Community Services Committee Meeting Minutes - May 24th, 2000





Wednesday, May 24th, 2000


W.H. Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Harold Steves, Chair

Councillor Derek Dang, Vice-Chair (left the meeting at 6:25 p.m.)

Councillor Malcolm Brodie

Councillor Ken Johnston (left the meeting at 5:08 p.m.)

Councillor Linda Barnes

Also Present:

Councillor Lyn Greenhill

Councillor Bill McNulty

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

The Chair advised that an item from the Council/School Board Liaison Committee meeting held earlier today, on the establishment of a joint School Board/City Task Force, would be added to the agenda as an additional item, following Item No. 6.



That the minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Committee held on Tuesday, May 9th, 2000, be adopted as circulated.




(Report: May 16/00, File No.: 2325-20-015) (REDMS No. 153301)

Park Planner Yvonne Stich reviewed the proposed park upgrade plan through the use of site plans. During the presentation she provided information on (a) the history of Steveston Park, (b) those features in the park which ‘worked’ and those which required improvements; (c) the long term vision for the park, and (d) the short term implementation strategy. Introduced during the presentation were Geoff Christenson, President of the Steveston Community Society, Keith Whittle, Chair of the Steveston Park Planning Committee, and Ms. Angela Abbing, of the Aquatics Services Board.

In response to questions from Committee members, the following information was provided:


staff were planning on eliminating the existing horseshoe pitch from the plan as input from the Steveston Planning Committee and the public indicated that there was no demand for that use


indoor tennis courts were still included in the plan, however it was proposed that these courts would comprise part of a possible future recreation complex which would replace the existing courts and the Steveston Community Centre building.

Discussion ensued among Committee members and staff on the proposed park plan, during which concern was expressed about the location of the water play area adjacent to the Rigby Seniors Centre, because of the noise which would be generated by children in the play area. The suggestion was made that staff should re-examine the proposed location of this particular component.

Questions were raised about the footprint shown for the tennis courts and the existing community centre building, and specifically about (i) whether the ability would exist in the future to expand the building; (ii) the area which would be lost if the building was expanded; (iii) whether a second storey could be added; (iv) how the tennis courts would be connected to the main building; and (v) whether a 25 metre x 25 metre swimming pool could be accommodated within the building. Because of these issues, staff were requested to provide a more realistic footprint of this area on the park plan. Discussion took place briefly on this particular area of the plan (Sections 3 and 4), and in particular on the openness of the area and how visitors would be able to access the various components which would comprise this portion of the park.

The Chair referred to access provided from Yoshida Court and Fentiman Place through the open area of the park to the new school, and noted that problems were already occurring with youth congregating in the area. In response, advice was given that staff were hopeful that removal of some of the landscaping and encouraging park visitors to use the northerly portion of the park would help to reduce these problems.

Reference was made to the location of two heritage homes at the westerly edge of the park, and concern was expressed by the Chair that these homes had not been included in the park plan. He suggested that one of the buildings could provide a home for the park caretaker.

Reference was also made to the existing library and community police station, and the Chair asked if the committee had any specific recommendations about the future location of these two facilities. He noted that the staff report indicated that the library would remain in the community centre, and suggested that the community police station should be located at another site. In reply, Ms. Stich stated that it was her understanding that the community police station and future library would be located in another area and not within the community centre.

The Chair made reference to the notation on the ‘long term vision’ map that the future recreational complex could contain a swimming pool. Advice was given that the proposal would be reviewed by the Aquatics Board to determine if the need existed for a swimming pool, and would be subject of a separate report to Council at some time in the future.

The Chair provided information on a natural gas well which existed in Area 12, and he suggested that the water from that well could be used to provide the water for the water play area. Cllr. Steves noted during the brief discussion which ensued on this matter, that a compressor would be required to rid the line of any dirt which would have accumulated over the years, in order for the water to flow.

In concluding his statements, the Chair expressed disappointment that the park plan did not allow for the operation of a tram.

