April 21, 2009 - Minutes

PDF Document Printer-Friendly Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Planning Committee



Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt, Chair

Councillor Bill McNulty, Vice-Chair

Councillor Linda Barnes

Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt

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 Planning Committee held on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, be adopted as circulated.











The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. in the Anderson Room.









(RZ 06-338974, RZ 07-365508, RZ 07-380171 – Report:  March 30, 2009 File No.:  12-8060-20-7085) (REDMS No. 2588792)



Brian J. Jackson, Director of Development, advised Committee that:




the proponents of applications for rezoning submitted in the 16000 Block of River Road from: (i) Berane Construction, (ii) Virdi Pacific Holdings, and (iii) Alan Clark, to permit the outdoor parking and storage of vehicles and goods, have not met the requirements identified in the Interim Action Plan (approved by Council on February 11, 2008) for processing rezoning applications in the 16,000 Block of River Road;




the proponents have not met the original deadline (March 31, 2008) nor have they met the two separate extensions (September 30, 2008 and February 27, 2009) granted for the submission review and approval of the following required materials: (i) a traffic impact study for applicable portions of River Road and No. 7 Road; (ii) a buffer and landscape screen plan for the properties under rezoning application, and (iii) geotechnical reports to confirm that the River Road sites do not pose any contamination risk or negative impact to surrounding areas;




the staff recommendation to deny the applications for rezoning of 16360, 16540, 16700, 16780, 16820 and 16860 River Road is based on the proponents’ failure to: (i) meet the requirements, and (ii) meet the deadline and extensions;




residents who live in the vicinity of 16000 Block of River Road, as well as staff, share concerns regarding the impact of non-compliance with stated land use on the proponents’ properties; and




trucks that exceed the 9 ton weight limit continue to ply River Road.



At the conclusion of Mr. Jackson’s remarks, discussion ensued between staff and Committee and in particular on:




planning staff have been available to assist the proponents throughout the process;




request by the City for traffic impact study, buffer and landscape screen plan and geotechnical reports should be affordable by the proponents and cost should not prohibit proponents from furnishing what the City has requested of them;




if another extension is given, and if it is agreed that the proponents should have until June 20, 2009 to submit the required studies and plans, the proponents must articulate their level of commitment to a future deadline;




if the proponents’ applications are denied by Council it will be made clear that the activity of allowing trucks to park on the properties is prohibited;




to date buffer and landscape plans have been submitted for five of the six subject properties; a traffic impact study addressing all six subject properties has been received, but no geotechnical reports for any of the six subject properties have been received;




illegal uses, such as land fill activity and truck storage on some of the subject sites has continued;




the subject sites on River Road are not included in the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and are therefore not tax exempt; and




when the two extensions to the original deadline were given to the proponents, staff submitted an information memo to Councillors.



Alan Clark, the applicant for rezoning at 16700, 16780, 16820 and 16860 River Road, addressed Committee and advised that he spoke on behalf of the other 16000 Block River Road rezoning proponents.



He prefaced his remarks by advising Committee that, to date, the proponents have expended $50,000 on their submitted traffic impact study and their submitted landscape and buffer scheme. He also advised that under the City’s Official Community Plan the 16000 Block of River Road is designated for ‘Business and Industry’ and are taxed as industrial properties.



Mr. Clark stated that a transportation engineering consulting firm was hired by the proponents to undertake a traffic study. The study was submitted to planning staff, but four outstanding issues remain: (i) the definition of the original scope of work, (ii) paving requirements, (iii) ditches along the road, and (iv) the cost of roadwork to be charged to the applicant.



With regard to the required geotechnical reports, Mr. Clark advised that the proponents’ information regarding soils was phase one, but that no other phases have been undertaken.



Mr. Clark spoke briefly regarding issues with environmentally sensitive areas on three of the six subject sites, and the City’s plans for a dedication of a 20 metre wide strip of land along the south property line of each of the subject sites to facilitate the creation of a new road.



In closing, Mr. Clark requested of Committee that it refer the applications back to staff and allow the proponents six months to address the issues. He stated that a two-month extension, if it were forthcoming, would not allow time for the proponents to submit the required information to the City.



Following Mr. Clark’s presentation, a brief discussion ensued among staff, Committee and Mr. Clark on the following matters:




the number of subject sites where outdoor vehicles and goods are being stored;




the use of River Road by large, commercial trucks that violate the 9 ton maximum weight and the 30 kilometre per hour speed limit;




the level of financial commitment on the part of the proponents to complete the required studies, plans and schemes, and to submit them to the City for review;




the submitted traffic impact study remains incomplete; the submitted landscape and buffer scheme remains incomplete; and the information submitted regarding geotechnical issues addresses only 16360 River Road, and contains information regarding 1998 fill on that site, and does not address the nature of fill on any of the other subject sites;




the City directed the proponents to work with the Ministry of the Environment to ascertain the components of the fill on their sites; and




the City’s landfill bylaw addresses only those lands that fall within the Agricultural Land Reserve.



