March 6, 2018 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Planning Committee


Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Councillor Linda McPhail, Chair
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Chak Au
Councillor Alexa Loo
Councillor Harold Steves

Also Present:

Councillor Carol Day

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 February 20, 2018, be adopted as circulated.









March 20, 2018, (tentative date) at 4:00 p.m. in the Anderson Room






Final Affordable Housing Strategy 2017-2027 
(File Ref. No. 08-4057-01) (REDMS No. 5748976 v. 14)



Joyce Rautenberg, Affordable Housing Coordinator presented the Final Affordable Housing Strategy, noting that public feedback was received through online surveys and open houses and respondents expressed support for the Strategy with particular focus on the short-term actions. She added that staff are continuing work on reviewing the affordable housing policies and will provide updates when appropriate.



In reply to queries from Committee, staff noted that (i) staff are monitoring how rezoning and demolitions impact the availability of secondary suites and will provide information to Council at a future date, (ii) secondary suites are permitted in all single family and townhouse zones and staff are preparing a report regarding secondary suites in duplexes, and (iii) secondary suites are required to have a separate heating system from the primary dwelling.



Discussion ensued with regard to (i) advocating to senior levels of government to provide information related to vacant properties and foreign ownership of properties, (ii) utilizing micro suites as an affordable housing option, (iii) utilizing the Special Development Circumstances and Value Transfer funding model on housing projects, (iv) exploring funding partnerships with senior levels of government, and (v) reviewing policies on adult-only strata.



De Whalen, representing the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, expressed support for the Affordable Housing Strategy, and raised concern on the insufficient affordable housing supply. She encouraged the City to consider options to increase affordable housing for seniors and seek more support from the Province.



John Roston, 12262 Ewen Avenue, referenced his submission, (attached to and forming part of these minutes as Schedule 1) and expressed that affordable housing be focused on units for families. Also, he suggested that a new type of condominium building be created where vacant condominium units would be rented out and revenue shared amongst property owners.



In reply to queries from Committee, staff noted that types of rental agreements and options to dedicate zones to rental property can be explored.



It was moved and seconded




That the final Affordable Housing Strategy 2017-2027 and companion documents, as outlined in the report titled “Final Affordable Housing Strategy 2017-2027” dated February 15, 2018 from the Manager, Community Social Development, be adopted;




That the staff report be referred to the Council/School Board Liaison Committee; and




That copies of the staff report, along with advocacy information to senior levels of government be sent to Richmond Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly.









Agricultural Advisory Committee 2017 Annual Report and 2018 Work Program 
(File Ref. No. 01-0100-30-ACEN1-01) (REDMS No. 5733493)



In response to queries from Committee staff noted that the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) has been involved in reviewing Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) related development applications and exploring programs such as farm tours to promote agricultural viability. It was further noted that the AAC has worked on identifying potential community partnerships and supports local farming groups such as the Young Agrarians.



Mr. Roston referenced his submission (attached to and forming part of these minutes as Schedule 1) and expressed concern that (i) a special stakeholders meeting on proposed changes to the City’s Agricultural (AG1) zone excluded community groups such as Richmond FarmWatch, (ii) members of the AAC may be in conflict of interest due to their ownership of farmland, and (iii) there are instances where farm property owners are reportedly not extending utility connections beyond the farm home plate.



In reply to queries from Committee, Barry Konkin, Manager, Policy Planning, noted that Council directed staff to proceed with the consultation process on proposed changes to agricultural zones, adding that Richmond FarmWatch was involved in the consultation process and attended public information sessions hosted by the City. He further noted that the City is willing to assist in the matching of potential farmers with farm property owners.



Todd May, Co-Chair, AAC, thanked Council for their support and remarked that the AAC would support land matching initiatives for potential farmers.



Committee commended the AAC for their work in the community.



It was moved and seconded




That the staff report titled “Agricultural Advisory Committee 2017 Annual Report and 2018 Work Program” dated February 16, 2018 from the Manager, Policy Planning be received for information; and




That the Agricultural Advisory Committee 2018 Work Program, as presented in this staff report, be approved.








Agricultural Land Reserve Non-Farm Use Applications



Mr. Konkin noted that the ALC has advised that inquiries for non-farm use will no longer be handled by ALC staff.  Formal non-farm use applications must be submitted and will be considered by the ALC Executive.  Staff anticipate an increase in non-farm use applications that will require review by Planning Committee and Council.  He added that staff have the capacity to accommodate the anticipated increase in non-farm use applications and that staff will work the AAC as part of the review of the applications.


Agricultural Farm Home Plate Interpretation



James Cooper, Manager, Plan Review, noted that staff issued a bulletin clarifying that the farm home plate must be rectangular in shape and must be located adjacent to the front property line or riparian management area line and contiguously with one side of the property line. Also, he noted that applicants may submit variances to the farm home plate and that staff will work the AAC to review if the proposed variances maximize the farm’s viability.



In reply to queries from Committee, staff noted that the bulletin can be distributed to Council and that staff can work with the AAC to explore policies that would encourage extending the utility connections to the farming area.






It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (4:53 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, March 6, 2018.



Councillor Linda McPhail

Evangel Biason
Legislative Services Coordinator