WERA General Meeting of May 24, 2016
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Meeting commenced: 7:10 p.m.
                                Chair: Elmer Rudolph; Recorder: Gavin McLeod
                                Number of attendees: 11
Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of March 22, 2016, moved by Gavin McLeod seconded by Joanne Dawe.
Additional Agenda Items: sprinkling regulations.
Review of Feedback from the O.C.P. Neighbourhood Workshops-Vision 2041: Elmer Rudolph reported on the meeting, he was invited as a city representative to a review process on May 19th and received a 40-page summary document featuring feedback from open houses, laneway houses and townhouses received 60 percent and 50 percent support other choices far lower, 30 percent were opposed to all forms and 20 percent chose maybe. The soft supported was determined to be based on a wait and see attitude and the respondents wanted to see implementation before deciding. There was concern about enforcement of new bylaws that would be created by increased infill; also of concern were parking problems, green spaces, preservation of trees and lack of parks/ recreational facilities especially in the west end. Illegal suites were also a concern.          
Branding (Promoting) the city waterfront: The city hall wants to encourage local residents and tourists to treat New Westminster as a destination: Elmer Rudolph reported on attending a small meeting to discuss the branding of the New Westminster Waterfront. A private marketing company has been hired to brand the waterfront particularly the downtown waterfront. Obstacles mentioned were lack of access, train tracks and heavy truck traffic. The riverfront is mostly inaccessible west of downtown. Elmer suggested that a small project be created and started instead of after lengthy planning and discussion.
Neigbourhood Traffic Advisory Committee Report: Gavin McLeod reported on the recent NTAC meeting. There was a presentation by 2 officials from Translink regarding the effect on New Westminster traffic from the repairs to the Pattullo bridge. A map was presented showing the Port Mann bridge and the Pattullo bridge. They were asked why the Alex Fraser bridge was not included and replied that their studies indicated no change in traffic flow over the Alex Fraser. I disagreed and suggested that 20th street would be affected also. It was suggested that heavy trucks be banned from the bridge during repairs due to the vibration and the amount of road space occupied.
Community Policing Committee Report: Gavin McLeod reported from the May 19th meeting. Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Dave Jansen reported that Calls for service were down except for Queensborough, downtown and the east end (Sapperton). Calls for service are not necessarily criminal code matters. Crime stats: double digit decrease for the city; overall crime down 13%, Robberies down 41%, Break & enters down 31%, Vehicle thefts down 23%. The only increase was Theft from Auto (TFA) up by 4%. School Liaison Officer Program will be incorporating private and home schools into its program, along with a greater focus on at risk youth. The 2016-2019 Strategic Plan is available:
http://www.nwpolice.org/inside-new-westminster-police-department/strategic-plan/
Report on Recent Residents’ Association Forum: Elmer Rudolph reported on the recent meeting. Unlike all previous meetings the representatives were given most of the meeting time to speak to their issues. Topics included reduced space for meeting agenda on city page and how to increase attendance at residents’ associations meetings.
New Sprinkling Regulations: Gavin McLeod reported on this year’s sprinkling regulations in New Westminster. The local news reported that New Westminster will have a hardline approach this year due to numerous complaints last year. New Westminster stated that fines would be imposed. Many New Westminster residents have switched over to in ground sprinkler systems and run them in the early morning to avoid detection. Gavin McLeod inquired about monitoring of in ground systems and was informed by Councilor Patrick Johnstone that in ground systems would not be regulated during phase one; it was also suggested that ratting on neighbours would no longer be necessary but engineering services denied both suggestions. Last year only one fine was issued despite the many complaints. Water metering may be the best solution. It was suggested that laneways housing may be approved in 2017 with townhouses to follow.
Overpass to River Drive: Elmer was informed that money is the issue between provincial government, Translink and the City of New Westminster.
Meeting Adjourned: 20:25
Next meeting: Tentatively scheduled for Tuesday September 27, 2016 at Unity in Action Church from 7 pm to 9 pm.