Muni Morsels: water protection, the Bowen Queen plaque and more

The following are briefs from the Feb. 24 council meeting:

 

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The island's childcare action plan was a major topic of discussion Monday, for that story see here

Covenant controversy:

Council voted to reduce the coverage of a wetland preservation covenant on a Josephine Lake lot. 

A staff report from BIM community planner Emma Chow said that the original intent of the covenant was to protect the lake’s water quality and the natural state of the covenant area and that an environmental assessment showed that this covenant reduction would have no detrimental impact on these counts. 

Figures 1 and 2 showing covenant lot coverage
Screenshots from the Feb. 24 council agenda showing the original 2002 covenant coverage and the 2011 amendment.

Chow’s report said that the covenant was reduced from .518 ha to .353 ha in 2011 and this reduction brings it down to .217 ha. She said that the reason given for the covenant amendment was to allow for landscaping work around the wetland.

The entire property is, however, also in the Watershed, Aquifer & Stream Protection (WASP) Development Permit Area so any development on the land will require a development permit.

The topic was controversial among councillors.

The Josephine Lake lot covenant now covers this .217 ha area.
The Josephine Lake lot covenant now covers this .217 ha area.

Coun. Sue Ellen Fast said noted that Josephine Lake was a reservoir for the Cowan Pt. area and that in coming expectedly drier years it could be necessary to raise the level of the lake, which could change the area’s hydrological landscape. She urged a precautionary approach. Coun. David Hocking echoed Fast’s sentiments, noting that he finds it hard to believe that there’s no connection between the lake and wetland. Coun. Rob Wynen said he worried about setting a precedent as many of the properties around the lake have similar covenants.

Mayor Gary Ander and Coun. Michael Kaile on the other hand indicated that they were satisfied with the environmental assessment’s assurances that this amendment wouldn’t affect the lake’s water quality. Coun. Alison Morse asked after restricting fertilizers in the landscaping but appeared satisfied that the property came under WASP.

The covenant amendment passed four to three––Fast, Hocking and Wynen against.

Something to remember her by:

Bowen-shaped gold-coloured plaque mounted on wood.
This plaque is on the soon-to-be retired Bowen Queen. Screenshot from Feb. 24 council agenda

When the Bowen Queen ferry is retired, BIM wants a keepsake. Council voted to send a letter to BC Ferries asking that the commemorative plaque presented to the ferry by the Bowen Island Property Owners Association when the boat was the island’s main ferry be donated to the B.I. Museum and Archives. 

 

Reviewing assurances:

But that’s not to say BIM isn’t without ferry complaints, council also voted to send a letter to BC Ferries asking that it review the process for getting a medically assured loading permit as apparently BIM received a “high volume” of requests during the refit period.

 

Sign of the times: 

Bowen Island Conservancy sent a letter to the municipality asking after the “Welcome to Bowen Island, an Island within the Islands Trust” sign that once welcomed ferry passengers arriving to the island. Corporate officer Hope Dallas told council that after some digging, she discovered that the sign was taken down for repair, was found to be too far gone and was likely disposed of. She said that the issue is on the Islands Trust radar and they say there’s money in their budget for a new sign this year. 

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