REPORTING · 7th March 2013
At the last Committee of the Whole Meeting, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion for administration to get back to them with the upcoming dates regarding camps in Kitimat. Councillor Mary Murphy made a motion to receive and file. No dates were given in the document.
“I believe that, from my perspective, the District of Kitimat does have a policy on temporary workforce accommodations which is driven by our Official Community Plan. The fact that the PTI proposal involves amending the OCP is one thing and we may, at one point, decide to open up the OCP in respect to these facilities and where they are currently zoned,” said Feldhoff.
He suggested grandfathering other industrial camps and PTI should update the community on their proposal with updates from the Advisory Planning Commission Meetings and public feedback. He added they will have a public hearing which is a part of any changes to the Official Community Plan. He hoped PTI will bring back more changes because of the feedback they are receiving.
Murphy agreed. “We do have a process in place and we value our committees recommendations and staff to Council to follow up and I was under the impression we were already scheduled for a public meeting on the 15th after all of this other process consultation and then going into a public meeting on the 15th if this is what we choose to do,” said Murphy.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know when the date of the public hearing would be. Administration told them they have not decided upon a date yet.
Councillor Phil Germuth needed to clarify something to the public: “A public hearing is not the same as a Public Town Hall Meeting.”
Feldhoff hoped that PTI would hold a public, town hall meeting in a larger venue. The public would be able to speak towards the proposal, whether or not they like and ask the proponents if they like it prior to the public hearing. He expressed he saw the town hall process different then Germuth did.
Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted to know the difference between a public meeting and a town hall meeting. He was told it would be explained at a later date. The motion to receive and file was called and carried.
Under new business, Councillor Phil Germuth gave notice of motion for the March 18th public meeting. The motion which will be presented to Council then is for the District of Kitimat to have an advertised town hall meeting regarding Camps in the second week of April in the Mount Elizabeth Theater so Kitimat Residents can make their opinions known to Mayor and Council.
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-SooS on 10th March 2013
It appears that Administration had prepared poor report in re: existing Bylaws and OCP for council how to properly proceed on the subject . Sad!
This issue is a divisive one obviously.
Comment by Jon Borgens on 9th March 2013
I have spoken to many people and heard great arguments for and against. What everyone seems to agree on is that these workers ARE coming. So it becomes a matter of HOW we react as a community. I have heard people say that we should build permanent dwellings for all these workers. My concern with this is what happens in 10 years when construction is done, and we are left with the same number of jobs in town as we have had for years? You end up with a glut of housing, which will force property values down dramatically. IF imposed safely, with regard for the community, and with great forethought, these camps (be they private camps or open 'lodges') will ease the need for NEW housing, keep property values increasing at a reasonable rate, and not leave Kitimat with superfluous housing when the construction boom dies down.
Comment by watching on 8th March 2013
This is not a camp, it is a hotel.
Comment by Norm Delong on 7th March 2013
I think it is important for the residents of Kitimat to discuss the issue of camps with Council. An increase in the Tax Base is not always an increase in revenue. We need to look at the pros and cons of camps. The District of Kitimat might be better of developing Commecial property for Retail and Industrial Bussinees to relocate to Kitimat. In the long term this would be a better Tax Base.