September 23, 2009 - Minutes

PDF Document Printer-Friendly Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes




Public Works & Transportation Committee




Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Linda Barnes, Chair

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Harold Steves

Mayor Malcolm Brodie


Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt, Vice-Chair

Also Present:

Councillor Greg Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

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








It was moved and seconded



Motion to adopt the minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee held on Wednesday, July 22, 2009.











Wednesday, October 21, 2009 (tentative date) at 4:30 p.m. in the Anderson Room.









Karon Trenaman of ICBC to report on ICBC’s November 2009 Intersection Awareness Campaign



Ms. Trenaman distributed an Overview of the 2009 ICBC Intersection Safety Campaign (on file in the City Clerk’s Office) and remarked that on November 6, 2009 the campaign to: (i) raise awareness of unsafe behaviours at intersections, and (ii) increase the perception of police enforcement of intersection violations, will receive a media launch in Vancouver. She noted that ICBC would work with Richmond media to hold a local media launch after November 6, 2009.



Ms. Trenaman noted that besides the participation of ICBC, the campaign involves the RCMP “E” Division, Community Police Volunteers, and the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU), among other parties who are committed to decreasing the number of crashes that occur at intersections.



In response to a query regarding the use of photo radar technology at problem intersections, Ms. Trenaman responded that the program is still operational, and that the photo technology at intersections works on a rotation basis.



A comment was made that the timing of the the November 1-31, 2009 campaign assists in reminding motorists to drive carefully before, during, and after the December holiday season.





Gary Cross, resident of Saba Road, on Bus Routes on Saba Road



Mr. Cross, 8238 Saba Road, expressed concern regarding health issues related to a recent increase in bus traffic, and noise generated by bus traffic, since the relocation of several bus stops from Cook Road, to the south side of Saba Road, between No. 3 Road and Buswell Street.



Mr. Cross noted that 800 buses per day use the bus loop near 8100 and 8188 Saba Road and he suggested that the City explore moving the bus loop one block south of Saba Road. He acknowledged that Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) is responsible for transit, and transit stops in the City, and he encouraged the City to work with CMBC to ensure the safety of public transit users and to allay the concerns of residents of Saba Road.



Victor Wei, Director of Transportation addressed Committee and reported that:




City staff worked with CMBC before the opening of the Canada Line, including plans for the re-allocation of bus stops in the vicinity of the Canada Line’s Richmond-Brighouse Station;




the current use of the eastern portion of Saba Road for bus passenger loading/unloading activity is temporary, pending construction within the next two to five years, of an off-street bus exchange to the south of the Richmond-Brighouse Station;




City transportation staff recently met with CMBC representatives, as well as with the strata agent of a Saba Road condominium building, to discuss complaints received by the City from residents in the vicinity of the southwest corner of Saba Road and Buswell Streets regarding bus activity and noise;




as a result of the meetings, City staff developed three options to address the concerns: (i) the possibility of relocating the easternmost bus stop on Saba Road just west of Buswell Street, to the north side of Cook Road to address the idling noise and bus fumes issues; (ii) over the upcoming months, examine rerouting buses from Saba Road to elsewhere, but not commit to any reduction before CMBC’s next scheduled sheet change in December, 2009; and (iii) over the longer term, the City would review all buses that converge at Richmond-Brighouse Station, while TransLink is spearheading the review that will be done after the completion of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.



Discussion ensued between staff and Committee and in particular on:




the issue of noise and fumes from buses could be referred to staff for further exploration;




TransLink’s future off-street bus exchange would be built where the current Scotia Bank is located on No. 3 Road;




CMBC cannot commit to any significant reduction in bus traffic due to physical space needs, but has maximized the bus stop spaces on No. 3 Road and Cook Road, with Saba Road used for passenger drop off; and




800 buses operate in the Saba Road during a 17-18 period, each day;



The Chair requested that staff furnish Mr. Cross with contact information for the appropriate Coast Mountain Bus Company staff member.



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



It was moved and seconded



That City staff, working with Coast Mountain Bus Company representatives, analyse possibilities to alleviate issues raised by Saba Road residents related to bus traffic on Saba Road.



The question on the motion was not called as further discussion ensued regarding: (i) Committee’s suggestion to discuss with CMBC the idea of relocating bus stops from Saba Road to the bus stop locations used prior to the opening of the Canada Line, and (ii) the importance of examining the safety of pedestrians crossing roads in order to make bus-and-Canada Line connections.



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









(File Ref. No.:  10-6000-01) (REDMS No. 2706100)



It was moved and seconded



That Contract 3564P, for the Supply and Delivery of Two Tandem Axle 12 Yard Positive Displacement Combination Catch Basin Sewer Cleaner Hydro Excavation Trucks, be awarded to Vimar Equipment Ltd. at a total cost of $834,822.00, plus applicable taxes and levies.






(File Ref. No.:  10-6175-00) (REDMS No. 2718612)



In response to a query from Committee, Suzanne Bycraft, Manager, Fleet & Environmental Programs, advised that the majority of non-stormwater discharge requests are directed by staff to the sanitary sewer system, and that staff receives few requests from applicants to discharge to the City’s storm sewer system.



It was moved and seconded



That Pollution Prevention and Clean-up Bylaw No. 8475 be introduced and given 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings.






(File Ref. No.:  10-6125-04-01) (REDMS No. 2717414)



Ms. Bycraft stated that the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw is one component of the City’s broader strategy to actively work to reduce risks associated with pesticides.



Discussion ensued between Ms. Bycraft, Lesley Douglas, Assistant Manager, Environmental Programs and Committee on the following topics:




the rationale for Part Three (Exceptions), Section 3.1, Subsections (i), (j) and (k) of the Bylaw that does not apply to the use of a pesticide by an accredited organization to control or eradicate (i) an infestation; (ii) a pest that threatens a sensitive ecosystem; and (iii) an alien invasive species;




the Province requires all landscape companies to have a licence; other organizations, would also require accreditation in order to meet the Exceptions outlined in Part Three, (Exceptions), Section 3.1, Subsections (i), (j), and (k) of the Bylaw; the number of organizations that would meet the exemption terms would be few in number and would use the exemptions in extreme situations;




Plant Health BC offers accreditation to provide robust industry standards;




the intention to enforce the Bylaw, after adoption by Council, and an informal grace period would provide an opportunity for familiarization with details of the Bylaw;




the Bylaw is a restrictive one that follows the template endorsed by the Canadian Cancer Society, and it is City policy to discontinue use of pesticides on hardscapes;




in the most recent Provincial Throne Speech it was noted that the Province will enter into consultations with the general public on pesticide use, and that Provincial staff expects that directive to be given in the near future; and




The City has a program to make residents aware that the Recycling Depot on Lynas Lane can accept pesticides for disposal.



Michelle Li, 6100 Tiffany Boulevard, spoke on behalf of the Richmond Pesticide Awareness Coalition (RPAC) and stated her desire that there be no grey areas, or loopholes, in the Bylaw. She expressed concern that the Bylaw makes some exceptions that would allow the use of conventional pesticides in certain situations by Plant Health certified applicators. She noted that these exemptions are not included in 19 of the 22 municipal cosmetic pesticide Bylaws in BC, or in the provincial legislation in Ontario or Quebec, and she requested that the exemptions be removed from the Bylaw.



Ms. Li stated that for some people, the aesthetic quality of landscaping is more important than with health issues that may arise from the use of pesticides.



Miss Li concluded her remarks by noting that in Plant Health-certified landscaping companies, only one person in the company is required to take the exam in order for the entire company to become certified.



In response to queries from Committee regarding accredited organizations, Kent Mullinix, Manager, Plant Health BC advised the following:




Plant Health BC’s accreditation test is given to one person in an organization, and that person then acts as the coordinator of pesticide issues; and




Plant Health BC requires that all organizations that have an accredited coordinator hold in-house development programs, and that the expectation be that all members of the organization would gain the requisite pesticide knowledge and skill.



Discussion ensued between staff and Committee on: (i) the benefits and merits of accreditation; (ii) how often exemptions would apply; (iii) how City policy would address the implementation of the Bylaw; (iv) how the City of Vancouver and other BC communities deal with infestation problems; and (v) the Bylaw is a proactive tool the City can use in the case of infestations.



A suggestion was made, and direction was given to staff, that when the City mails property tax notices to residents, information regarding the Bylaw be included in the mailing.



At the conclusion of the discussion it was decided that Part Three (Exceptions), 3.1 Section, Subsections (i) (j) and (k) be deleted from the draft Bylaw.



It was moved and seconded







the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 8514 be introduced and given first, second and third readings;




the Municipal Ticket Authorization Bylaw No. 7321, Amendment Bylaw 8526 be introduced and given first, second and third readings; and




a letter be written to the Provincial government strongly urging that they introduce legislation to prohibit the use and sale of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.



The question on the main motion was not called as Committee introduced the following amending motion:



It was moved and seconded



That Part Three, Section 3.1, Subsections (i), (j) and (k) of Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 8514be deleted.



The question on the motion was not called as further discussion ensued regarding: (i) the potential of a permit or application process that could be created, and (ii) alternative processes or methods to manage the use of pesticides on sensitive ecosystems.



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



The question on the main motion, including the recommendation to give 3 readings to the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 8514, as amended, was then called and it was CARRIED.



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



It was moved and seconded



That staff further explore alternatives to Part Three, Section 3.1, subsections (i), (j) and (k) of Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 8514 and report back with alternative policies and procedures that would resolve the issue of the use of a pesticide by an accredited organization to control or eradicate: (a) an infestation, (b) a pest that threatens a sensitive ecosystem, and (c) an alien invasive species.








(File Ref. No.:  10-6340-20) (REDMS No. 2718008)



It was moved and seconded



That the transfer of $150,000 from project 40344, “Steveston Drainage Area – Assessment and Rehabilitation/Replacement” to project 40341, “Gilbert North Drainage Area – Assessment and Upgrade” be approved in order to commence repairs to the box culvert on No. 4 Road between Westminster Highway and Alderbridge Way.






(File Ref. No.:  10-6650-02) (REDMS No. 2718694)



Frank Schmidt, Chair, Multi-Family Water Meter Volunteer Work Group, accompanied by John Irving, Director of Engineering, advised that the work group worked diligently on the program during the past five months. He stated that the group focused on fairness and equity for all Richmond residents and discussed many issues and explored many opportunities regarding the Multi-Family Water Meter Program.



A brief discussion ensued between Mr. Schmidt, staff and Committee on: (i) a toilet rebate program that could be developed for Richmond; (ii) conservation of water; and (iii) particulars of the program.



Moreah Sinclaire, 126-9700 Glenacres Drive a member of the work group, addressed Committee and stated her concern regarding inequities in water rates for Richmond’s seniors, singles, and single seniors.



Her calculation was that if seniors, singles and single seniors live in a townhouse, they pay $411 per year for water, which is 80% of the rate for single-family homes where more than one family member consumes water. She added that Richmond’s is the highest rate of 15 other Lower Mainland communities.



Ms. Sinclaire advised Committee that when the work group voted on the three discount programs, (i) Single Occupant Discount or (ii) Seniors Discount or (iii) Single Seniors Discount discussed by the group, some members of the group were absent and other members abstained from voting. She concluded her remarks by expressing her wish that the three options be presented to Council for discussion and action.



Discussion ensued among Committee and staff regarding the need for Council to know the Work Group’s opinion of the three discount programs.



Mr. Irving advised that the work group could be reconvened, the options discussed, and a full vote taken.



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



It was moved and seconded



That staff refer the report, dated September 9, 2009 entitled “Richmond Multi-Family Water Meter Program Work Group” back to the work group for clarification by the work group on three discount proposals outlined in the staff report.



The question on the motion was not called as comments were made that conserving litres of water was possible with low flush toilets. Mr. Irving advised that the City has a substantial education program regarding general water conservation measures. 



The referral motion was then called and it was CARRIED.









(File Ref. No.:  10-6460-03) (REDMS No. 2514035)



It was moved and seconded







Traffic Bylaw No. 5870, Amendment Bylaw No. 8536 be introduced and given first, second and third reading; and




Municipal Ticket Information Authorization Bylaw No. 7321, Amendment Bylaw No. 8537 be introduced and given first, second and third reading.







(File Ref. No.:  10-6455-01) (REDMS No. 2671388)



Mr. Wei stated that recent feedback from residents support signalizing the intersection at No. 1 Road and Moncton Street. Staff supports complementary traffic calming measures at this location that is central to Steveston Village, including: (i) a raised intersection that would lower vehicle speed, (ii) lowering the maximum speed in the area from 50 kilometres per hour to 30 kilometres per hour, and (iii) a decorative design to curb the potential for higher operating speeds that the potential new signalization may encourage.



Discussion ensued between staff and Committee regarding the idea to raise the intersection to a gradual hump. Mr. Wei advised that the only example in the Lower Mainland area is located on the north shore, near the Park Royale shopping centre, where the developer undertook construction of a private road, using pavers, and that the gradual rise of the roadway is aesthetically pleasing and has proven to have a traffic calming effect.



It was moved and seconded



That the proposed traffic and parking improvements in the Steveston Village area, as described in the staff report dated August 31, 2009 from the Director, Transportation, entitled “Steveston Village Traffic and Parking Improvements – Proposed Recommendations”, be endorsed with direction to staff to:




pursue implementation of the short-term and long-term recommendations; and




submit the capital projects identified in the medium-term recommendations for Council’s further consideration as part of the City’s capital and operating budget approval processes starting with the 2011 programs.








Mr. Wei reported that on September 23, 2009 the Minister of State (Transport) announced funding for 14 Port Metro Vancouver projects. Four projects are within the City, and one of the projects is the No. 8 Road/Blundell Road Traffic Signal and Rail Crossing Improvements Project. The City is not responsible for financing this or the other three projects that are in Richmond, as the Government of Canada will provide Port Metro Vancouver with funds from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.



In response to a query regarding roadwork on Fourth Avenue in Steveston, Mr. Wei advised that the road is not being widened, but that extra asphalt is being laid for a walkway that will be delineated by a curb.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:00 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 23, 2009.



Councillor Linda Barnes


Sheila Johnston

Committee Clerk