January 18, 2016 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes


General Purposes Committee



Monday, January 18, 2016


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Chak Au
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Carol Day
Councillor Ken Johnston
Councillor Alexa Loo
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Linda McPhail
Councillor Harold Steves

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m.






It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on January 4, 2016, be adopted as circulated.









With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Geoff Freer, Executive Project Director, George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, provided an overview on the Replacement Project and highlighted the consultation process, the traffic analysis, the transit, cycling and pedestrian connections, the environmental benefits, and the effects on agricultural land.



Discussion ensued in which Mr. Freer provided the following information:




the project will include road widening on the west side of Highway 99 from between 10 and 30 metres;




the proposed bridge is being constructed to accommodate light rapid transit (rail) in the future;




statistics indicate that 2% of traffic using the tunnel originates from Deltaport and that trucks make up 6% of the tunnels rush hour traffic and approximately 14% of traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.;




the Province considered current information related to seismic standards and liquefaction conditions,   explored alternative corridors, and examined various bridge and/or tunnel options;




depending on the number of lanes considered, similar costs would be incurred with a new or twin tunnel due to the seismic work required, and a second tunnel would have a significant impact on the areas agricultural, residential, and commercial land;




the proposed three level Steveston interchange would not significantly impact the existing farm land and commercial/residential areas;




the traffic queues for the Oak Street Bridge are primarily a result of the traffic lights at 70th Avenue and the Province is in discussion with the City of Vancouver regarding the matter;




specific details related to the net positive impact to viable agricultural lands will not be available until further in the design process;




the Province’s work is based on Metro Vancouver Plans, including the Regional Growth Strategy;




while TransLink supports the Province’s proposal with the integrated transit stops, their priority is for rail lines from Surrey;




discussions have taken place with TransLink regarding Park ‘n Ride service at the Steveston Highway and Highway 17A interchanges; however, due to the potential impacts to agricultural land the focus was placed on developing the integrated transit stops;




the Province will absorb all costs associated with improvements in the Highway right-of-way; however, future discussions with the City would be required regarding costs for any potential improvements to the City’s infrastructure (i.e., Rice Mill Road access);




environmental benefits include transit, cycling and pedestrian enhancements, reduced vehicular idling, stormwater biofiltration, and ditch drainage and vegetation improvements;




the proposed Steveston Highway interchange improvement will encroach on City lands by approximately 20 metres (65 feet);




the tunnel will be removed for environmental reasons; however, there is no intention by Port Metro Vancouver to dredge the Fraser River in order to increase the shipping channel; and




there are ongoing discussions with Metro Vancouver regarding the location of the water main.



Discussion ensued regarding the (i) importance of addressing the Oak Street Bridge queues with the City of Vancouver, (ii) net amount of farmland being affected, (iii) possible encroachment on City land at the Steveston Highway interchange, and (iv) removal of the tunnel in order to increase the shipping channel in the Fraser River.






George Massey Tunnel Replacement – City Comments on Project Definition Report
(File Ref. No. 01-0150-20-THIG1) (REDMS No. 4863110 v. 5)



A map showing the primary and secondary Agricultural Land Reserves (ALR) from 1973 and information prepared by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce titled “The Economic Importance of the Lower Fraser River,” prepared July 2014 (attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 1) were distributed on table.  Discussion ensued regarding (i) the 1973 Southwestern Shores study prepared for Fraser River Port Authority and others promoting the industrialization of the River, (ii) opportunities for Metro Vancouver, the City, and the public to comment on the design of the proposed bridge and on the possible industrialization of the Fraser River, and (iii) the ongoing loss of ALR lands along the Fraser.



In response to a query from Committee, Victor Wei, Director, Transportation, advised that the staff recommendation is to endorse the objectives to ease congestion at the existing tunnel area, improve transit connections, and replace aging highway infrastructure to enhance public safety.   He further advised that endorsement of the objectives is not an endorsement of the Replacement Project.



Douglas George Massey, 875 Eden Crescent, Delta, spoke to the demise of the George Massey Tunnel and provided a copy of (i) a brief titled “George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project Review,” a document titled “The Vision to Build the George Massey Tunnel and the Road to its Removal,” and an email response from Tunnel Engineering Consultants, dated January 13, 2016 (attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 2).  Mr. Massey provided background information regarding a presentation to the Province by Tunnel Engineering Consultants, from the Netherlands, on the suitability of tunnel technology for this project that was not made public.  He commented on (i) the lack of information related to tunnel improvement and/or replacement costs, (ii) material obtained through a Freedom of Information request that demonstrates the Province and Port of Vancouver’s collaboration in the Tunnels removal to allow industrial expansion along the Fraser River, and (iii) the risks associated with the expansion of docks and terminals along the river.



Committee requested copies of the background material spoke of by Mr. Massey.



