Community Services Committee Meeting Minutes - August 29th, 2000





Tuesday, August 29th, 2000


W.H. Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Harold Steves, Chair
Councillor Derek Dang, Vice-Chair
Councillor Malcolm Brodie
Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt


Councillor Ken Johnston
Councillor Linda Barnes

Also Present:

Councillor Bill McNulty

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m., at which time he advised that the following 3 matters would be added to the agenda:


Mr. Doug Campbell regarding the birch tree growing on the trail south of Moncton Street, and located adjacent to his property (it should be noted that Mr. Campbell failed to attend the meeting to discuss his concerns about the tree);


Mr. & Mrs. Bill Quick regarding an unsightly premise at 6640 Granville Avenue; and


the possible use of the MOT lands.



It was moved and seconded

That the minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Committee held on Tuesday, July 25th, 2000, be adopted as circulated.




Mr. Bill Quick, accompanied by his wife Cathy, voiced concerns about the condition of the property at 6640 Granville Avenue, which was intended to form part of a future townhouse development.

He explained that of the homes on the three properties to be developed, two had been demolished and the lots preloaded with sand, however, the developer had chosen to rent the third home (6640 Granville Avenue). Mr. Quick then circulated photographs to the Committee which showed the current condition of this rental property. He voiced concern that this situation had been allowed to continue, and suggested that to prevent similar circumstances occurring in the future, the City should amend its building codes to require that developers demolish any existing dwellings on properties which they intend to develop.

Mr. Quick expressed concern about (i) the number of motor vehicles parked in the front of the property, and (ii) the unsightly condition of the property, i.e. long grass, tree stumps, debris, and sofas and other furniture strewn about the property. He then provided information on meetings which he and his wife had had with staff since first bringing this issue to the City’s attention, and on lack of the action by the owner and the tenants of the home to clean up the property, in spite of promises made by those individuals that the untidiness would be dealt with. He added that rats had been seen on the property, that there was a terrible odor emanating from the site and that the Richmond Health Department had been contacted.

Discussion then ensued among Committee members, staff and the delegation on this matter, during which information was provided by the Manager, Community Bylaws & Administration, Ms. Sandra Tokarczyk, on the process followed by staff following receipt of the complaint. She explained that the owners of the property in question, along with the tenants, had been contacted to determine if something could be done to resolve the issue. Ms. Tokarczyk stated that the owner was intending to demolish the home however at the present time, there was no definite date as to when this would take place. She added that the renters had indicated to City staff that they intended to clean up the property last week, but subsequently asked for and received an extension to August 31st to comply with the order issued by the City to deal with the unsightliness.

In response to questions, Ms. Tokarczyk advised that the City could, on August 31st or September 1st if the property has not been cleaned up by that time, issue an order for City crews or a contractor to enter the property and clean up the debris and other materials. Reference was made to the motor vehicles on the property and Ms. Tokarczyk stated that unlicenced vehicles were permitted, however, if these vehicles were dismantled for parts, then the tenants/owner would be required to remove the remaining pieces from the property.

Questions were raised about the identity of the owner of the property and this information was given to Ms. Tokarczyk by Councillor Dang, and the suggestion was made that this person should be contacted directly about the condition of the property.

In response to comments made by Mr. Quick, the Chair advised that Mr. Quick should contact Ms. Tokarczyk on the status of the situation as she had the authority of Council to deal with this issue. Councillor Steves noted that notices had been issued and that following expiration of the necessary time periods, Ms. Tokarczyk could authorize City crews to enter and clean up the property and the charges passed on to the owner.

In conclusion, Mr. Quick thanked the Committee and staff for their time and efforts, and he asked that Ms. Tokarczyk keep in contact with him about the matter.


(Report: August 10/00, File No.: 6550-01) (REDMS No. 176611)

The Director, Parks, Dave Semple, introduced Dr. Jim Tanaka, President of the BC Wakayama Kenjin Kai Association. Mr. Semple then used a site plan of the Steveston area to indicate possible tree planting locations.

Dr. Tanaka advised that the project was intended to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Association and to recognize and honour the Japanese pioneers who immigrated to BC and who lived and worked within the Steveston area. He provided information on the goals of the Association, which was to plant 300 trees and to eventually hold a Cherry Blossom festival, possibly in conjunction with another event held within the City.

