff have consulted local businesses and revised the sponsorship packages according to local business needs and desires;




staff are holding public open houses to inform the public and other groups such as seniors regarding the O Zone and its impact on the community;




HHH is funding and providing its own security;




warming stations will be combined with information booths and will provide temporary shelter for those wanting a break from the elements;




the O Zone will provide several legacies such as a large roster of volunteers, an operational manual for a large event, tidied park pathways,  and a better sound system at Minoru Arenas just to name a few;




those wishing to volunteer for the O Zone can do so by registering with Volunteer Richmond, and those wishing to volunteer at the Richmond Olympic Oval can do so by registering with VANOC; and




preparations for the Games and the O Zone are anticipated to commence on January 25, 2010 until the end of February 2010.



A brief discussion ensued and it was noted that communication is key and the community should be made well aware of the O Zone and all it will have to offer.



It was moved and seconded



That the City of Richmond Olympic Plan Update as outlined in the report dated September 29, 2009 from the General Manager, Project Development & Facilities Management, be received for information.











Richmond Gateway Signage Upgrade Program

(File Ref. No.: 10-0340-02) (REDMS No. 2638551)



In reply to queries from Committee, Mike Redpath, Senior Program Manager, CPMG, provided background information and advised that (i) the existing concrete and mortar engineered base structures will be utilized and the existing cedar wood signage will be recycled into the Terra Nova Rural Park; and (ii) the proposed material for the new signage will be red cedar.



Discussion ensued and it was noted that (i) ‘Island City, by Nature’ should be incorporated in the wood structure of the proposed new signage; (ii) the provincial signage just south of the George Massey Tunnel should be cleaned; and (iii) some form of low maintenance landscaping, such as cedar hedges, should be incorporated behind the proposed new signage. 



Also Committee requested that staff provide a memorandum to Council with further information on the above suggestions prior to this item going before Council on Tuesday, October 13th.



It was moved and seconded



That $100,000 for the Richmond Gateway Signage Upgrade Program be appropriated from the 2008 surplus.




Opposed: Cllr. Steves







Wayne Mercer, Manager, Community Bylaws, provided background information related to complaints received regarding Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs), noting that only one B&B complies with the City’s zoning and business licence regulations.  Mr. Mercer also reviewed the process B&Bs would have to go through in order to be in compliance and advised that B&Bs have until the end of November 2009 to comply with the City’s regulations.



In reply to queries from Committee, Joe Erceg, General Manager, Planning and Development advised that (i) a rezoning application could take up to at least three months, and would require a Public Hearing; and (ii) Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) could be investigated, however safety factors such as emergency exits, fire extinguishers and so forth would also have to be considered and TUPs also go through the Public Hearing process.



Discussion ensued and it was mentioned that a full report including an analysis and options should be underway as there is an outstanding referral on this matter.  Also, it was noted that the forthcoming staff report should be brought forward as soon as possible to the appropriate Standing Committee.







Mr. Mercer spoke of complaints received by nearby residents regarding noise levels caused by large condensers on True World Foods of Canada Inc.’s rooftop.  He stated that the owners of the businesses are building baffles around the large condensers and Vancouver Coastal Health will be conducting noise level readings in the near future.  



Committee requested that a memorandum be provided to Council regarding Vancouver Coastal Health’s findings.



In reply to a query from Committee, staff advised that the dirt bike park at the south end of No. 2 Road will eventually be relocated, however staff currently have not identified a potential future location.  Discussion ensued and staff advised that a rezoning application has been received for the site, however the application has not been before the Planning Committee.  Mr. Erceg offered that a memorandum with updated information regarding the subject site would be circulated shortly.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:59 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, October 5, 2009.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie


Hanieh Floujeh

Acting Executive Assistant

City Clerk’s Office