(Councillor Johnston left the meeting at 5:08 p.m. and did not return.)

Ms. Gail Nichols, representing the Kigoo Swim Club, advised that the final plan which she had viewed had indicated the location of a swimming pool on the plan. She asked that the plan now before the Committee be amended to indicate that a pool would, and not could, be included. Ms. Nichols stated that the club would be quite concerned and disappointed if the swimming pool was to disappear from the plan, and she asked the Committee to ensure that the plan was amended to include the facility.

In response to the concerns expressed by Ms. Nichols, advice was given by the Director, Parks Dave Semple that a swimming pool would be part of the complex, however the Aquatics Services Board would be reporting to staff on future aquatics needs. A brief discussion ensued, during which the Chair suggested that the wording on the ‘long term vision’ plan be amended to delete the word "possible". Ms. Abbing also commented that the Aquatics Services Board had always planned to have a swimming pool included in the park plan.

Mr. Michel Brisebois, representing the Steveston Interurban Restoration Society, expressed concern that the proposed park plan had not included the Society’s tram. He stated that the Society had been invited into the park a number of years ago to build a permanent home for the tram, and he questioned what the future would now hold for the tram, and whether the

Society should continue to raise funds to restore the tram if the Society did not have the support of the City. He advised that there were other municipalities which were showing an interest in having the tram operate within their respective jurisdictions, and the Society was now reviewing its options.

A lengthy discussion ensued among Committee members and the delegation during which the following information and comments were provided:


the City had not yet made any decision on the park plan


the existing track (located approximately in Area 12) was of significant heritage value as it was over 100 years old, and the value would increase if the tram could use this track, however staff were proposing that the track be removed


the Society was formed with the purpose of having the tram eventually put into operation; as well, the Society hoped to replicate a tram station in the green area located adjacent to the track


if the Society intended to operate a tram system, a workshop, storage area and more than one tram would be required; however, Steveston Park would not be an ideal location for the workshop and storage areas, which would be better suited in an industrial area


reference was made to the suggestion that the Society be given access to the No. 1 Road right-of-way, and the opinion was expressed that the right-of-way was not of sufficient width to accommodate the tram; the suggestion was made that the Society should contact representatives of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society about the feasibility of operating a tram between the two facilities


the Steveston Community Society had verbally rescinded its offer to the Steveston Interurban Restoration Society to locate somewhere within the park


the staff report was recommending that City staff meet with representatives of the Tram Society to review options; advice was given that staff were concerned about having the tram operating in the park because of its proximity to the proposed water play area and children’s park and the possible danger to children


the Society needed to prepare an updated business plan which would indicate that, among other things, that the Society intended to raise needed funds, that another tram was required, and that the Society intended to operate a tram system rather than only having a tram on display; the business plan should also provide information on the anticipated cost of such an operation


reference was again made to the No. 1 Road right-of-way, and it was noted that the right-of-way from No. 1 Road to Moncton Street was owned by the City, as well as the right-of-way located immediately west of the Steveston Hotel, which would be suitable to display of the tram, however, the tram should still stop in the park, continuing as far north as the curve in the track, with a tram station located at that end


with reference to Recommendation No. 3, a question was raised that if staff were recommending that the tram not be located in Steveston Park, could the corner of No. 1 Road and Moncton Street still be considered as a possible route; in response, advice was given that it was feasible, however, care had to be taken with the scope of the project because it could have a major impact on the design of the park plan; many issues would have to be addressed such as how power would be provided to operate the tram


the Society required a permanent piece of land as quickly as possible which would allow the Society to erect a one car tram barn.

Trevor Hausauer questioned whether the possible location of the tram station at No. 1 Road and Moncton Street would impact the Millennium Project planned for that corner. The Chair responded that the railway tracks would be located north of the project, and would exit onto the street and not through the project.

It was moved and seconded


That the Steveston Park Upgrade Plan (as detailed in the report dated May 3rd, 2000, from the Director, Parks), be approved as the guide for future development of Steveston Park.


