Mayor Brain should seek legal advice: Wantage, Lot 444


#1

[quote=“dafaceofanangel”]

At the November 24 Public Hearing on the Wantage Road rezoning, it was read and adopted on the same night was it not?[/quote]

You raise a very interesting question. The outgoing Mayor and council evidently failed to comply with s135 of the Community Charter when they passed resolutions to amend the zoning for Wantage Road. The approved minutes for the November 24 meeting (which followed the public hearing) state under section 10(a):

"MOVED by Councillor Ashley and seconded by Councillor Garon that Council give Third Reading and Adopt the City of Prince Rupert Quality of Life Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3354, 2014; and

MOVED by Councillor Ashley and seconded by Councillor Garon that Council give Third Reading and Adopt the Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3356, 2014.
CARRIED"

The November 24 minutes can be found in the agenda package for the December 1 Inaugural Meeting. < princerupert.ca/sites/defaul … Agenda.pdf >. They should be posted in the Past Adopted Council Meeting Minutes section of the civic web site.

The council can have up to three readings of a bylaw at one meeting but they cannot give third reading and approve a bylaw at the same meeting. The law could not be clearer:

"Requirements for passing bylaws

135 (1) Before a bylaw is adopted by a council, it must be given 3 readings by the council.

(2) Subject to this section and the applicable procedure bylaw, a bylaw may be given up to 3 readings at one meeting of council.

(3) There must be at least one day between the third reading and the adoption of a bylaw."

< bclaws.ca/civix/document/LOC … section135 >.

I see that former Mayor Mussallem signed Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3356, 2014 as having been read a third time and adopted on November 28, 2014, contrary to express requirements of the Community Charter:
< princerupert.ca/sites/defaul … 203348.pdf >.

Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3354, 2014 has not yet been posted, but presumably has the same defect since it was approved in the same manner as the zoning amendment.

When procedural errors like this are made anyone is free to petition the Court to quash the bylaws, ie declare that the amending bylaws for Wantage Road are null and void.

Mayor Brain would be well advised to discuss this with the City’s legal counsel, and when he is finished with that have a serious discussion with CAO Long and City Planner Krekic, since they recommended resolutions to approve the bylaws for third reading and final adoption at the same meeting.

The Mayor and council will have the same problem with the bylaws for Lot 444 if they followed staff recommendations and passed resolutions for third reading and adoption at the same meeting. They need to wait at least one day before final adoption.

Those who are concerned about the zoning of Wantage Road and Lot 444 might consider having a discussion with Mayor Brain about the manner in which the bylaw decisions were made.


#2

Why does this happen? Isn’t there a “Traffic Cop” on staff at City Hall that points these errors out and advises City Council on these discretions? Does this mean a constituent can take the city to court to resolve this situation or reverse the decision? If so, we citizens have to foot the legal costs for an unforced error.


#3

I believe land re-zoning bylaws are the exception to this rule.


#4

Mayor Brain is easy to talk to; he is a friendly person. Why not contact him directly and voice your concerns?


#5

Very good, you are right, there is an exception for zoning and community plan bylaws in the Local Government Act
It’s an anomaly. That’s good, that will give Lee more time for the Watson Island file.


#6

I’m confused. Are you trying to stir the pot, get him sued, or did you really just make an error?


#7

It is a genuine error on my part.

What I said about s135 of the Community Charter requiring at least one day between third reading and adoption of a bylaw is correct, but ‘drummerboy’ said that he thought that zoning bylaws are an exception, which prompted me to look again and he is correct (likewise for community plan bylaws). The problem is one ‘concordance’. The Community Charter says one thing and the Local Government Act says something else, but the latter prevails as follows:

“890 (9) Despite section 135 (3) [at least one day between third reading and adoption] of the Community Charter, a council may adopt an official community plan, a zoning bylaw or a bylaw under section 914.2 at the same meeting at which the plan or bylaw passed third reading.”

So the bylaws to rezone Wantage Road and Lot 444 would appear to be beyond question.

For those who are concerned about industrial development near a public watershed and perhaps upwind from residential areas, LNG tankers transiting the harbour, and a large ‘man camp’ adjacent to residential areas, there should be opportunities to take those concerns to the environmental review panels that will be convened if and when Imperial/Exxon proceeds with plans to develop Lot 444.

I can see the sense of urgency with Lot 444. Everything, including environmental concerns, has its price, which appears to be $18 million even if nothing proceeds.

How the Wantage Road camp development fits into the bigger scheme of things and why it is also urgent appear to be less clear. Of the two projects that are in the environmental regulatory stage one is in a “pause” and in the other has deferred an investment decision. Who exactly would want to develop a camp at Wantage Road, when and why is that an issue now?


#8

[quote=“BTravenn”]

How the Wantage Road camp development fits into the bigger scheme of things and why it is also urgent appear to be less clear. Of the two projects that are in the environmental regulatory stage one is in a “pause” and in the other has deferred an investment decision. Who exactly would want to develop a camp at Wantage Road, when and why is that an issue now?[/quote]

All I know is there has been a steady influx of trailers coming into the city over the last 6-8 weeks. Many of them are being stored near the Quickload facility on Ridley Island.

Not only that, but work continues on the Petronas work camp in Port Edward. Maybe those trailers are for that work camp…who knows. I am not sure what project the proponents of the Wantage Road location are associated with…whether it is for WCC LNG or for another LNG (and then there are those rumours that it may be for Canpotex).

2015 is going to be an interesting year.


#9

So does anyone know what caused the meltdown at the "in camera"meeting after the council swearing in?


#10

#11

Sorry about that that last post but words simply failed me…

I would have thought that not only an acknowledgement of the mistake (about the legality of adopting a zoning bylaw without the 24 hour wait period) would be forthcoming by Mr T (finally was, with a bit of prodding by Rickgrimes) but also an apology to Mr. Long and Mr. Krekic for impugning their professionalism would also be made. However, it does not seem to be happening. Nuff said.


#12