Cranbrook city hall.

Cranbrook approves resolutions on policing, development for UBCM discussion

Cranbrook city council endorsed four resolutions on housing and community safety that will be forwarded to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities for discussion and debate at the organization’s annual convention in September.

The four resolutions include a request to move provincial RCMP resources to municipal policing, speeding up provincial referrals on municipal development approvals, a grant program targeting infrastructure for high density development and lastly, an infrastructure oversizing process for highway and intersection upgrades.

“As a Council, we have been involved in several meetings directly with various Provincial ministers to discuss improving housing development and community safety in Cranbrook,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “These meetings resulted in an exchange of ideas and follow-up letters, but Council has also expressed a desire to have these ideas put forward to UBCM for consideration and support from other municipalities, to ask for changes at the Province by the UBCM officially.”

On policing, the City’s resolution is requesting the ability to move staff resources from the Provincial RCMP Integrated Road Safety Unit, which reports to Victoria, to the Cranbrook RCMP detachment for general duties when there are staffing shortages.

On development approvals, the city is requesting that the province beef up resources to the provincial approvals process on referrals to agencies like BC Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. While in-house municipal approvals can take only a few weeks, the provincial approvals can sometimes take months, according to the city.

On upgrading municipal infrastructure like water, storm and sewer for higher-density development, the city is requesting that the province create a non-competitive grant program so cities can plan for higher-density development through annual infrastructure replacements.

Lastly, the city is also requesting the province develop an infrastructure “oversizing” process for required highway or intersection upgrades. Currently, if an area is developed, a municipality can require oversized infrastructure in order to accommodate future development. Other developers with projects in the area can hook into the system through a “late-comer” agreement, however, that up-front cost borne by the initial developer can be a barrier.

Local governments submit resolutions for debate at the annual UBCM convention, however, they are non-binding, in terms of forcing action from the provincial or federal levels of government.