Public Works & Transporation Committee Meeting Minutes - September 20, 2000





Wednesday, September 20th, 2000


W.H. Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Lyn Greenhill, Chair
Councillor Ken Johnston, Vice-Chair
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Kiichi Kumagai


Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt

Also Present:

Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Bill McNulty

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

At the request of Councillor Johnston, the matter of the complaints made previously by Mr. Dale Pitts, was added to the agenda as an additional item. The Chair also noted that Mr. Rob Beynon, representing the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Transportation Task Force wished to make a short presentation to the Committee regarding the TransLink Strategic Transportation Plan.


It was moved and seconded

That the minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee held on Thursday, September 7th, 2000, be adopted as circulated.





Mr. Rob Beynon, representing the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Transportation Task Force gave a short PowerPoint presentation on the Chamber of Commerce’s position with respect to transportation issues. (A copy of Mr. Beynon’s presentation is attached as Schedule A and forms part of these minutes.) During his presentation, Mr. Beynon advised that the Chamber of Commerce would like to more actively dialogue with the City on interests of mutual issues.

Councillor Kumagai referred to a statement ‘find an acceptable fee compromise’, and questioned what the intent of that statement was. During the discussion which ensued, Councillor Kumagai spoke about the amount of money which had to be raised by TransLink to finance its proposed transportation plan. He also advised that the Board of TransLink had approved today, the funding for the proposed work plan for the City’s rapid transit study.

The Chair thanked Mr. Beynon for his presentation, and invited him to attend future Committee meetings whenever there were issues which the Chamber of Commerce felt should be addressed.



(Report: Sept. 7/00, File No.: 6500-01) (REDMS No. 176012)

The General Manager, Urban Development David McLellan introduced Ms. Jane Bird, who would be acting as Project Manager for the Rapid Transit Study. He advised that the City would be providing Ms. Bird with an office and the services of City staff as the project progressed. Mr. McLellan added that a number of agencies had been consulted with regard to the preparation of the work program.

The Manager, Transportation, Gordon Chan, then briefly reviewed the report with Committee members.

In response to questions from the Chair, Ms. Bird advised that the report was self-explanatory, however if there were any questions she would be pleased to answer them.

It was moved and seconded


That the proposed Management Plan for the Richmond/Airport-Vancouver Rapid Transit Study, (as outlined in the report dated September 7th, 2000 from the Manager of Transportation), be endorsed.


That the proposed staff participation on the Richmond/Airport-Vancouver Rapid Transit Study Steering Committee and Technical Committee and other activities related to the study work plan be endorsed.


That a Richmond Rapid Transit Public Advisory Committee, consisting of local Richmond stakeholders, be established to provide input on specific aspects of the study related to Richmond’s portion of the line and other general issues that may have an impact on Richmond; and that staff report to Council on the proposed composition of the Committee, including a Council representative.


That staff report to Council on the study progress at key decision points of the study, including the conclusions and recommendations reached at the end of the Needs Assessment and Rapid Transit Line Definition phases.


That the above recommendations be conveyed to the TransLink Board of Directors and other agencies participating in the study.


That the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to execute the memorandum of understanding for Phase 2 of the Richmond/Airport-Vancouver Rapid Transit Study.




(Report: Sept. 7/00, File No.: 6480-01) (REDMS No. 174795)

Mr. Chan spoke briefly about the report with Committee members.

Councillor Kumagai, as Council’s representative on the TransLink Board of Directors, spoke about the proposed vehicle or transportation fee and suggested that if the majority of Council was opposed to the implementation of this fee, then the staff recommendation should be amended to reflect this fact.

Considerable discussion then ensued among Committee members on this matter, during which Councillor Kumagai spoke further on the various financing options which were available. Concern was expressed by Councillor Johnston that adoption of the proposed amendment ‘that Council does not support the implementation of an average $75 levy’, could place Council in a precarious position because the public consultation process had not yet been completed, especially if the result was that the $75 levy was the least unpleasant in a number of unpleasant options. He suggested that these financing options should be presented to the residents of those municipalities which would be affected, in a referendum forum.

Discussion continued among Committee members and staff, during which questions were raised about (i) whether the public, during the consultation process, would be given the option of ‘none of the above’; and (ii) how much funding a tax levy would generate. Also discussed was whether there would be sufficient time to hold a referendum, how the fact that the City wished to have a referendum held would be conveyed to TransLink, and what action the Committee wanted to take with regard to the staff recommendation. In response to questions about the timing of the staff report, advice was given by Mr. Chan that the report had been prepared in response to the presentation made by TransLink to the September 5th General Purposes Committee meeting, as staff felt it would be appropriate at this time to advise Council on the various options and issues. He further advised that he expected a decision to be made by TransLink by mid-October.

(Councillor Barnes entered the meeting at 4:39 p.m., and Councillor McNulty entered at 4:43 p.m., during the above discussion.)

As a result of the discussion, the following referral motion was introduced:

It was moved and seconded

That the following staff recommendations be referred to a future meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee, to be held prior to the TransLink Board of Directors meeting:


That the need for reallocation of existing resources or introduction of additional revenue sources to fund new transportation improvements in the Greater Vancouver region be recognized.


That TransLink be requested to initiate a joint effort with other agencies, stakeholders, and the public to lobby the Federal Government to re-direct a portion of the fuel tax revenues towards improving the Greater Vancouver transportation system.


That TransLink be requested not to consider the concept of imposing a region-wide Transportation Improvement Fee until all efforts related to the federal gasoline tax revenue re-direction option are exhausted and all cost savings achievable through efficiency gains by TransLink have been identified.


That, if the proposed region-wide Transportation Improvement Fee is determined to be the only viable option after all efforts outlined in recommendation 3 above are exhausted, the following principles be considered by TransLink in determining the means of generating the required revenue for improving the regional transportation system:


Any Transportation Improvement Fee implemented should have a transportation demand management and environmental enhancement relevance;


The Transportation Improvement Fee should not be tied to any "transit access" formula as one of the options being examined by TransLink;


Any Transportation Improvement Fee implemented should have a positive impact on goods movements in the region considering the reduction of road congestion as a result of enhancements to the Major Road Network.


Property taxation should not be considered as a possible revenue source.


That recommendations 1 to 4 above be conveyed to the TransLink Board of Directors and member municipalities.


That staff report to Council, through the Public Works & Transportation Committee, on the results of the public consultation process conducted by TransLink to seek input on the various funding options being considered.


It was moved and seconded

That the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority be advised that City Council requests that the public consultation process being held include a referendum on the various funding options.

(Councillor Dang left the meeting at 4:47 p.m.)

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



(Report: Sept. 7/00, File No.: 6500-01) (REDMS No. 183414)

Mr. Chan reviewed the report with Committee members.

(Councillor Dang returned to the meeting 4:50 p.m.)

It was moved and seconded


That the submission of the following five projects for cost-sharing be endorsed as part of the TransLink 2001 Major Road Network Capital Development Plan:


Garden City Road and Sea Island Way intersection improvements;


Garden City Road and Bridgeport Road intersection improvements;


Gilbert Road traffic safety and cycling improvements (Granville Avenue to Dinsmore Bridge);


Westminster Highway traffic safety and cycling improvements (No. 6 Road to No. 7 Road); and


Transit passenger facilities to accommodate transit services on existing major roads.


That staff report to Council, through the Public Works & Transportation Committee, on the outcome of the evaluation by the Major Roads Technical Advisory Committee on the proposed Richmond submission to the 2001 Major Road Network Capital Development Program.




(Report: Sept. 11/00, File No.: 1090-01) (REDMS No. 186285)

Mr. Chan briefly reviewed the report with members of the Committee.

It was moved and seconded


That staff pursue establishing a partnership with the local automobile dealers and manufacturers to secure a one-year pilot study for an electrically powered vehicle as part of the City’s fleet for a grant application to be submitted by the City to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Enabling Fund.


