March 6, 2017 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

General Purposes Committee



Monday, March 6, 2017


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 4:00 p.m.






It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on February 20, 2017, be adopted as circulated.









New Acute Care Tower at Richmond Hospital



Natalie Meixner, President and CEO, Richmond Hospital Foundation, joined by Kyle Shury, Chair of the Board of Directors and Dr. Ken Poon, Head of Surgery, Richmond Hospital, spoke of the Richmond Hospital’s need for a new Acute Care Tower (the “Project.”)



With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation (copy on file, City Clerk’s Office), Ms. Meixner provided background information with regard to the proposed Project’s timing, highlighting that Vancouver Coastal Health’s Board approved its concept plan in 2016 and submitted it to the Province of BC.  Ms. Meixner then advised that the Project rests with the Province to approve the concept plan and advance to the business planning stage.



She provided statistical information regarding the proposed Project, emphasizing that Richmond residents ranked a new acute care tower at Richmond Hospital as the single most important upcoming capital project.  Ms. Meixner then highlighted that with the aid of generous donors and organizations, $25 million in funding has been committed toward the Foundation’s campaign goal of $40 million for the proposed Project.  She remarked that a commitment from the Province is imperative to ensure the Project proceeds in a timely manner.



Dr. Poon spoke of the Hospital’s current tower, noting that it was built over 50 years ago and is well past its infrastructure lifespan.  He commented on several ways in which the current tower no longer meets today’s standards for care, such as operating rooms that are built below the flood plain and are too small to accommodate today’s medical technology.



Ms. Meixner then requested that Richmond City Council pass a resolution requesting the Province’s approval of the concept plan so that Vancouver Coastal Health may move forward on the proposed Project’s business plan.



As a result of the presentation, the following motion was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That a letter be written to the Premier, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance, Richmond MLAs, the Leader of the Opposition and Vancouver Coastal Health calling on the provincial government to commit to a new hospital tower to replace the north tower in Richmond.






In accordance with Section 100 of the Community Charter, Councillor Carol Day declared herself to be in a conflict of interest with respect to Item No. 2 as she and her spouse are owners of a bed and breakfast and left the meeting at 4:31 p.m.






Short-term Rentals - Proposed Bylaws and Options
(File Ref. No. 03-0900-01) (REDMS No. 5324334 v. 8)



With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation (copy on file, City Clerk’s Office), Cecilia Achiam, Director, Administration and Compliance, provided background information and highlighted the following regarding the proposed changes to short-term rental regulations:




existing regulations will be enhanced and enforcement will be intensified along with increased fines and penalties;




“short-term rental” will be defined;




“agri-tourism accommodation” will require rezoning;




Bed and Breakfast (B&B) operations will not be permitted in homes with secondary suites, granny flats, or coach houses;




primary residence of B&B operator will be verified annually;




B&B operations will be limited to maximum of three bedrooms with a maximum of two people per room;




a 500 metre buffer between all new B&B operations will be implemented;




B&B operators must notify their neighbours of their business and provide operator contact information; and




B&B operators will be encouraged to carry adequate liability and property damage insurance.



Discussion took place and concern was expressed regarding how the City would address regulatory and enforcement gaps, particularly how short-term rental operations would be dealt with in multi-family dwellings.



In reply to queries from Committee, Ms. Achiam and Carli Edwards, Manager, Customer Services and Licencing, advised that the proposed regulatory changes address short-term rental operations in single-family dwellings only and a B&B business licence is issued to an applicant not the property.



Discussion further ensued regarding the City’s ability to require that a B&B operator be the owner of the property and it was noted that such discussion take place in closed session due to its nature.  Also, concern was expressed regarding the safety of dwellings with B&B operations.



Ms. Edwards spoke of the business licence bylaw, noting that a B&B business licence is not issued unless it complies with building, fire, and health regulations.  Also, she remarked that since B&Bs are a residential use, they are not required to have separate water and heating systems.



In reply to further queries from Committee, Ms. Achiam and Ms. Edwards advised that (i) B&B operations will be limited to maximum of three bedrooms with a maximum of two people per room, (ii) site specific zoning remains an option for Council to consider implementing, (iii) a combination of fees and increased fines will support increased enforcement activity of short-term rentals, (iv) staff have engaged with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for information sharing purposes only, and (v) B&B operations will not be permitted in homes with secondary suites, granny flats, or coach houses, thus those affordable housing options remain on the rental market.



The Chair recessed the meeting at 5:21 p.m. to resolve into closed session to hear legal advice on short-term rentals.






The meeting reconvened at 5:33 p.m. with all members of Council present, except Councillor Day.



It was moved and seconded



In respect to bed and breakfast (“B&B”) uses in single-family and agricultural zones, implementing a distance buffer between B&B establishments and to the enhanced enforcement of such short-term rental regulation:




That Official Community Plan Bylaw 9000, Amendment Bylaw 9691, which amends Official Community Plan Bylaw 9000 by adding a provision for a 500 meter buffer between B&B establishments be introduced and given first reading;




That Bylaw 9691, having been considered in conjunction with:





the City’s financial plan and capital program; and





the Greater Vancouver Regional District Solid Waste and Liquid Waste Management Plans;




is hereby found to be consistent with said program and plans in accordance with section 477(3)(a) of the Local Government Act;




That Bylaw 9691 be sent to the Agricultural Land Commission for comment;




That Bylaw 9691, having been considered in accordance with section 475 of the Local Government Act and the City’s Official Community Plan Bylaw Preparation Consultation Policy 5043, is found not to require further consultation;




That Richmond Zoning Bylaw 8500, Amendment Bylaw 9647 to amend definitions, be introduced and given first reading;




That Richmond Zoning Bylaw 8500, Amendment Bylaw 9692 to require a distance buffer between B&Bs, be introduced and given first reading;




To incorporate enhanced business licencing requirements and increase fees and penalties, that:





Business Regulation Bylaw No. 7538, Amendment Bylaw No. 9649;





Business Licence Bylaw No. 7360, Amendment Bylaw No. 9650;





Municipal Ticket Information Authorization Bylaw No. 7321, Amendment Bylaw No. 9651; and





Consolidation Fees Bylaw No. 8636, Amendment Bylaw No. 9652;




each be introduced and given first, second and third readings;




That the proposed communication plan described in Attachment 12 of this report explaining the proposed changes (identified in the above recommendation) to the short-term rental regulations be endorsed; and









the information regarding tax requirements including whether a hotel tax should apply to short-term rentals provided in this report be received for information; and





staff be directed to engage the Province of British Columbia to discuss regulatory changes to the Provincial Sales Tax in regards to the Municipal and Regional District Tax, including the definition of accommodation providers;




That staff conduct a one-year review of the City’s proposed short-term rental regulation, and include issues surrounding a requirement for the operator of the short-term rental to be the owner of the property and report back to Council;




That staff consider options and report back on the issue of short-term rentals for multi-family dwellings; and




That staff formulate a robust public engagement process to address additional options and regulatory and enforcement gaps for future consideration.



The question on the motion was not called as discussion ensued and staff was directed to provide periodic updates to Council on short-term rentals.



Also, there was agreement to postpone calling the question on the motion in order to hear delegations from members of the audience.



Lynda ter Borg, Sandpiper Court resident, was of the opinion that the staff report presented to Committee did not address Council’s previous direction to staff on short-term rentals.  She cited concern regarding not implementing a proof of insurance requirement and the definition of owner/operator, among other concerns.



Katherine McCreary, 7560 Glacier Crescent, expressed concern that the staff report presented to Committee does not indicate concurrence from departments like Fire-Rescue, Affordable Housing, Building Approvals, and Transportation.  Also, she queried the proposed regulation amendments in relation to inspections of bed and breakfast operations and the proposed Official Community Plan amendment and its compliance with Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy.



Anne Lerner, No. 2 Road resident, was of the opinion that Council should implement strict rules with regards to short-term rentals and define in detail the term “owner/operator.”  Also, she expressed concern regarding the rental of homes for less than 30-days.



In reply to queries from the Chair, Ms. Edwards advised that following receipt of a bed and breakfast business licence application, staff conduct an inspection of the home to verify that the plans submitted match those submitted to the City when the home was originally built.  Terry Crowe, Manager, Policy Planning, stated that only major amendments to the Official Community Plan require Metro Vancouver’s approval.



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






It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:57 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, March 6, 2017.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Hanieh Berg
Legislative Services Coordinator