The case for being business friendly

Sentinel editor Cameron Orr wonders if recent events in council is a chance to look at how business friendly Kitimat is.

Well, I’m sure Ruth and Dr. Howard Mills will brush themselves off and continue with their plans for their cottage development, now unimpeded by zoning confusion, but it was almost another exercise in frustration that the Mills have already experienced once with the District.

I am referring to the 2009 episode where the Mills were seeking zoning changes that would affect how many meals they could serve. A bitter, confused battle had councillors and the Mills frustrated by a system that appeared, by those involved, bent on giving the runaround.

In the final article in the Sentinel from that episode, we remarked how third readings of bylaws don’t normally get standing ovations, yet that one did. Without going into detail on what transpired, a standing ovation can give you an idea of how much people were getting frustrated.

Now in 2012 the Mills were back, looking to undergo a major construction project, and again councillors and the Mills seemed confused on a set of changes, right as they were ready to give final reading to the bylaw to let this thing happen.

Without nearly as much of the chaos from last time, the Mills did get what they needed, and the councillors for the most part appeared very ready to let the development happen. What it came down to was uncertainty over the zoning regarding some changes suggested by the planning department.

All in all it was an interesting exercise in seeing how business-friendly the town is. And from what I could see, at least from this experience, councillors are very interested in seeing businesses grow but the process itself seems to leave a lot more confusion than answers in some cases.

Supporting business doesn’t just mean rolling out a red carpet, it means ensuring a level of stability and understanding in the process, to make it easy for construction and building to happen.

I’m not suggesting anything was done wrong in this case or that anyone was intentionally holding back development, but after the Mills have had to fight city hall twice to increase the portfolio of their business, it’s worthwhile to take a good look at how business friendly the community really is.

Cameron Orr is the editor of the Kitimat Northern Sentinel.

Just Posted

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read