Canal Flats Council briefs

Some of the more noteworthy discussions at last regular Council meeting

Canal Flats regular Council meeting Monday, February 25th included several items of note. Amongst them was a quarterly report from Columbia Valley RCMP, a no-smoking exemption, and a development variance permit.

RCMP Report

Sgt. Darren Kakuno presented the RCMP’s third quarter report to Council. He said while the regular member contingent is currently at full strength, there will be some changes coming this spring with several constables moving on to other roles within the RCMP.

Detachment priorities for the Columbia Valley RCMP for 2018 / 19 have been road safety, crime reduction, a focus on prolific offenders, and police visibility.

“We are looking for feedback for 2019 priorities,” Sgt. Kakuno said to Council.

In his report, Sgt. Kakuno said the Fairmont SpeedWatch group is up to a healthy 10 or so members now, several coming from Canal Flats. Councillor Marie Delorme inquired about the possibility of a SpeedWatch program in Canal Flats, noting speeding around in the school zone has been an issue. Sgt. Kakuno recommended interested locals reach out to join the Fairmont Speedwatch for now, adding that if the group grew enough, there could be potential to split into two separate crews further down the line.

Industrial Land Strategy Report

Council received the Canal Flats Industrial Land strategy report, which outlined how to leverage development interest in the industrial land into helping complete the village’s long-term goals. It also provided OCP and zoning bylaw direction and recommendations, “to ensure a successful industrial development strategy was implemented into these plans and regulations,” reads the report. The project scope encompassed a range of tasks including flood hazard identification, a strategy for highway access, and financial fundamentals. If you wish to read the 47-page document, visit; click on ‘Council meeting agendas / 2019

No-smoking exemption

Council approved a request that Canal Flats Civic Centre bingo nights be allowed a cigarette smoking area. Bingo operates at the civic centre on the first and third Monday of each month except through June, July, and August. The Village’s recently-adopted Clean Air Bylaw prohibits smoking at recreation sites, including park grounds. The exemption allows smoking at the back of the civic centre, 15 metres away from the building. The exemption will apply only during bingo, from 6-10 p.m.

Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Flood Risk Assessment:

Council voted all in favour to support an application for funding to update the village’s flood risk assessment; flood mapping; and flood mitigation planning for the village.

According to a staff report to Council, the scope of the project is large and complex, focusing on the dike that protects the village from the Kootenay River. The total project cost is $168,000, which would be covered by grants if the application is successful.

Development Variance Permit

Columbia Lake Holdings applied for a development variance permit for a portion of the land on which the Columbia Lake Technology Centre sits. Mayor Sterzer stepped away due to a perceived conflict of interest. The applicants (labeled as B1 Kootenay Developments Ltd. In the application documents) are requesting the Grainger road property be divided into two separate lots. As part of that request, they needed variance permits for a few items, including the requirement to connect to municipal water and sewer, and to waive the requirement of a planned street network.

“Because we we only seek the subdivision of one big lot in two smaller lots with no specific development plans for these lots at this time, we have decided not to connect to municipal water and sewer at this time,” reads the letter to Village approving officer Bill Doroshuk, signed by senior project manager Daniel St-Gelais, and chairman Brian Fehr.

“There is a covenant on the property to connect to water and sewer in the event of additional construction that would place a material requirement on the sewer system,” explained Adrian Bergles, Canal Flats CAO.

Mr. St-Gelais was at the meeting and was asked to provide clarification on the property subdivision request. He said as the podtech factory is a high tech development, it needs to be separated from the other ventures to make the company more viable in applying for international funding and to garner more interest in the business.

“So in this case, we tried to separate the podtech area, which is just a small square, out of the big huge land,” Mr. St-Gelais explained.

Council voted in favour of the development variance permit. The permit applies only to the property at Grainger Road, where the Columbia Lake Technology Centre is located. There are other requirements listed by the approving officer the company still needs to address prior to final approval.

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