Discussion then ensued among Committee members, staff and the delegation, during which the following information was provided:


the Association intended to plant a few trees in September to commemorate its anniversary once the proposal had been approved by Council, and would continue to plant a number of trees in each subsequent year


to limit the number of diseased cherry trees which might result from Lower Mainland rainy weather (and subsequently require removal), the Association was proposing to plant 2 hybrid varieties which had proven to be the ideal trees to plant.

Reference was also made during the discussion to a decision made a number of years ago that only native trees would be planted in Garry Point Park and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard site. Cllr. Steves provided a number of examples on the incorrect types of trees and plants which had been planted, such as the Oak trees planted in Garry Point Park, and a brief discussion ensued on whether these trees could be removed.

Cllr. Steves referred to the Murakami Gardens, stating that Japanese flowering cherry trees had not formed a part of the original garden, and asked that this area be excluded from the proposed cherry tree planting program. In response, Mr. Semple advised that planting of the trees in the appropriate areas would be part of the process to ensure that the trees were placed correctly.

It was moved and seconded


That the proposal by the BC Wakayama Kenjin Kai to plant Japanese cherry trees in appropriate and approved areas within Steveston be approved; and


That staff work with the representatives of the BC Wakayama Kenjin Kai to determine these locations for tree planting.



(Report: August 14/00, File No.: 2325-20-020) (REDMS No. 176918)

Mr. Semple introduced Mr. Garry McLean, the Manager of Facilities for the Richmond School District. He then used a site plan of the subject area to explain how parking would be accommodated on the site, advising that the District was seeking the permission of Council to construct the parking area on a portion of City-owned property.

A brief discussion ensued on whether a lease agreement would be required, during which Mr. Semple voiced the opinion that such an agreement should not be necessary. He added however that he would report to Council if an agreement was required.

It was moved and seconded

That the request from the Richmond School Board to utilize a portion of City- owned property at McNair School/Park site for the expansion of parking facilities and a portion of a new vehicular entrance (as outlined in the site plan attached to the report dated August 14th, 2000, from the Director, Parks), be approved.




Councillor McNulty referred to the MOT land and commented that this area would be suitable for playing fields. He suggested that the City approach the Federal Government for permission to use certain areas of the land on an interim basis until a decision has been made on future ownership of the property, with the City absorbing the cost of installing the fields and parking lots. Cllr. McNulty pointed out that the City was on record as wanting to acquire these lands. In speaking further on the proposal, he stated that the City would not remove any of the peat from the land, and that if fill was required, the City could finance the project through contractors searching for areas to deposit unwanted fill material. He added that the fields would not interfere with the communication towers located on the property.

Discussion ensued among Committee members and staff on the proposal, during which the following information was given:


the cost of installing a ‘boulder dust’ field would be approximately $100,000 per field


depending on the location of a field on the MOT property, it might be necessary to fill the property and let it sit for a length of time (it was noted that the easterly side of the property contained a greater depth of peat than the westerly side)


other areas, such as Vernon and Burnaby had entered into similar arrangements with the Federal Government or its agencies

During the discussion, general agreement was given to the proposal, however, at the same time, comments were made about the difficulties which the City could expect to encounter in submitting the proposal to the Federal Government. Comments were also made that (i) the City would need to ensure that only clean fill was placed on the property and did not include any concrete or other building debris; and (ii) a letter of understanding would be the most appropriate way to proceed.

It was moved and seconded

That the possible use of MOT lands by the City for interim playing fields be referred to staff for the preparation of a draft proposal for submission to Council, through the Community Services Committee.





Mr. Semple reported on (i) the many activities being planned throughout Richmond for the upcoming Labour Day long weekend; (ii) the status of the Sports Facilities Task Force final report; and (iii) the review being undertaken by staff on the feasibility of implementing an automated boat launching system at McDonald Beach.


The Manager, Aquatic Services, David McBride, advised that he had been asked by the Director, Recreational & Cultural Services, Kate Sparrow, to provide an update on the review proposed to be undertaken by staff on how registrations for community programs were handled by the City. He then explained in detail how the steering committee would function, and the goal of this committee which was to provide additional opportunities for customers and improve existing services.


The Manager, Parks Operations, Gord Barstow, reported that crews were presently undertaking an inventory of all trees in the City, noting the location and condition of each tree.


The Mayor referred to the Garry Point Park washroom facility and to the dish attached to the outside of the building, which was intended to provide water for dogs to drink. He noted that individuals were washing their feet in the dish and requested that a sign be erected to indicate that the only purpose of the dish was to provide water for dogs.


It was moved and seconded

That the meeting adjourn (4:58 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 Tuesday, August 29th, 2000.



Councillor Harold Steves

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant