Council to consider ban on plastic bags

Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish put a notice of motion on the table at the July 9 council meeting that, if passed at the next meeting, would set the Town on a course to prohibit retailers from giving out single-use plastic bags at the checkout starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Elected officials in Sechelt have said while they support the idea, they aren’t ready to take any action because of a court challenge involving the City of Victoria’s bylaw to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags and a promise from the federal government to bring in legislation.

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But Beamish said he wants he wants the Town to be positioned to go ahead with a ban if the courts rule in favour of the Victoria bylaw.

“I know the federal government is making moves to go in that direction but we have to remember it is an election promise and election promises often get lost if different parties get elected,” Beamish added.

Beamish also said that on a recent visit to local businesses as part of the “business walk” program with the Chamber of Commerce, he heard retailers were generally in favour of the idea, as long as they would be allowed to distribute any bags they already had in stock.

Beamish’s motion will come back to council for debate at its July 16 meeting.


Armours Beach project

Gibsons council has voted to increase the budget for the Amours Beach improvement project to $124,000 by drawing an extra $75,000 from the community amenities reserve and to award a contract for $69,000 to Pelagic Technologies to replace the pilings around the enclosed swimming area.

Two of the pilings were badly damaged by a winter storm, and director of infrastructure services Dave Newman told council July 9 that his department is working to ensure there’s some sort of swimming structure in place this summer.

Without the damaged pilings, there was no place to anchor the float that usually extends from the beach, so the Town had it removed.

Newman said the short-term plan is to attach a temporary float to a pair of pilings that was not damaged in the storm, but the compromise will mean the float will be farther from shore and swimmers won’t be able to walk out to it.

The $69,000 contract with Pelagic covers replacing all the pilings because an inspection found three of the remaining four are in poor condition.

Newman said the Town is still awaiting approval from federal authorities to do the piling replacement, but they were hoping to anchor the temporary swim float on July 10.

The preliminary design for Armours Beach calls for wider floats, accessible by ramp from shore, to be added once the piling replacement work is done. That part of the project will likely go forward in 2020, pending budget approval.


Eagleview Heights challenge

A B.C. Supreme Court hearing on the O’Shea-Oceanmount Community Association’s petition seeking to quash the zoning amendment for the Eagleview Heights project in Gibsons has been delayed.

The case was originally scheduled to go in front of a judge July 4 and 5, but it’s now expected to be heard sometime in October.

The project, headed by 464 Eaglecrest Drive Properties Ltd., calls for a mix of 87 townhouse and apartment units on a five-acre (two-hectare) parcel at 464 Eaglecrest Drive.

The necessary zoning amendment was passed by Gibsons council on June 19, 2018, but the community association contends the amendment “directly conflicts with the [Official] Community Plan.”

In their responses the Town and the developer both reject the argument that the zoning violates the OCP or that there was anything improper in the process.

The developer also told the court it would “suffer significant prejudice and loss if it is required to abandon the development.”


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