Muni Morsel: School at the Cape?

Nectar Yoga rezoning passes, BIM requesting on-island testing and more from this week's council meeting

As much of B.C. was settling down to watch the provincial leaders debate, Bowen Island councillors settled in to discuss civic matters at the Oct. 13 regular council meeting. While BIM had attempted hybrid in-person-Zoom council meetings in September, it abandoned the endeavour for a fully-virtual affair Tuesday. 

The following are briefs from that meeting

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Second time’s a charm: Island Discovery Learning Community, which offers flexible learning opportunities and includes home-based and classroom components, is applying for a temporary use permit to operate out of a residence at Cape Roger Curtis. 

If this sounds familiar, last winter IDLC applied for a TUP  to operate in Deep Bay. For several years, IDLC operated out of Cowan Pt. but but needed to move as of last spring. After local outcry, and a neighbour pointing out that BIM hadn’t explicitly designated a TUP area on-island (a requirement under the Local Government Act), council rejected the application and got to work closing the TUP loophole.  

In Tuesday’s consent agenda (where non-contentious or already debated to death, revised and decided matters are passed with no discussion) the entire island was designated an area where temporary use permits may be issued. (This was an Official Community Plan amendment that’s been before council several times.)

Minutes later, IDLC’s entreaty came before council. 

“Unlike our last attempt, this is as far away from the Cove as possible. And it’s on a 10-acre property with absolutely no one around us,” IDLC principal Allan Saugstad told council in the public comments section. “We could be as loud as we wanted and nobody would ever hear us,” he joked. “It’s a wonderful place for kids to play and explore.”

IDLC is seeking a three-year TUP to include “school” as a principal use for the lot. The occupancy of the building would be capped at 30 people (the current daily average is 20 students said Saugstad) and the applicant is to provide all on-site parking. 

Manager of planning and development, Daniel Martin, told council that one of the concerns from neighbours is traffic on the semi-private DeeCee Rd, which the property borders. As such, there would be a condition on the TUP that the only school-use access would be through Cape Dr.  

Council voted to give notice that the TUP will be considered at its Nov. 9 meeting. 

TUP two: Council gave notice that it would consider another TUP, this one to allow the Westland Insurance office behind the ambulance station to operate without being a home business. 

We want tests: Following up on local concerns, council voted to send a letter to Vancouver Coastal Health’s chief medical officer, Dr. Patricia Daly, requesting support for COVID-19 on Bowen. BIM will cc o the deputy medical officer and CAO of the Coastal Health Division on the letter. 

Coun. Alison Morse noted that Pemberton has a testing station, as does Whistler. “And time travel between Pemberton and Whistler is probably about the same as it is for us to get on a ferry and everything else to get to North Van,” she said. 

At Coun. Maureen Nicholson’s suggestion, the letter will note that B.I. Health Centre and Community Foundations have money to spend on COVID initiatives and Bowen potentially has financial support. 

Councillors also discussed including in the letter that BIM could provide or help find space for such an initiative. 

A couple of years later: The Nectar Yoga on Gardner Lane rezoning passed in the aforementioned consent agenda. The rezoning saw proponents agree to a riparian covenant area, park dedication, trail contribution and protective covenants to allow the existing bed and breakfast to expand into a retreat centre. 

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