Harold Lougheed, 19000 River Road, spoke in support of Committee denying the rezoning applications in the 16000 Block of River Road, and he requested that Committee reject the rezoning applications at this time.



He remarked that: (i) the rezoning applicants have dragged their feet with regard to submitting information required by the City, (ii) fill activity has continued on the 16000 Block of River Road during past months and he doubts there are records detailing the source and the content of the fill, (iii) he is concerned with what might be leeching through the sites, and (iv) any traffic calming measures applied to River Road in the 16000 block area would have a negative impact on the legitimate agricultural business undertaken in that area.



A.J. Rosbergen, 23060 Westminster Highway, spoke in support of Committee denying the rezoning applications in the 16000 Block of River Road. He has observed that dumping of fill on the subject sites takes place at night and he questioned the source of the fill and stated that it should be tested before being dumped.



With regard to truck traffic along River Road, he stated that if truckers required a permit with a high fee, it would act as a deterrent and fewer truckers would use River Road.



In response to a query regarding enforcement of weight limit restrictions for trucks, Wayne Mercer, Manager, Community Bylaws advised that City Bylaws and the RCMP undertook a coordinated effort to address the issue of trucks that are in contravention of City bylaws along River Road and No. 7 Road.



George Makowski, 18851 River Road, spoke in support of Committee denying the rezoning applications in the 16000 Block of River Road. He requested the enforcement of bylaws that address infractions and violations regarding the storage and parking of large commercial truck storage. He noted that aerial photographs demonstrate not only the presence of parked commercial vehicles, but also the growing quantity of fill on the subject sites.



Mr. Makowski spoke about the impact on River Road residents and how their rural lifestyle is negatively affected by unauthorized fill and heavy commercial vehicle traffic eastbound on River Road. He noted that: (i) school buses transporting children use the same road as the overweight trucks, and (ii) after rainfalls, tracked mud left on River Road by the trucks becomes a hazard.



Mr. Bishop, 18711 River Road spoke in support of Committee denying the rezoning applications in the 16000 Block of River Road. He noted that the unauthorized heavy commercial vehicle traffic on River Road continues during night hours when no one is monitoring the situation.



The overweight trucks cause the surface of River Road to split. He noted that a jet fuel pipeline runs along the same corridor as River Road. In closing, Mr. Bishop mentioned that a friend who lives in the River Road area spent thousands of dollars to investigate the content of fill on his property and learned that asbestos is one component of the fill.



Fred Holmes, 18831 River Road spoke in support of Committee denying the rezoning applications in the 16000 Block of River Road. His remarks were with regard to the heavy commercial truck traffic on River Road and in particular on: (i) truckers on River Road are breaking the law twice, by speeding and by being overweight; (ii) the trucks negative impacts include shaking the dyke and the homes along River Road, (iii) the road is already narrow and any idea of calming the traffic by narrowing it further by adding curbs will only make the road narrower and more hazardous, not safer; and (iv) in his opinion a fine should be levelled each time a truck leaves one of the proponents’ lots.



Mike Petrich, Berane Construction Ltd., 16360 River Road, and one of the rezoning application proponents, advised Committee that: (i) the soil on his property has been tested, (ii) gravel has been laid on top of the soil, (iii) he can guarantee that the soil is clean, and (iv) he can submit information to the City attesting to the quality of his soil. He advised that he possessed a permit to conduct business at his property.



When queried by the Chair regarding the date of his geotechnical report, Mr. Petrich advised that the soil was tested in 1994. In response to a further query from the Chair regarding whether he had submitted a landscaping and buffering scheme, Mr. Petrich responded that he had not yet done so.



It was moved and seconded








Bylaw No. 7085 for 16540 River Road be abandoned; and




the applications for the rezoning of 16360 River Road by Berane Construction (RZ 06-338974), 16540 River Road by Virdi Pacific Holdings (RZ 07-365508) and  16700, 16780, 16820 and 16860 River Road by Alan Clark (RZ 07-380171) be denied.



The question on the motion was not called as further discussion ensued, and in particular on: (i) the ability of the applicants to submit applications in a year’s time if their current applications are denied and (ii) the effective enforcement of City Bylaws.



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





(RZ 08-411151  Report:  March 11, 2009, File No.:  12-8060-20-8478) (REDMS No. 2580455)



It was moved and seconded



That Bylaw No. 8478, for the rezoning of 8531 No. 2 Road from “Single-Family Housing District, Subdivision Area E (R1/E)” and 8571 No. 2 Road from “Single-Family Housing District, Subdivision Area B (R1/B)” to “Coach House District (R9)”, be introduced and given first reading.






(RZ 06-340471  Report:  March 26, 2009, File No.:  12-8060-20-8484) (REDMS No. 2589273)



It was moved and seconded



That Bylaw No. 8484, for the rezoning of 8080 and 8100 Blundell Road from “Single-Family Housing District, Subdivision Area E (R1/E)” to “Townhouse District (R2-0.6)”, be introduced and given first reading.






(Report:  March 12, 2009, File No.: 12-8060-20-8370) (REDMS No. 2585534)



Mr. Jackson reported that staff has consulted with local single-family homebuilders to create a series of recommendations to reduce the massing of single-family dwellings and to increase the liveability and permeability of lots, while keeping the floor area and lot coverage for single-family dwellings unchanged.



He stated that the main recommendations result from issues with respect to the bulk of single-family dwellings, and environment issues that are of concern to City Council. Mr. Jackson highlighted the following recommendations:




restrict the additional 10% of the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) for covered areas open to two or more sides to ground-oriented porches, as this would improve the streetscape by encouraging ground oriented porches without increasing the building mass;




change the rear yard setback provision to clarify that if the garage is attached to the single-family dwelling, the minimum rear yard setback would measure 6 metres, which would allow a weatherproof linkage between the principal building, and a detached garage, provided that the linkage is single-storey;




maintain a 20% coverage of live plant material, while reducing the lot coverage for buildings and non-porous surfaces from 80% to 70%;




restrict the maximum asphalt driveway width to 6 metres which is adequate for two vehicles to be parked side-by-side; and




to promote landscaping within the backyard and to improve a site’s permeability and liveability, a small, private outdoor space with a minimum area of 20 square metres, and a minimum depth and width of 3 metres is required.



A brief discussion between staff and Committee ensued regarding:




in making recommendations to amend the Single-Family Housing District zone, staff carefully weighed and considered comments they received from local builders;




lot coverage for buildings has been maintained at 50% to ensure that the single-family dwelling footprint does not cover the entire lot; and




the process of reviewing the City’s Official Community Plan, affords the opportunity to review housing alternatives, such as coach house units and townhouses, as well as the review of restrictions, such as height restrictions.



Raman Kooner, 3399 Moresby Drive, spoke on behalf of local builders, and commended City staff for: (i) the thorough consultation process, (ii) the exchange of information between the builders and staff, and (iii) the equitable agreements and recommendations put forth by staff for Committee’s consideration.



It was moved and seconded



That Bylaw No. 8370, which amends Zoning and Development Bylaw 5300 by replacing the existing Single-Family Housing District (R1-0.6), be introduced and given first reading.










Steveston Study




Terry Crowe, Manager, Policy Planning, reported that the Steveston Village Conservation Strategy and Implementation Program staff report would be considered as part of the agenda at City Council’s Monday, April 27, 2009 meeting





Official Community Plan (OCP)




Mr. Crowe reported that staff is preparing information on the OCP for Council.





Regional Growth Strategy




Mr. Crowe reported that staff is preparing information on the Regional Growth Strategy for Council.





Social Planning Strategy




John Foster, Social Planning Co-ordinator, reported that staff is preparing information for a ten year Social Planning Strategy to guide the City’s decisions and resources on social planning matters over the next ten years.





Meeting With Local Social Service Agency Representatives




Mr. Crowe reported that Policy Planning staff will be meeting with representatives of local social service agencies to discuss the process by which the City and agencies can work together




In response to a comment regarding the need for the City’s social service agencies to build capacity among themselves, Mr. Crowe noted that the topic would form part of the upcoming meeting with social service agency representatives.




In response to a further comment, regarding the possibility and need to expand the Caring Place, Mr. Erceg remarked that he and the General Manager, Business and Financial Services are aware of, and are discussing, components of the idea.





(Councillor McNulty left the meeting at 5:37 p.m. and did not return.)





Space Needs Study created by the Richmond Community Services Advisory Council (RCSAC)




Mr. Crowe reported that Policy Planning staff would meet with the Executive Committee of the RCSAC on May 7, 2009 to discuss the draft Space Needs Study.





Affordable Housing




Mr. Erceg reported that since the City implemented its Affordable Housing Strategy, in excess of 450 units of affordable housing has been secured.





TransLink Purchase and Development of Land Currently Owned by Tree Island Industries in Hamilton




With regard to TransLink’s conditional offer to purchase two parcels of land in the Hamilton neighbourhood for the proposed use as a Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility, Mr. Erceg reported that Mayor Brodie and the CEO of TransLink had discussed the idea that the City will work with TransLink to develop a daycare facility that would provide for both Hamilton residents and TransLink employees.




Mr. Erceg added that the conditional offer to purchase is to close by the middle of May, 2009.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:55 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.



Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt


Sheila Johnston

Committee Clerk