It was moved and seconded




That the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) be advised that while the City supports in principal the objectives of the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project to ease traffic congestion at the existing tunnel area, improve transit and cycling connections and replace aging highway infrastructure to enhance public safety, as described in their Project Definition Report, the following issues must be addressed by MoTI prior to advancing the project for further design and the procurement process:





provision of further details to demonstrate how the overall project will:






have a net zero or positive impact to agricultural land; and






maintain, protect and enhance the City’s riparian management areas and environmentally sensitive areas through a net gain approach;





determination of how the toll rate will be implemented so that it would be fair, equitable and part of a region-wide mobility pricing policy consistent with the Mayors’ Council vision for regional transportation investments in Metro Vancouver;





immediate commencement of discussions by MoTI with the Cities of Vancouver and Richmond to jointly establish a contingency plan to address any potential increased traffic queuing on Highway 99 at the approach to the Oak Street Bridge;





collaboration with the City to identify appropriate infrastructure improvements to minimize any negative impacts from the widened bridge crossing and associated interchanges on the local road network including Steveston Highway, Westminster Highway, No. 5 Road, Van Horne Way, and Rice Mill Road;





encouragement of project proponents by MoTI to achieve a creative and innovative iconic design of the new bridge that recognizes its significance of being the largest bridge to be built in British Columbia;





facilitate excellence in supporting sustainable transportation options through:






partnership with TransLink to ensure that the transit stops within the Steveston Highway and Highway 17A interchanges are operational on opening day;






provision of a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists on each side of the new bridge of sufficient width to safely accommodate all users in order to:







improve safety by minimizing the crossing of Highway 99 on- and off-ramps at Steveston Highway that are planned as free flow;







minimize circuitousness and maximize convenience; and







better address existing and future demand;






inclusion of pedestrian and cycling facilities as part of the new Steveston Highway and Westminster Highway interchanges and on both sides of the Blundell Road overpass;






provision of improved pedestrian and cycling facilities on Shell Road as part of the widened Shell Road overpass;




That the BC Environmental Assessment Office, the Federal Minister of Transport, and the Minister of the Environment be requested to extend the deadline for comments on the draft Application Information Requirements from February 10, 2016 to March 15, 2016 to provide the City with sufficient time to provide meaningful input;




That the matter be referred to Metro Vancouver for comments on the compatibility of the new bridge with the Regional Growth Strategy; and




That overall Richmond City Council prefers a new or improved tunnel rather than a new bridge.



The question on the motion was not called as there was agreement to separate the motion for voting purposes.



The question on Parts (1), (2) and (3) was then called and it was CARRIED.



The question on Part (4) was then called and it was CARRIED with Cllrs. Johnston and Loo opposed.



2015 Report from City Citizen Representatives to the Vancouver International Airport Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (YVR ANMC)
(File Ref. No. 01-0153-04-01) (REDMS No. 4826933 v. 3)



It was moved and seconded



That the report from the City citizen representatives to the Vancouver International Airport Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (YVR ANMC) regarding the Committee’s 2015 activities dated December 21, 2015, from the Director, Transportation, be received for information.



The question on the motion was not called as in reply to queries Mr. Wei accompanied by Gary Abrams, City Representative, Vancouver International Airport Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (YVR ANMC), advised that a breakdown of the inquiries would be requested from YVR staff and provided to Council.  Also, Mr. Abrams noted that he is anticipating meeting with the representative of the British Columbia Floatplane Association in the near future to discuss various concerns.



In response to a query from Committee, Terry Crowe, Manager, Policy Planning, commented that staff will be meeting with YVR to clarify the consultation process regarding the Airport’s Master Plan.



The question on the motion was then called and it was CARRIED.






Richmond Sport Hosting Program Amendments
(File Ref. No. 08-4150-01) (REDMS No. 4769715 v. 8)



A staff memorandum titled “Council Policy 3710 Amendments – Redlined Version,” dated January 18, 2016, was circulated to Committee (attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 3).



In reply to queries from Committee, Neonila Lilova, Manager, Economic Development, accompanied by Tanya Foley, Manager, Sport Hosting, advised that (i) the three special grants to a maximum of $25,000 per annum are funded from revenue surpluses achieved between 2009 and 2011, (ii) staff would work with the groups hosting smaller events to find revenue sources, (iii) the Sport Hosting Strategy review examined the $400,000 annual budget for efficiencies and the findings indicated that the current allocation is the appropriate amount moving forward, and (iv) the special grants of $25,000 would be considered for larger sport hosting events that require funding above the $7,000 annual threshold.



Committee requested that staff provide a memorandum detailing the grant recipients prior to the regular meeting of Council.



It was moved and seconded




That the proposed amended Council Policy 3710 – Sport Hosting Incentive Grant, included as Attachment 1 to the staff report titled “Richmond Sport Hosting Program Amendments,” from the General Manager, Finance and Corporate Services, dated November 12, 2015, be approved; and




That the updated Richmond Sport Hosting Strategy 2016-2020, included as Attachment 3 to the staff report titled “Richmond Sport Hosting Program Amendments,” from the General Manager, Finance and Corporate Services, dated November 12, 2015, be endorsed.









Donation Bin Regulation Bylaw No. 9502
(File Ref. No. 01-0370-01; 12-8060-20-009502/9513/9514) (REDMS No. 4873049 v. 4)



It was moved and seconded



That each of the following bylaws be introduced and given first, second and third readings:




Donation Bin Regulation Bylaw No. 9502;




Consolidated Fees Bylaw No. 8636, Amendment Bylaw No. 9513; and




Notice of Bylaw Violation Dispute Adjudication Bylaw No. 8122, Amendment Bylaw No. 9514;



with an effective date of July 1, 2016.









It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:35 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 January 18, 2016.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Heather Howey
Legislative Services Coordinator