That the expenditure of $435,000 (from the 2000 Parks Capital Budget, Account No. 45853), be approved for the purposes of commencing construction of the priority items listed in Schedule A (attached to the report dated May 3rd, 2000, from the Director, Parks).


That staff work with the Tram Society to review options for relocating the tram to a more permanent site in Steveston and report back with these options to Council by October, 2000.


That the Steveston Park Upgrade Plan include provision for a swimming pool.




(Report: May 15/00, File No.: 1000-14-067) (REDMS No. 139927, 114614)

Mr. Semple reviewed the report with Committee members. In response to questions, he advised that the City had been awaiting the completion of a land exchange with the Federal Government which had been initiated 15 years ago. He indicated that the completion of the land exchange would result in that portion of land proposed to be fenced being owned by the City rather than the Steveston Harbour Authority (SHA). Mr. Semple advised that staff were of the view that allowing the SHA to relocate the fence prior to the completion of the land exchange would continue the good relationship developed with the SHA. He noted however that the SHA did not wish to proceed without the permission of the City.

The Chair expressed concern that the report did not refer to a land exchange for property adjacent to the Britannia property, and he questioned the status of the exchange. Advice was given that the exchange had not occurred because of problems relating to the driveway entrance into Britannia.

A lengthy discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on (i) the history of the land exchange and the properties which were involved in this exchange; (ii) the status of various properties following the completion of the exchange; and (iii) whether the City should be executing an agreement for property which it did not own. A suggestion was made during the discussion that once the land exchange had been completed, steps should be taken to return title of the northerly 30 feet of Paramount Pond to the Steveston Harbour Authority.

Mr. Arnold Walter, General Manager, Steveston Harbour Authority, spoke about the land exchange, and advised that the SHA was asking for the use of the property because the SHA recognized it as being City property. He noted that fishermen were being allowed to use the area to repair and store their nets, however, increasing development in the area had resulted in a rise in vandalism, and presented a safety hazard for children who could become entangled in the nets.

In response to questions, Mr. Walker indicated that he understood that there was an agreement in principle between the City and the Federal Government that the property in question would eventually become City property. Mr. Walter advised that the SHA did not believe it would be appropriate to relocate the fence without obtaining the permission of the City, even though the land title had not yet been registered in the name of the City.

It was moved and seconded

That Council approve an agreement (Attachment 2 to the report dated May 15th, 2000, from the Director, Parks) to allow the Steveston Harbour Authority to move the perimeter fence at Paramount Pond 30 feet to the north to secure the net repair area.

The question on the motion was not called, as discussion continued on the appropriateness of approving such an agreement when the City did not own the land. The suggestion was made that instead, a letter should be written to the Steveston Harbour Authority, advising that the City had no objection to the fence being relocated. The suggestion was also made that steps should be taken to revert ownership of the property to the Steveston Harbour Authority, once the initial land exchange had been completed.

As a result of the discussion, the above motion was WITHDRAWN, and the following motion introduced:

It was moved and seconded

That a letter be written by the Mayor to the Steveston Harbour Authority, indicating that the City has no objection to the Steveston Harbour Authority relocating the perimeter fence at Paramount Pond 30 feet to the north to secure the net repair area.




(Report: May 17/00, File No.: 2325=20-015) (REDMS No. 153504)

Mr. Semple, along with the Manager, Facilities Planning & Construction, David Naysmith, reviewed the various components of the staff report with Committee members.

(Councillor Dang left the meeting at 6:25 p.m., and did not return.)

It was moved and seconded


That staff proceed with the construction of a fieldhouse (Attachment 1 to the report dated May 17th, 2000, from the Director, Parks) at London/Steveston Park, at a cost of $497,206, pending discussions with the Richmond School Board.


That $47,206 be reallocated from the Capital Reserve Fund, (Bylaw 6909, Account No. 1404), to the London/Steveston Park fieldhouse project.

