Housing needs identified, Lake Country council salaries approved

Lake Country council had its regular council meeting Dec. 18

Housing needs assessment

Lake Country is in need of rental housing, according to a housing needs assessment report which was presented to the district during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting.

“Rental housing is essential for the development of a complete community. Lake Country has few units available that are in the rental market. While the percentage of rental units in Lake Country is low, this number has been very gradually increasing over the last 10 years. This is reflected in the Census data, which indicates that in 2006, 16 per cent of units were rented, 18.1 per cent in 2011, and 21. per cent in 2016,” the report said.

“There has been no multiple unit development constructed purely for the purpose of market rental housing in the District of Lake Country. Most multiple unit construction has been condominiums intended for owner occupation. Only a small percentage of these units were purchased with the intention to rent.”

It outlined secondary suites as a way to provide alternative forms of rental housing, but outlined the need for alternative forms of rental housing.

“In terms of housing development, the district has allowed secondary suites in most zones that also accommodate single-family development. This is a good first step, but puts the onus for rental housing entirely on private homeowners to become landlords; and as such, secondary suites do not get included in vacancy rate calculations, as they are unreliable in terms of their permanence in the rental market,” the report said.

Gaps also exist in multiple family housing and the report recommends housing of that nature near the town centre.

The sales price of a single-family home has also increased by 30 per cent in the past decade, and the number of sales per year has increased by 101 per cent, the report said.

As of 2017, the population was estimated by BC Statistics to be 13,294. The population is predicted to grow 3.1 per cent on average over the 20 year timeframe of the Official Community Plan.

While the report also outlined that there isn’t a homeless population that was counted in Lake Country, “it is likely that hidden homelessness is more common in Lake Country, rather than long-term homelessness that may be more common in more urbanized communities with shelters and other services for homeless populations.”

RELATED: Lake Country racing for title of first cannabis store in Central Okanagan

Council’s paycheque

Mayor James Baker will receive $49,237 for his job in 2019. Councillors will earn $19,694. A new council renumberation bylaw was adopted during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

“There was an approximately $30,000 increase to benchmark the Mayor’s salary and a corresponding increase to the councillor’s salary,” according to a report which was presented to council. The last time council’s salaries changed was in 2002.

With the new adoption, council sets “(the) mayor’s compensation to be benchmarked at the 60th percentile of comparable BC municipalities based on similar population and taxable land area as reviewed every four years,” the report said.

Approval of capital projects

Council approved the following capital projects as part of the 2019- 2023 financial plan:

• Health and safety program update $ 74,500

• Future transportation network study $ 150,000

• Emergency exit lakes subdivision $ 75,000

• Oceola roundabout $ 500,000

• Paving equipment $ 100,000

• Firehall – construction $ 9 million

• Fire vehicle – P81 $ 750,000

• Carr’s Landing Marshall Park lift station replacement $ 750,000

• Sewer servicing strategy update – plan $ 150,000

• Bulk water supply system improvements $ 650,000

• Kalamalka Lake pump refurbishment $ 50,000

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