Village staff will seek input from downtown businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and the public on the policy governing outdoor patios and sidewalk displays.
The policy could use some clarification, a staff report says, but before adopting a revised policy, “council may wish to consult with affected businesses and the broader public, to ensure that any changes do not come as a surprise.”
Staff is asking whether café seating could be on the sidewalk and not just in parking spaces, if merchant encroachments should be allowed on the sidewalk, if merchants need a permit to have public amenities on the sidewalk, and if roofs are allowed on patios in parking spaces.
Corporate Officer Catherine Allaway said that people with existing permits would not be affected by the review, and the more consultation, the better the support for the policy.
“This will give everybody an opportunity to react… when we send the letter out, it will say: this is the policy, we are going to begin to enforce it, if you think you will be impacted, please reach out to staff,” she said.
Council directed staff to distribute the draft revised policy and seek additional public comment. The policy will return to the council table in the coming months.
The Angry Hen and the Kaslo Hotel have the Village’s permission to expand their licenced outdoor patios. The applications can now go to the provincial licencing body for approval.
The Angry Hen has secured the former Mountain King property, and wants to add it to its existing patio. This would increase Angry Hen patio seating to 125, up from 51.
The Kaslo Hotel wants to increase the licenced area on its existing patio. This wouldn’t expand the patio area, but would change currently unlicenced areas on the patio to licenced areas.
Last month, council decided to seek public input on the applications. Despite several letters raising concern about noise, council noted those concerns could be addressed through the noise bylaw. Otherwise, it had no issues with the licence applications. In fact, it said the applications would help the tourist business.
“In 2021 the availability of tourist-oriented food and beverage establishments was insufficient to meet demand,” says a report to council. “The proposed expansions will increase local options for these services.”
Council quickly passed five motions giving approvals needed for the Kaslo 2022 Pride celebrations, being held June 3-4. Council okayed the re-painting of the rainbow crosswalk downtown, and the closure of part of 4th Street for the painting and Pride parade. The Village will also issue a Pride proclamation during the event, and raise the Pride flag over city hall for the month of June. The Village will give the group a grant-in-aid to cover the cost of renting Legacy Park and the street closure permit.
Work to modernize and improve the Village’s airstrip is bearing its first fruit. Council approved issuing eight leases for hangar lots at the aerodrome.
Council started the process last fall when it resurveyed the aerodrome property to clean up some technical problems with the legal titles. It was part of the Village’s strategic plan to develop the aerodrome further.
Eight of nine available leases have been authorized. Staff say that will bring in revenues of just over $9,800 this year, with regular increases for the next five years, for a total of $51,374.
“The leased lands, and any improvements constructed on them, will also generate tax revenue for the municipality,” notes the staff report. “Long-term leases are recorded by BC Assessment Authority, and the tax exemption for municipal lands will cease to apply.”
A town without music?
For a town perhaps best known for its internationally acclaimed jazz festival, Kaslo has a dark secret: the Village’s noise bylaw actually forbids the playing of music.
The opening section of the bylaw prohibits “the playing or operation of any radio, phonograph, stereophonic equipment, television receiving set, electronic device, musical instrument, or any apparatus, equipment or device that makes, plays, reproduces or amplifies sound, regardless of whether the sound emanates either from within or on private property or any public place.”
This came to council’s attention when the Langham Cultural Centre asked for permission for its popular Summer Music Concert series to be exempt from the bylaw. The series will see 14 music concerts held at downtown parks weekly through to September.
Staff told council that with the recent request for an exemption to the bylaw for the SS Moyie whistle, it may be time to change the noise bylaw with “some relaxed language” around music.
Council granted the exemption from the bylaw.
A mural by Tyler Toews of Canadian Mural in Nelson is expected to be unveiled during Kaslo’s birthday celebration in August. The project is being led by the Kaslo & Area Chamber of Commerce’s Kaslo Artscape Mural Committee, in partnership with the Village. Council appointed the members of the Artscape Mural Committee to the Village’s Design Review Committee, which will make a recommendation to council about a development permit for the mural.
Residential care beds
Council and its Health Select Committee is calling on MLA Brittny Anderson to help secure additional beds at the community health centre’s residential care facility.
“Recently released 2021 census data regarding the age distribution of the local population adds compelling weight to our concerns that Kaslo and Area D are underserved with respect to our local (close to home) residential care facility. We believe that this deserves your attention and we ask that you encourage Minister Dix and Interior Health Authority to work with us to fill this serious and growing gap in services,” says a letter from Mayor Suzan Hewat to Anderson.
John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice