In the first regular council meeting since the election, mayor Gary Ander took his seat at the head of the table and new councillors David Hocking and Rob Wynen tested out their new iPads (which you receive upon being elected to council.)
The following are reports from the regular municipal council meeting November 13.
Councillor David Hocking will be Bowen’s new representative on the Metro Vancouver board. Hocking was a director on the board a decade ago, the last time he was on council, and has held senior staff positions with Metro Vancouver in the intervening years. Hocking is replacing councillor Maureen Nicholson, who, had she been re-elected to the board, would have been one of the few returning members.
“On behalf of the municipality and council, you did an incredible job,” mayor Gary Ander thanked Nicholson.
New councillor Rob Wynen was acclaimed as the alternate director.
Councillors Sue Ellen Fast and Michael Kaile were sworn into their roles as Island Trustees last week. Fast, who was one of Bowen’s two representatives on the federation’s council last term, was elected to the executive committee, which oversees the Trust’s daily business (this includes considering bylaw approvals.) The committee is comprised of four people: returning chair, Peter Luckham of the Thetis Island Local Trust Area; Laura Patrick, a trustee from the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area; Dan Rogers from the Gambier Island Local Trust Area and Fast. The executive committee elected Fast as its representative on the Islands Trust Conservancy, a conservation land trust.
Council committed to leasing Bowen Island Resilient Community Housing (BIRCH) approximately 0.48 hectares of lot three of the Community Lands. Executive director Robyn Fenton says that this commitment should help with grant applications. The organization has been busy in the past month. It has hired development consultants and is working on a phased master plan for its proposed land parcel, phase one of which is around 20 market and below market rental housing units. The organization has also formed an advisory group of community members to help BIRCH decide who will benefit from the below-market housing.
Council sent the land use bylaw amendment for the United Steamship Marina’s floating houses back to first reading. The bylaw had undergone first and second readings as well as an open house and hearing over the past few months, but marina owner Rondy Dike’s plans for the floating buildings changed, meaning the process had to go back to step one. Dike’s plans are now for up to 16 living units in six floating houses. The current land use bylaw allows for three floating houses. Dike is building the new dwellings to house some of the staff needed for Doc Morgan’s Pub and the marina. The floating buildings are to be regulated through a housing agreement with the municipality so that priority be given to Bowen workers when they’re not occupied by Dike’s employees. The bylaw passed first reading. Dike’s second of the six proposed floating units is expected to launch next week.