Councillors voted unanimously to go back to the drawing board and revise parts of Hope’s updated solid waste bylaw at Monday’s council meeting.
It has been nearly 30 years since bylaw 1472 was written. The revised bylaw added rules around when waste bins need to be brought out (between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. on collection day) and brought back (before 7 p.m. on collection day). Other changes included making it mandatory for residents to keep their property free of any food or substances which could attract wildlife as well as updated fines for illegal dumping in the district and at the transfer station.
While the majority of the wording sat well with councillors, they highlighted the need to clarify when bins should be put out and set back as well as wording around a bylaw officer’s power and when residents need to get the fruit off their trees.
Councillor Craig Traun pointed out those who might not be able to adhere to the set out and set back times for bins, including seniors who may not be able to rise at that time or workers who leave the community earlier than 5:30 a.m.
Having a deadline for when bins are pulled out, director of operations Kevin Dicken said, is important for the contractor to be able to have flexibility with their pick up route.
Councillors Victor Smith and Scott Medlock mentioned residents had issues with the powers a bylaw officer has under the waste bylaw to enter any resident’s property. Dicken said this is pretty standard wording for municipal bylaws.
Medlock said in particular the portion where a resident can be fined $250 for blocking entry of the bylaw officer to their property was a concern.
The rules contained within the bylaw, Dicken said, are “tools in the toolbox” in order to deal with incidents that arise and repeat issues in specific locations.
“We do the voluntary approach to bylaw enforcement in the community,” he said. “What’s not going to happen is the bylaw officer is not going to be going out and looking for issues within the community or somebody scavenging returnables out of a recycling container or a glass box.”
The bylaw will be discussed further at a future committee meeting.
Three-level building to be built at 711 Water Ave.
Kellton Contracting plans to construct a three-level building at 711 Water Ave., where Druet’s Service is located. Director of community development Jas Gill said the plan is to have the bottom floor be commercial units and a parking garage. The top two floors be multi-family dwellings, four units per floor.
The lot will need to get approval from the Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure and then onto a public hearing, to rezone from highway commercial – a zone that allows convenience stores, restaurants and the like – to a downtown commercial zone.
Bigger patios for Wallace Street businesses
Mayor Peter Robb tasked district staffers to work with Wallace Street businesses in blocking off parking spaces to provide more seating capacity in their establishments during COVID-19 restrictions. The Blue Moose Coffee House, Hope Mountain Cafe and Sharron’s Deli have all expressed interest.
“I think we can relax these regulations during this time…approach them, help them get through the summer,” Robb said.
The B.C. government announced May 22 that the application for businesses who need to temporarily extend their patios will be free and streamlined. After they get through the provincial application, businesses then seek municipal approval.
Another colourful idea that might become a feature in town is a purple crosswalk. A similar idea to the rainbow crosswalks present in other communities, the purple cross walk could become a tool to raise awareness of family violence. Councillor Heather Stewin said the Purple Lights of Hope group are working on this idea, as well as using the popular rock hunting pastime to shine a light on the issue. The district’s chief administrative officer John Fortoloczky said he would look at this idea and report back.
District can deal with needles, sharps
Councillor Stewin said senior citizens have brought her hypodermic needles they’ve found around town, to emphasize how much this is a concern in the community.
Dicken said district staff have been trained to deal with needles and other sharps waste found on public property. Anyone who finds these can call the district for help with their disposal. However, if they are found on private property the district cannot get involved.
Robb noted Memorial Park bathrooms are open, with sharps disposal containers available there.
– Compiled by Emelie Peacock