The question on the motion was not called, as concerns were expressed by Councillor Brodie about the proposed cost of the structure. In response to questions about whether the height of the structure could be reduced to one storey, Mr. Semple explained that the location of the caretaker’s suite on the second floor provided an excellent opportunity to view the site. He also noted that the public had asked that the washrooms be visible from the seating area. Mr. Semple further stated that if the second storey was removed, the structure would not fit within the baseball diamond configuration.

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



(Report: May 17/00, File No.: 22325-20-025) (REDMS No. 153507)

Mr. Semple and Mr. Naysmith reviewed the various components of the staff report with Committee members.

In answer to questions, the following information was provided:


the roof style would not change because the caretaker’s suite was not being included, however, this area would be used to provide long term storage


if needed in the future, a caretaker’s suite could be provided in the form of a mobile home, at an approximate cost of $75,000 to $100,000.

It was moved and seconded


That staff proceed with the construction of a fieldhouse at Palmer/Garden City at a cost of $348,499 (Attachment 1 to the report dated May 17th, 2000, from the Director, Parks).


That existing funding in the amount of $124,200 in the Capital Program for the Minoru Park Fieldhouse Project (Account No. 45911) be reallocated to the Palmer/Garden City Fieldhouse project.


That staff develop an operating agreement with Richmond Boy’s Fastball for use of the Palmer/Garden City fieldhouse, for submission to Council for approval through the Community Services Committee.




(Report: May 5/00, File No.: 0100-20-RMHA1-01) (REDMS No. 150968)

The Manager, Land Use, Terry Crowe, reviewed the report with the Committee.

Ms. Jennifer Larsen, the Acting Chair of the Richmond Mental Health Advisory Board, stressed the importance of the City having committees which were external to the power of the Vancouver-Richmond Health Board.

Councillor Lyn Greenhill, as Council’s liaison representative to the Richmond Mental Health Advisory Board, spoke about the RMHAB. She noted that even though Council would no longer have an official body to advise of health issues within the City, individuals could still address Council about these matters. Cllr. Greenhill extended her thanks to Ms. Larsen for her hard work over the years, and encouraged her as an individual and group to continue to keep Council apprised of health issues.

Councillors Brodie, McNulty and Steves also echoed the sentiments expressed by Councillor Greenhill, during which the comment was made that there was no better advocate for health issues than Ms. Larsen.

It was moved and seconded



resolution R95/11-28 (adopted on June 13th, 1995), which established the Richmond Mental Health Advisory Board (RMHAB), be rescinded,


letters of appreciation be written to the RMHAB members to acknowledge their excellent long standing service and contribution to the community, and


a copy of the report (dated May 5th, 2000, from the Manager, Land Use) be sent to the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board, the Richmond Community Health Committee and Richmond Health Services to advise them of this change.




(Memo: May 17/00, File No.: 0155-02)

The Chair reviewed the recommendation adopted by the Richmond School Board (outlined in a memorandum dated May 17th, 2000, from K. Morris, Secretary-Treasurer, a copy of which is on file in the City Clerk’s Office).

Discussion ensued among Committee members on the proposal to establish a joint School Board/City Task Force to explore how young people could be provided with ‘safe’ meeting places, during which the following comments were made:


the City’s youth workers should be involved


It was noted that this proposal had arisen because of the City’s decision to close school/park sites at night


the School District wanted to explore with the City the feasibility of establishing a task force to explore options, such as opening their own facilities to youth


the City should also consider opening its facilities, and perhaps changing the hours of certain community centres to accommodate late night youth activitites.

It was moved and seconded

That the Community Services Committee endorse the establishment of a joint School Board/City Task Force to explore how young people can be provided with ‘safe’ meeting places, and that the City host the initial meeting.




That the meeting adjourn (7:00 p.m.).




Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, May 24th, 2000.



Councillor Harold Steves


Fran J. Ashton

Executive Assistant