That the electrically-powered vehicle pilot program be referred to the Corporate Sponsorship Committee for review.


That, if the grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Enabling Fund is approved for the above study, a project steering committee be established with representation by Council, as required under the terms of the grant agreement.




(Report: Aug. 14/00, File No.: 0340-20-PWOR1) (REDMS No. 176953, 173490) (Referred from the September 7th, 2000 Committee meeting for discussion on the appearance of the report.)

The Chair noted that at the previous meeting of the Committee, concern had been expressed by members about (i) the amount of information included in the report, and (ii) the fact that the report contained no indication of any problems which had occurred during that period.

Discussion ensued among Committee members and staff on possible ways of dealing with these issues, and as a result it was agreed that staff would prepare an executive summary for review, and that copies of the actual report would be provided to the Information Counter, the Councillors’ Lounge and to the Mayor’s Office.


Councillor Johnston advised that he was again receiving correspondence from Mr. Dale Pitts, and he expressed concern about the lack of communication with Mr. Pitts on his concerns. In response to Cllr. Johnston’s questions on the matter, the Director, Engineering, Jeff Day advised that he had discussed the matter with the City Solicitor on this date, and Mr. Kendrick had advised that a letter had just been written and would be in the mail to Mr. Pitts. The Chair requested that copies of this correspondence be provided to all members of Council for their information. The Chair also asked that steps be taken to ensure that this lack of communication did not happen again.




Mr. Chan referred to the open house on financing options held by TransLink on September 12th, which was attended by 50 interested residents. He stated that a majority of the individuals indicated that they would not support the proposed $75 levy. Mr. Chan added that rather than talking about the proposed financing options, many of the participants spoke about the poor transit service in Richmond, as well as about pursuing the Federal Government on the return of the gas tax revenue.


The Manager, Engineering Design & Construction, Steve Ono provided information on two complaints which had been received. He advised that the first complaint was from Mr. Ighor Pona, who was upset that in accordance with the City’s zero tolerance policy, he had been instructed by Engineering staff to remove the wood frame construction from the ditch in front of his home. Mr. Ono explained Mr. Pona wishes to appear before the Public Works & Transportation Committee to appeal these instructions. He further advised that Mr. Pona had provided the addresses of 68 other properties where similar situations existed, and that staff would be investigating these sites to determine if the appropriate action was warranted.

Mr. Ono advised that the second complaint had been received from Ms. Judy Williams of the Fraser River Coalition regarding the ditch infill taking place along the south side of Westminster Highway, from No. 6 Road to No. 7 Road. He stated that Ms. Williams was concerned that the infill was destroying a viable environmental corridor and that the proposed work had not been included as part of a public hearing process. Mr. Ono stated that Ms. Williams had indicated that she was intended to issue a press release on the matter and that he was now receiving telephone calls from the local media about this issue. He added that he advised Ms. Williams that the work was more that 50% complete and that the work had been necessary to prevent that area of Westminster Highway from collapsing into the ditch.

The Chair noted that the City’s Manager of Communications & Public Affairs, Ted Townsend was in attendance, and she asked him to provide assistance with this matter.


The Manager, Engineering Planning, Paul Lee reported that a meeting would be held on Friday, September 22nd with the proponents of the No. 5 Road sewer line and the General Manager, Finance & Corporate Services to resolve the financing issues for this project.

Mr. Lee further advised that one of the conditions of obtaining a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities was that a project steering committee must be struck, comprised of a member of Council and a City staff person, and he wanted to be sure that the Committee was aware of this requirement. Mr. Lee also reported that the City had been given permission from the FCM to submit an additional project for grant approval. As a result, staff intended to submit a project which, if approved, would investigate the relationship between decreasing water tables and the impact on sewage treatment and the treatment plant.

Mr. Lee also reported that the Greater Vancouver Regional District was prepared to make a presentation to the November 6th meeting of the General Purposes Committee on the Lulu Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.



That the meeting adjourn (5:10 p.m.).


Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, September 20th, 2000.



Councillor Lyn Greenhill

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant