WERA General Meeting of May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013: commenced 7:03 p.m.
                                Chair: Elmer Rudolph
                                Recorder: Gavin McLeod
                                Number of attendees: 13
  1. Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of March 26th, 2013. Moved by Bill Zander and seconded by Kathy Donaldson.
  2. Business Arising From the Minutes: None
  3. Additional Agenda Items: NTAC report by Gavin McLeod, City demanding easements on property reported by Brian Lowka, replacement of crosswalk across Stewardson at Grimston Park by Alice Millar.
  4. Report on Amendments to NR-1 Bylaws concerning lot elevations: Elmer Rudolph reported on problems with bylaws controlling NR-1 house building, there is a loophole that allows builder to adjust lot grade to allow for building larger and higher homes by means of having a “cellar” instead of a “basement”, Mike Watson of New Westminster city is working on language for the bylaw amendment, an open house will be held in June 2013, the city has put a hold on permits for houses that may be in violation of the proposed bylaw, Brian Lowka, a builder,  suggested that a major problem is lack of enforcement of the current bylaws because the city reacts to formal complaints, Mr. Lowka also suggested that there is poor communication between city departments .
  5. Report on Residents’ Association Forum: Elmer Rudolph reported on the latest Citizen’s Police Committee meeting, the city will meet with residence association Presidents or delegates 3 times per year, new guidelines for residents’ association were adopted, printed brochures were mentioned as a means of publicizing the residents’ associations, the Pattullo bridge replacement was discussed and the city presented its opinion to Translink that more options were needed, there was also mention of the proposed increase of coal exports through Surrey Fraser docks..
  6. Community Policing Committee Report: Gavin McLeod reported on the May 16 meeting of the committee, Gavin McLeod reported that Graffiti on 20th at 7th had been cleaned up, there was a report that break ins to automobiles has increased in the west end and citizens are cautioned not to leave valuables in automobiles, residents are encouraged to report non traffic criminal or potential criminal activity through the WERA representative; residents are also encouraged to join or start a Block watch on their block.
  7. Summerfest 2013 in Grimston Park: Sloane Drennan reported that there will be a Summerfest in Grimston park this year, the date will be July 13th from 3 pm till midnight, there will be a wading pool and games for children, music, food and a movie after sunset, the movie will be “The NeverEnding Story”, Summerfest was able to get a $1000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation this year.
  8. Parents Parking on 18th St. between 8th Ave and Hamilton: Kathy Donaldson reported on problems with parents parking on 18th St. between 8th Ave and Hamilton St, to drop off and pick up children, problems include parking on both sides leaving little or no room for through traffic parking right up to stop sign causing problems for turning cars; other problems include speeding in lane behind 1800 block on 8th, confrontations with parents and between parents, verbal assaults including accusations of racism, there have been reported incidents of near collisions between cars and children as children cross road to get to school, the problem has been reported to the city but there has not been any sign of traffic enforcement; the school police liaison officer did speak to some of the parents. There was a suggestion to create a drop off zone on 8th Ave. or Hamilton St. There was a motion proposed by Bill Zander and seconded by Gavin McLeod to send a letter to city council describing the problem and requesting a remedy including enforcement, marking no parking zones near stop signs and limiting parking to the west side of the street, the motion was passed; Elmer Rudolph will write a letter to city council. Gavin McLeod will add this as an agenda item for the NTAC meeting in June.
  9. Lower Crosswalk on 20th St. at 8th Ave.: Elmer Rudolph reported on a complaint and suggestion by a West End resident regarding conflicts between pedestrians and cars travelling west and turning left off 8th Ave; one person has been killed and there have been many close calls including a vehicle driving between two pedestrians; one suggestion was a left turn signal for calls coming along 8th from the east, another suggestion was a delayed red light on 8th so there would be red lights on 8th and 20th while pedestrians crossed, there would be a change in programming of the lights, but it would provide a safer intersection for pedestrians. Motion by Gavin McLeod and seconded by Bill Zander to send a letter to city council regarding the crosswalk; motion was passed. Gavin McLeod will add this topic to the agenda for the June NTAC meeting.
  10. City requesting “Easement” for lane between 6th Ave & Nanaimo & 13th and 14th: Brian Lowka reported that he is a home builder and is building a duplex at 612 13th street, he was informed by the city that he would not be allowed a permit unless he agreed to an 8 foot easement along the length of the property, the easement would be for the possible future extension of the back lane from 14th Street, the city would not offer financial compensation, there was no indication of an easement when the property was purchased, with the easement it is likely that the property value would be reduced.
  11. Replacement For Crosswalk Across Stewardson Near Grimston: NTAC Report: Alice Millar spoke on the lack of pedestrian access from the River Drive area across Stewardson Way; prior to the changes to the north end of the Queensborough bridge there was a crosswalk from 6th across Stewardson; the crosswalk was removed. WERA has been pursuing this problem for years, initially a pedestrian/ bicycle overpass was planned with funding expected from the BC government, Translink and the City of New Westminster, this did not happen, CBS outdoors had financed a pedestrian overpass on McBride between 8th and 6th ave, CBS outdoors was allowed to have signs on the overpass. CBS outdoors approached WERA and offered to pay for the overpass across Stewardson in exchange for allowing the erections of signs, Elmer Rudolph and Gavin McLeod assessed several locations that would be suitable and would not obstruct views for the residents; the city of New Westminster rejected the offer stating that they did not want any more signs in the city, not too long after that the city announced the erection of led signs for the purpose of creating revenue, the number of signs has increased lately including a very large sign on the north end of the Queensborough bridge that has received complaints. Elmer Rudolph stated that it is time to make a presentation to city council.

Meeting adjourned at: 9:11 p.m.

Next meeting tentatively scheduled for Tuesday September24, 2013 at Unity in Action Church from 7pm to 9pm.

No comments: