PORT McNEILL — The Regional District of Mount Waddington board of directors hopes a temporary use permit will smooth over conflicts around the renovation of an iconic Coal Harbour business.
Owners Grant and June Hewko, who are renovating the village’s Big Red Store, have been living in a recreational vehicle on the site while work is ongoing, drawing the ire of at least one neighbour.
The board of directors, in its regular meeting Feb. 15, approved a temporary use permit that will allow the couple to continue living on the site but will require them to connect to RDMW water and sewer services, prohibit burning of any waste material on the property, and require submission of a $5,000 security deposit with the Regional District.
Resident Derek Kleinfeldt had submitted complaints about activity on the property, and expressed concerns to regional planning director Jeff Long that terms of the permit be enforced.
“We should get a letter from Mr. Kleinfeldt saying he’s OK with this,” director Doug Aberley of Alert Bay said.
The board approved the temporary use permit contingent on Kleinfeldt’s approval of the terms.
Kleinfeldt and Area C Director Norm Prince have met, and district planning director Jeff Long said he was told to expect the letter.
“This was meant to be a solution to get past some of this, right,” board chair Al Huddlestan said. “If the bylaws are not adhered to, it gives us a framework to begin legal action against the owners.”
DFO halibut invitation
The board approved a motion by Area B director Phil Wainwright to resubmit an invitation to the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, asking a DFO representative to attend the board’s next meeting on Mar. 15 to discuss the ministry’s halibut quota allocation procedures.
In its January meeting, the board approved an open invitation to the DFO after Wainwright raised concerns that the halibut sport fishery might be shut down at midseason, impacting local businesses reliant on tourism.
“Our previous motion did not specify a time,” Wainwright noted. “I think it’s timely that we hear from them as soon as possible.”
Waste tranfer construction
A block structure was completed in January and a 40-yard container delivered to the newly established Winter Harbour waste transfer station, Operations Manager Patrick Donaghy reported to the board. The first of two garbage trailers has also arrived.
“I’m pleased to announce the transfer station is completed,” Wainwright said. “It’s a substantial beast. It looks like it should be well-suited to removing our community’s solid waste.”
Roger Butcher, regional director for Vancouver Island with BC Housing, presented a slideshow and answered questions regarding low-income housing from several local church and non-profit service organization representatives.
BC Housing provides development, operations and financing services for needy populations, in partnership with non-profit and first nations groups, Butcher said.
BC Housing lists 58 North Island “units” — either homes or rooms — currently in its portfolio in Alert Bay, Port Hardy and Sointula.