Pitt Meadows City Council - Second Year in Review
Pitt Meadows City Council and staff have persevered through an unprecedented and challenging year. With focus and dedication, significant strides continued to be made in areas of strategic importance, as detailed in the 2019-2020 Strategic Plan. Below are the highlights of Council’s second year in office.
- Led the City through the first eight months of COVID-19, prioritizing the safety and well-being of all citizens and staff, focusing on essential services and protecting jobs.
- Demonstrated financial prudence through the implementation of a hiring freeze, suspension of salary increases for exempt staff and Council members, staff redeployments to address emergent needs in bylaw enforcement, budget curtailment for travel and training-related expenses, and cancellation of non-urgent capital projects.
- Launched the Economic Resiliency Task Force (ERTF) to support local businesses, and the Community Check-in (CCI) Task Force to connect vulnerable citizens with the right resources during the pandemic.
- Supported temporary patio and outdoor retail space extensions for businesses.
- Approved the COVID-19 Financial Relief Grant for homeowners and deferred the property tax penalty deadline to October 1 to support residents during this financially tenuous time.
- Modified physical spaces in City facilities and implemented new protocols to meet public health requirements and ensure the safety of all Council, staff, and members of the public.
- Held Council meetings using the Zoom electronic platform to ensure safety and business continuity, including the implementation of remote public engagement opportunities such as phone calls and email submissions.
Enhanced Public Safety
- Hosted an Engagement & Priorities Committee (EPC) Meeting for the Police Services Review.
- Submitted a formal request to the RCMP and the provincial government for an independent RCMP detachment in Pitt Meadows. Once approvals from the RCMP and the Province are received, implementation will begin, including the relocation of RCMP members to Pitt Meadows, and the development of proper facility space through either renovations or a new build.
- Demolished the current Fire Hall and temporarily relocated Fire Department operations to The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport (YPK) while the new Fire Hall is built. The new building will be larger, addressing several safety and operational hazards for first responders, and will include the City’s new Emergency Operations Centre.
- Developed an Emergency Support Services (ESS) Response protocol specific to COVID-19, and formalized an agreement with Katzie First Nation (KFN) for ESS training, response protocol and emergency planning.
- Updated the Community Evacuation Plan with information on neighbourhood density, traffic flows, and neighbourhood vulnerability statistics. Additional evacuation routes were added to include the Golden Ears Bridge. Next steps include a regional approach with neighbouring communities.
- Installed video surveillance cameras at the Youth Action (Skate) Park to better support law enforcement in the identification of individuals causing disturbance and property damage.
Official Community Plan (OCP)
- Hosted open houses for land use discussions related to the development of a new Official Community Plan for the City of Pitt Meadows.
- Gave first reading to the new OCP.
- Continuing work and discussions with the KFN and other partners/stakeholders for incorporation into the OCP before second reading.
North Lougheed Area Plan
- Approved in principle the revised North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) Plan as a guide for the creation of a cohesive mixed-use commercial development on the northeast side of Lougheed and Harris. Processes have begun for the inclusion of this new area plan in the City’s OCP. Given the recognized and important historical and archeological lands within the greater North Lougheed area for KFN, the City is working with the Chief and Council on a management/mitigation plan framework which will be followed by the drafting of the plan.
- Hosted a virtual EPC Meeting to garner feedback from the public on the draft design of the Kennedy Road Overpass.
- Continued collaboration with Canadian Pacific and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to:
- Improve public safety and mobility, emergency response, and active transportation connections;
- reduce congestion with more reliable commute times and provide improvements to public space;
- address community concerns including noise mitigation for rail operations;
- plan for the relocation of heritage buildings;
- provide assurances for business continuity during construction; and
- deliver project designs that the City can be proud of.
Golden Ears Business Park (GEBP)
- Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Onni regarding GEBP phases 3 and 4. The MOU outlines important high-level aspirations of each party and commitment to work in good faith during discussions towards the various desires and outcomes for this important project. Priorities for the City include enhancements to noise mitigation, buffering and setbacks, trails and green/viewscapes, and road management and safety.
- The Advisory Design Panel (ADP) reviewed and provided feedback, at four meetings over several months, on the development permit application for Phase 3 of the Golden Ears Business Park. This application was then reviewed at the Engagement & Priorities Committee meeting on October 27, 2020, where Council received input from the general public.
- The ADP has begun review of the development application for Phase 4 of GEBP. This will come to an EPC meeting in the near future for feedback from the general public.
Grants & Awards
- Received a prestigious award for Financial Reporting for the fifth consecutive year.
- Received $729,740 in grant funding for Fenton Pump Station Replacement as part of the province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.
- Received $25,000 in grant funding to update wildlife policies for inclusion in the City’s new Official Community Plan.
- Received $3,600 from BC Hydro for the Community Regreening Tree Planting Program.
- Submitted an application to Metro Vancouver Regional District regarding Affordable Housing Expression of Interest. In October, the Metro Vancouver Board approved the Pitt Meadows project as one of three in the Metro Vancouver area pending the partnering with senior levels of government. The Pitt Meadows project, estimated at $46 million, would see approximately 120 additional units at 10% under market rates or 30% of gross income and tenants ranging from seniors, those with disabilities and families.
- Submitted an application to Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to create new licensed childcare spaces. While the first application was not approved, the Province has indicated that the City has an excellent business case and was encouraged to apply for the next round of applications, which has now been done.
Community Connection & Celebration
- Attended numerous events (in-person and online) throughout the community, connecting with residents and celebrating life. Events included:
- Hometown Heroes dinner at Pitt Meadows Secondary School, honouring the 44th Hometown Hero and 10th Olympian/Paralympian, Monika Eggens;
- Pitt Meadows Day Drive-by Parade;
- Celebration of City Grads in Spirit Square;
- Virtual message/celebration of Canada Day and Remembrance Day;
- Virtual tour of the old Fire Hall before demolition;
- Christmas Tree lighting in Spirit Square (taking place Nov. 26, 2020)
- Celebrated our inaugural year of the citizen-led Community Services Awards, recognizing the contributions of important community members and businesses to the quality of life in Pitt Meadows. The 2019 recipients were:
- Zabrina Braithwaite-Kelso - Outstanding Resident of the Year
- Gordon Kirkland - Against the Odds Achievement Award
- Fran Preston – Community Service Award
- John and Yvonne McDonald – Community Service Award
- Grant "Bud" Livesey – Community Service Award
- Madison Ferguson – Community Service Award (Youth category)
- Angela MacPherson – Good Neighbour Award
- Sole Experience – Business of the Year Award
The 2020 award nominations are now closed. Winners will be announced and presented with their awards later this year.
- Began enhancement and replacement of Pitt Meadows Parks Signage. The new signs are inviting, helpful and educational to create a positive experience, and bear the City’s brand clearly and consistently. The City also partnered with KFN to include Katzie language translations on the signs for Spirit Square and Waterfront Commons Park:
‘the place to remember him, her, it, them'
‘front (waterside) of the house’
[Waterfront Commons Park]
- Metro Vancouver acquired 56 hectares of additional land to add to the Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area in northern Pitt Meadows. The addition of these park lands is an important natural asset and another positive step that reaffirms the commitment to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to protect the natural areas.
Building Strong Relationships /Advocacy
- Worked with Katzie First Nation on Phase 2 of the BC Hydro Box Beautification project, to promote and celebrate indigenous art and talent within our community.
- Announced the inclusion of Katzie First Nation language translations on two new park signs for Spirit Square and Waterfront Commons Parks.
- Continued to advance relationships with Member of Parliament Marc Dalton, Member of the Legislative Assembly Lisa Beare, and other senior government leaders and staff.
- Attended the 2020 (virtual) Union of BC Municipalities Convention and met with the following ministries to advocate for the needs of Pitt Meadows:
- Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources to advocate for grant funding for various initiatives (Heritage Village improvements; an elevator at Heritage Hall);
- Ministry of State for Child Care, to advocate for child care spaces and acknowledge the City’s current child care application; and
- Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy to advocate for measures around odour control and air quality associated with the growing of cannabis.
- Completed the Child Care Needs Assessment 2019-2029 which was compiled and presented by consultant, Cherie Enns.
- Appointed Councillor Tracy Miyashita as the Council Liaison, and Councillor Bob Meachen as Alternate, to the newly established Patient & Partner Advisory Committee, a joint initiative of Fraser Health, Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, and the Katzie First Nation.
- Approved in principle the creation of a Community Support Committee to engage outreach agencies that support Pitt Meadows residents and to learn about resources and social programming available to our community.
- Approved in principle the establishment of an Economic Development/Tourism Advisory Committee to support the health and resilience of local businesses.
- Implemented an integrated, comprehensive, multi-user budgeting system that greatly improves the City’s ability to perform multi-year planning, forecasting and analysis.
- Reviewed and improved the annual business plan process to improve efficiencies, streamline processes, and enhance reporting and presentation packages to Council and the public.
- Implemented a mobile ticketing system to allow bylaw enforcement officers to issue tickets in the field, with direct, real-time integration into City records.
- Entered the final stages of the replacement of the Pitt Polder Pump Station with a new fish-friendly pump and associated dike improvements. This pump station is an essential piece of infrastructure for flood mitigation.
- Replaced the wooden Ladner Bridge with a new concrete bridge. This is an important part of the proactive replacement of City infrastructure.
- Nearing completion on the replacement of back-up generators at the Kennedy, Fenton and McKechnie pump stations to provide resiliency to the City’s drainage network and lower the risks associated with flooding in the event of a power outage.
- Assessed and verified the condition of our water mains as part of the City’s replacement/rehabilitation program. This information will be used to update the City’s asset management plan.
Pitt Meadows Regional Airport (YPK)
- Completed a two-year review of the current Pitt Meadows Airport Society (PMAS) accomplishments focussed on airport improvements including: administrative/financial accomplishments; commercial aerospace development; general aviation development; airside infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrades; groundside infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrades; and capital improvements.