UPCOMING DISTRICT MEETINGS
Special Council Meeting – CBT Communities Initiatives Program in Council Chambers on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
- Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel Meeting in Council Chambers on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 6:45 pm.
- Committee of the Whole Meeting in Council Chambers on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
- Regular Council Meeting in Council Chambers on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm.
- Special Council Meeting in Council Chambers on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm.
Blue Spruce Crescent Residents
A group of residents, mostly from Blue Spruce Crescent, whose lots abut the greenbelt which extends from Pine Avenue to the Frank J. Mitchell/Sparwood Secondary School property and beyond, appeared before Council to express their frustrations with the District’s encroachment initiative.
The municipality, as responsible for providing stewardship of the public assets of its community under section 7 of the Community Charter, has been asserting the public’s property rights where those rights may have been breached by private landowners. Typical examples of encroachments include: the construction of fences, or other structures; and removing vegetation from public land.
Concerns expressed to Council included:
- that the continued use of these public lands be grandfathered for these private landowners;
- permit residents to purchase the land at a reasonable price;
- assumed that the “large backyards” in the properties that had been purchased were part of their lot and not public land;
- one owner claimed they stood to lose up to ¾ of their backyard (which they have been enjoying for their private use), if the District asserted the public’s property rights;
- recent purchasers had been led to believe by their real estate agents that the lot they were purchasing included the entire area within their fenced yards;
- one resident alleged that the Administrator, at the time, told them not to worry, that nothing would be built in the back;
- that the District take some of the responsibility for allowing the encroachments to exist for so long and for failing to stop landowners from building their fences on public land at the time of construction;
- that property owners were keeping the area clean and/or otherwise improved some of these lands, and are therefore entitled to them;
- that there was still plenty of public land beyond their fences for a pathway without having to make the property owners move their fences back onto their property lines; and
- one resident requested that Council take no actions until a final decision is made.
Wildlife Management Strategy
Council approved a Wildlife Management Strategy which establishes responsibilities, policies and resources to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts in Sparwood. Recommendations from the Strategy include:
- Create clear messages specific to the Deer Feeding and Wildlife Attractant Bylaw;
- Develop procedures for “Bear in Area” signs including closure of trails impacted by wildlife conflicts;
- Signage at popular trail heads educating and promoting responsible trail use and remind users to be prepared to encounter wildlife anytime;
- Install bear resistant garbage containers at popular trail heads;
- Establish an on-leash bylaw;
- Develop a fruit tree strategy and encourage home owners to plant trees that are not attractive to wildlife;
- Develop a trail development strategy to avoid wildlife feeding/bedding areas;
- Amend the Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) Bylaw to include a charge section for people using closed trails or interfering in any way with bylaw enforcement efforts on trails;
- Amend bylaws to include “animal carcasses” or “animal parts” to wildlife attractants;
- Amend Animal Control Bylaw to discourage residents from providing nesting areas for skunks, racoons and other wildlife;
- Poultry and beekeeping be included as a wildlife attractant and owners be required to fence where these attractants are permitted;
- Maintain a log of all human-wildlife conflicts;
- More clean-up of litter and garbage in forested areas in town; and
- Amend the MTI Bylaw to authorize the Conservation Officer Service to issue municipal fines.
National Day of Mourning Ceremony
Council approved a request from the United Steel Workers Local 9346 to hold a National Day of Mourning Ceremony on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Mourners will gather in Centennial Square at 11:30 am and then proceed to Titan Park for a ceremony at noon. A portion of Aspen Drive adjacent to the Miner’s Memorial will be closed from 11:00 am to the conclusion of the ceremony.
Animal Control Bylaw Amendment
Sparwood Animal Control Bylaw No. 821, 2000, Amendment Bylaw 1208, 2018 was given first 3 readings. This bylaw amends Schedule “B” to exclude 5 properties on Matevic Road that are zoned Agricultural and include the Whiskey Jack Resort area and all mobile home parks within the crosshatched areas (prohibited from keeping farm animals), and to increase the maximum fine for a violation to $10,000.
To learn more, see the staff report and bylaw.
Notice anything emerging from the snow???
NEW DATE Clean-Up Sparwood 2018 Event
It’s that time of year again! Lots and lots of garbage. The District of Sparwood is challenging local clubs, workplaces and families to come out to the Chamber of Commerce / Visitor Information Centre at 10:00 am on Sunday, May 6th, for our 5th Annual Sparwood Community Cleanup to help pick up the garbage that has accumulated throughout the winter. Volunteers will be supplied with garbage bags, gloves, and high-vis vests (if desired).
The first 20 volunteers to register in advance will receive a Sparwood water bottle!
All community groups, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate and show their civic pride.
For more information or to register, please contact Jeremy Johnston, Planning Assistant at 250.425.6829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Support Services
The Emergency Support Services (ESS) team is looking for volunteers to assist residents who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, hazmat spills or other emergencies. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the ESS Director, Joyce Kutzner, at 250.425.4752 or by email at email@example.com, or show up to the next ESS team meeting on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 7:00pm in the meeting room at Fire Hall #1, 479 Pine Avenue
Off-Road Vehicle Restrictions
The District would like to remind citizens that Off-Road Vehicle Bylaw 1182 prohibits the operation of any off-road vehicles on ALL public property including parks, trails, walkways, roads, and greenbelts.
The Bylaw Enforcement Officer or Peace Officer is authorized under the bylaw to seize or impound an off-road vehicle operating contrary to the bylaw. In addition to impoundment fees of $50.00 per day and towing costs, violators could be charged up to $500 in fines.
If you witness a contravention, please notify the Bylaw Enforcement Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.425.5367. You will be asked to provide a description and any evidence (photo or video if possible or witness statement) you may have when you call. Information received by the Bylaw Enforcement Officer has led to a decrease in trail abusers and fines being issued. Let’s everyone do their part to keep Sparwood’s parks, trails, walkways, roads and greenbelts in pristine condition for the enjoyment of all.
A map of the restricted areas is available on our webpage at www.sparwood.ca/maps.