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Civic Theatre lease, Nelson Commons approval, fibre-optics, new fines, bike parking, and more-- Nelson City Council October 7, 2013

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
October 8th, 2013

The following is a summary of the Nelson City Council meeting on October 7, 2013.

Nelson Commons

Nelson Commons asked Council for a development variance permit for parking stall size, building height, and number of parking spaces for its planned construction at 708 Vernon Street.

Council voted in favour of the following recommendation from its staff:

“To vary the maximum construction height from 16 metres to 17 metres; to vary the parking stall requirement from 190 to 100, to vary the parking stall size requirement from 17 square metres to smaller sizes; to vary the Loading bay length from 12 metres to 11 metres.


1. Bike parking stalls to be provided as described on drawings submitted;

2. Minimum of three public electric bike-charging stations;

3. Conversion of three indoor parking spaces for enclosed Long-term secure storage for bikes;

4. Installation of a minimum of two slow charge stations for electric cars for the residential parking;

5. Dedication of one external parking stall for Carshare parking

6. Dedication of the landscaped area facing Baker street as a public access right-of-way;

7. Inclusion of an employee shower for the major retail tenant (preferably for all commercial tenants); and

8. Contribution of $54,000 to the City of Nelson Affordable Housing Fund.”

Permissive Tax Exemptions

Council discussed a new tax exemption bylaw that lists the local organizations that will receive full or partial exemptions from property taxes this year. The bylaw passed first reading and will come back to council for further scrutiny in the near future. 

Fibre-optic network

The city is going to provide broadband access to local government buildings and facilities and sell access to downtown businesses through fibre-optic cable already installed for the city by Nelson Hydro during the recent downtown conversion of overhead power lines into underground trenches. This bylaw passed third reading and has yet to be finally approved.

Smoking penalty

Council adopted a bylaw that provides a penalty for violators of the city’s already-existing bylaw that prohibits smoking within city-owned premises.

Bylaw officers can levy a penalty of any amount between $75 and $150, with higher fines for obstructing a bylaw officer.

Business Licence penalty

Council adopted a bylaw that provides penalties for violators of the city’s already existing bylaw that requires businesses to have a business licence.

The new bylaw provides a penalty that can range between $150 and $500, with each day of non-compliance being a separate offence.

Waste Management and Animal Control penalty

Council adopted a bylaw that provides a penalty of between $100 and $500 for violators of the city’s bylaw that deals with garbage that attracts animals.

Civic Theatre lease

The Civic Theatre Society has been occupying the city-owned theatre building under a letter of understanding while a lease was being negotiated. The lease is now complete. It was approved by council and it includes:

  • Rent at $1.00 per year
  • 20-year term
  • Option to renew for 10 years
  • Tenant responsible for taxes, utilities and insurance
  • Tenant responsible for repairs and maintenance (as identified in copy of
  • Phased Improvements totalling $2,690,000
  • Landlord responsible for building envelope and structure repairs to the building.

Bike parking guidelines

Council approved a set of bicycle parking design guidelines to be included in the Active Transportation Plan. 

Creative City

At the request of Councillor Donna Macdonald, Council confirmed “its support-in-principle for an application to the Creative City Network of Canada to host a Creative City Summit in the upcoming years.”



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