New Denver council, February 14: New building for main street

The owners of Valhalla Pure Outfitters plan to replace the two old buildings (formerly the Donation Store) adjacent to their store with a new one-storey commercial building. Council approved a development permit for the project.

“Given the façade complements that of the existing, approved Valhalla Pure Outfitters building on the same property but with additional heritage features recommended in the Building Design Guidelines, staff is recommending support for this application as proposed,” says Jessica Rayner, planner, in a report to council.

The new building will have three retail spaces for rent, as well as a boathouse for VPO storage/retail display. Behind the three retail units, there will be storage for VPO.

A building permit application has been submitted. A development variance permit application has also been submitted, requesting a reduced side yard setback. These applications will be reviewed separately.

Architectural plans by Milus Architectural Design of New Denver were received as part of the application.

Slocan Valley economic development

A proposal from Community Futures to continue the Slocan Valley Economic Development Partnership (SVEDP) was accepted by council.

Priorities for 2023 as listed in the proposal are to engage a contractor (expected to be Karen Kornelsen) to maintain website and social media channels, and to engage a contractor (expected to be Ron LeBlanc) to apply for grants and to deliver the project outlined in the REDIP-EC application if it is successful.

The SVEDP has been in place since 2018, and evolved from an informal restructuring of the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission. The commission was established by the RDCK in 1990, and residents of the Slocan Valley have been contributing tax dollars to the service ever since.

The Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission used to have 11 members – one representative from each of the local governments (New Denver, Silverton, Slocan and Area H) plus representatives from the community – whereas the SVEDP committee has consisted of one representative from each of the local governments only.

Community Futures was engaged to deliver the economic development service in November 2019.

Council agreed to amending the bylaw that governs the service to reflect that there are just the four commission members, and to engage Community Futures to continue delivering the service from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025.

Council did not, however, go along with the suggestion to consider an incremental tax increase for the service in each of the three years.

Councillor Danika Hammond recused herself for this item.

The Village is applying for a grant for Carpenter Creek flood mitigation work, including log jam removal and channel restoration. A draft plan for the work has been received by SNT Geotechnical Ltd., with the final report expected soon.

The project is estimated to cost $250,000, and if the application is successful, the provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) will provide 100% of eligible costs. The plan by SNT Geotechnical Ltd. was also funded through a CEPF grant that was received in 2021.

Silverton-New Denver trail planning

Miranda Hughes attended on behalf of the North Slocan Trails Society to ask for support for an “active transportation link” between New Denver and Silverton.

Council voted unanimously to provide the society with a letter of support to further investigate the feasibility of an active transportation corridor between the two villages. Councillor John Fyke was appointed as the Village representative on the society’s Inter-Community Active Transportation Committee.

FireSmart Neighbourhood

Councillor John Fyke announced that the Orchard is now recognized as a FireSmart Neighbourhood. Previous FireSmarting efforts around the House of Joyful Tidings and elsewhere in the Orchard qualified the Orchard for the FireSmart Neighbourhood status, and opens up avenues for funding for future FireSmarting activities in the Orchard. Leadership for this initiative was provided by Fyke and Michelle Griffiths of SIFCo, who are both local FireSmart representatives.

Sustainability Committee

Three vacant seats were filled on the Sustainability Committee. Valerie Piercy Wilson, Jason Hartley and Ruby Zoll were all appointed. Councillors Danika Hammond and Casey Law sit on this committee, and there are four seats for community members. The Village received eight expressions of interest for the three vacant seats. Village staff recommended the three appointments, keeping in mind the goal to create a committee that represents a wide variety of community interests.

Memorial Donation

The Law family’s request to install a bicycle repair station, air pump and plaque at the all-wheels skills park in memory of Danny Law was approved. The location of the facility will be determined by the North Slocan Trails Society and the Village.

Insurance office signage

The insurance office is getting new signage. Formerly RHC Insurance, the company was bought out by HUB International some time ago. The new HUB International signage will replace the existing RHC signage on the front door, above the front door, and on the side of the building.

As the building is in the Core Commercial Development Permit Area, the company had to apply for a development permit for the signage, with illustrations to show that the signage will be in keeping with the heritage flavour of New Denver’s downtown. Council approved the development permit.

Neighbours United

Councillor Hammond was appointed as the Village of New Denver representative on the Neighbours United renewable energy local government working group, and Councillor Law was appointed as the alternate representative.

Margaret Scaia, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice