Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016 Council Meeting Notes – Refugee Youth Art Project coming to City Hall, Brydon Lagoon Park access, and award for Timms received

Monday night’s Council meeting was fairly light, and was only 45 minutes long. After adopting the agenda and approving previous minutes, Council heard a presentation about the Refugee Youth Art Project.

This project was started in 2014 as a way for youth that were refugees when they came to Canada to visually represent their life experiences. June 20th is World Refugee Day. To help bring awareness, it was requested that art from the project be displayed. Council passed a motion requesting that the art be hung at City Hall around the time of World Refugee Day.

The next presentation was from long-term Langley City citizen and Langley Field Naturalists Rhys Griffiths. There were many people in the Council Chamber who live around the Brydon Lagoon area attending in support of Griffiths’ presentation.

For over twenty years, a handful of stairs provided access to properties that back onto Brydon Lagoon Park. Recently, a gate and fence was constructed which blocked access to one of the stairs. None of this was installed by the City. The City received several complaints about the fence, gate, and stairs. During the City’s investigation, it was determined that all these items where on City property. The City sent a letter to all affected owners asking that the fence, gate, and stairs be removed.

During the presentation, it was stated that the stairs have been safely used for “over 30 years.” The big asks were for the City to reconsider its decision, and to consult with residents in the area.

At the end of the presentation, Mayor Schaffer said that senior City staff will be meeting with the residents. I hope to see a solution that maintains a level for access to residents in the area while also addressing the City’s concerns.

After the presentation, Councillor Storteboom gave his update about Metro Vancouver. I’ve post information about what’s happening at the region district on this blog.

Councillor Martin gave her update on the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL). Of note, the FVRL is in the process of developing a new Strategic Plan. There will be a public engagement process to support the Strategic Plan development, and Langley City library customers will be invited to participate. Councillor Martin also noted that there is an uptick in people visiting the library since the opening of the new Timms Community Centre.

Mayor Schaffer next gave an update. Key highlights were that the City of Langley received the RFABC Bill Woycik Award “Outstanding Facility Award” for the Timms Community Centre. He also mentioned the upcoming open house for City Park on June 1st.

After the updates, Council gave third reading to a bylaw to add e-cigs and vaporizers to the City’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw.

Final reading was given to authorize the discharge of Lands Use Contract No. 23-73. I posted about this previously.

Council approved that Councillor Gayle Martin could sit on a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Standing Committee that deals with homelessness and affordable housing, and the associated travel expenses if she is selected. Council also approved the expenses for Fire Chief Rory Thompson to attend the 2016 Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Annual Conference.

Finally, Council approved Rick Barnett and Meaghan Laycock to become members of the Public Safety Advisory Committee.

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