Wednesday April 16, 2014

Council Briefs: Agricultural Area Plan wins approval

Also: Shark Club licence, new ag committee, tourism stats, and committee appointments

One City councillor didn't go along with adopting the Agricultural Area Plan, and that was because it didn't include enough about bees.

Coun. Donovan Cavers was alone in voting against adoption of the plan Tuesday.

"I won't be supporting ratification of the plan because of the lack of meaningful actions that would protect pollinators from dangerous farming practices that use and overuse pesticides," he said.

Despite his dissent, the rest of council (with the exception of Coun. Tina Lange, who was absent) supported the document that maps out the City's priorities for promoting agriculture.

The document does include some references to bees as pollinators and for urban beekeeping.

City planner Maren Luciani said the goals the document aims to achieve include ensuring more food is grown locally, increasing active farms in the Kamloops area, protecting agricultural lands to safeguard food production and encouraging systems that reduce water use.

New downtown club wants liquor licence reduced

Going for more of a pub/restaurant style atmosphere than what came before it, Northland Properties has asked that capacity for the still-under-construction Shark Club be slightly reduced.

City council dealt with the application Tuesday. The Shark Club is included in the new Signature Sandman hotel that Northland is building on Lorne Street across from Riverside Park.

The club is going where The Max cabaret used to stand.

Northland requested its liquor licence be modified for 277 indoor seats and 66 outside on two patios. The Max licence that the company got with the property purchase is for 350 seats.

The club hours are also different. The Max ran from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. (midnight on Sundays).The Shark Club will operate from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (midnight on Sundays). The patios will close at 11 p.m.

Mayor Peter Milobar excused himself from the discussion as he owns a liquor store.

The rest of council (except Coun. Tina Lange, who was absent) unanimously approved the change.

Agriculture committee is on cusp of being created

The agricultural plan is done, now it's time to take some action.

City project manager Carmin Mazzotta presented council Tuesday with the draft terms of reference for an urban agriculture and food systems advisory committee.

The committee will consist of 17 members, and nine of them will be able to vote. They include two representatives from the Kamloops Food Policy Council, two members of the public, and one each from a local farmers' market society, the Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners Association, Kamloops Food Bank, First Nations Agricultural Association and someone from a food distribution/retail sector.

The rest of the committee will have representatives from Interior Health, Interior Community services, Thompson Rivers University, City council and City staff.

Coun. Donovan Cavers was alone in voting against the committee make-up. He felt the Kamloops Farmers Market Society specifically should be the representative on the committee, as it is the main one in the city.

Tourism Kamloops says business is looking up

Hotel room bookings in town are exceeding predictions for 2013, Tourism Kamloops chief executive officer Lee Morris told City council Tuesday.

The forecast is up 10 per cent year to date, she said.

And plans for 2014 will bring more change.

The promotional agency did a brand redevelopment when Morris arrived to take the helm in 2005. She said it's due for a "refresh," which is included in its three-year plan, along with improved customer engagement and partnerships with the City.

Volunteers appointed or renewed on City committees

The City's committee appointments and reappointments have been set for 2014. They include:

* Erik Green and Dino Bernardo to parks and recreation committee.

* Bobbie Harrison to sister city advisory committee.

* Fred Benallick, Brendan Shawn, Raj Rana and Kevin Skrepnek to social planning council.

* Teresa Dolman, Nina Gales, Lynn Lambert and Amanda Aldrich to the official community plan update.

* Brian Barron, Ross Perkin, Alfred Standen and Rob Wilson to the Kamloops airport authority society.

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