Hello Ward 5!

Councillor Debbie Schaefer
Hello Ward 5 residents & businesses and the rest of King Township,

I am thrilled to continue as Councillor for Ward 5 in this ever so beautiful King Township!  I appreciate so much the trust that voters have expressed by voting for me.  I will work hard and creatively to serve the community for this next term of Council.

As I campaigned I not only had the opportunity to tell people about myself and what I wanted to accomplish, I also heard from residents about the issues and how they see them.  Top issue expressed is traffic (speed and volume) and parking.  A close second one is development, both subdivision development and development within the traditional/older subdivisions.  In King City, inadequate amenities were often flagged; this particularly frustrates some since new subdivisions have been built.   I heard from our rural businesses and homeowners that they need a significant improvement in broadband capability.  I also heard about substandard roads and sidewalks.

I heard clear confirmation that people expect and want our natural heritage to be protected.  I also heard relief that I stand for not changing the boundaries of King City and not increasing the population cap of 12,500 for King City.

Hearing all this only increased my desire to serve on Council for this term.  The Council of 2010-14 initiated and approved many strategies which address these issues.  We have some big challenges; but we have identified where we want to get to and how we are going to do so.

Debbie Schaefer

4 Plan Review: feedback to Province

On 9/27 Council agenda there is Staff report asking for Council endorsement to proposed feedback to Province on its draft amendments of changes to the 4 Plans i.e. Growth Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Greenbelt Plan.  The provincial review also includes (Niagara Escarpment Plan which is not commenting on as it is not of direct relevance to King.)

The area of policy about which I have voiced disagreement, specifically, the ability to remove lands from the Protected Countryside along the 400 series highways to serve as employment lands has not been eliminated. But, I am very supportive of numerous other changes which I have commented on in earlier posts.

I think the report is much improved in terms of King providing firm feedback where the Province needs to provide support and/or more definition of standards.  Given the challenges we have had with applications to install energy infrastructure  or recreational facilities which we do not interpret as being consistent with the intent of the conservation plans I think we have valid experience for providing strong feedback to the Province on these matters.

A major challenge for us is the density requirements under the new Growth Plan.  Indeed its a challenge for most municipalities as few have plans to meet the current requirements, let alone the increased ones in the amended Growth Plan.  Its very tough for most people to envision what our villages could look like 40 years from now.  Human nature restricts that vision to being essentially what it is today with some modest change.  If we allow that to happen (i.e. we do not plan and act for something else) it will not be possible to protect and preserve our green spaces, our open spaces i.e. where we grow food.  Hence when there are plans showing intensification, there is little enthusiasm from those living today in the community.  I agree with a point made in the proposed feedback to Province that meaningful increased in density without the public transit infrastructure in place is inappropriate.

I would like to hear what you think about these issues.

 

Status report on critical planning initiatives

Given how critical our projects to update Official Plan and zoning bylaws for the 3 villages Staff has been asked to provide updates every 3 months.  Here is 2nd such update which is on 9/27 Council agenda.  I am disappointed to see that previous target dates are not being met; I will be asking a couple questions for more understanding.  I am glad to have confirmation that quality is not being compromised.

 

 

Soupfest: October 1

soupfestOne of my favourite annual events is only 2 weeks away….Soupfest in the Holland Marsh is on Saturday, October 1st.  If you buy on line The highest priced  ticket is $12; and for that you can have 7 samples of different soups showcasing the diversity of the Holland Marsh.  Seniors, students and children can get their tickets for less.   In theory you can buy at the event but tickets do sell out; and they are higher priced.  See here for all details.

Protected Lands Increase in Size

On September 26 there is Public Meeting at Council regarding a proposal to convey 10.5 hectares from private ownership to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). This is the kind of public meeting which I truly enjoy!  When NCC acquires property it implements conservation and stewardship activities to help sustain the forest.  If this acquisition is completed conserved lands in Happy Valley Forest will total 313 hectares (773 acres).  Here is the report detailing specifics land, location etc.

 

 

Radar Feedback Signs: one year later

As reviewed in the Staff report on 9/26 Council agenda, we have reached the end of the one year pilot programs of having radar feedback signs located on two local roads:  Kingscross Drive and Hazelbury Drive.  The signs were posted in response to traffic calming petitions which then precipitated traffic monitoring.  That monitoring showed that action needed to be taken.

As the report shows after one year the radar boards have not slowed the traffic or at least not significantly.  Its my recollection that the monitoring done  soon after the boards were installed on (more…)

Roads and Structures Needs Study–final

On 9/26 Council agenda there is the final report on the Roads and Needs Structure Study.  This study is critical input to our budget. Its quite clear that roads will continue to consume a significant portion of our capital dollars as the Study shows that there are roads requiring work “NOW” with an estimated cost of $19million. The Study also directs our effort to the right road segments taking into account both physical condition and traffic volume.  The Study with all the details as to how the rating process is done and how the priorities are called can be found there.  Here is the Staff report which essentially introduces the Study.

Here’s a very high level picture of our the state of our 302 km of roads for which we are responsible (i.e. does not include regional nor unassumed roads)

16% (48 km) of roads require resurfacing or construction improvements within 10 years with an estimated construction cost of $26 million.

7% (21 km) are rated as requiring work “NOW” with an estimated construction cost of $19 million.

Top 6 priorites

  • Cook Drive, Pottageville  ( Bachly Crescent
  • Dufferin St.  (Lloydtown Aurora Road to 19th)
  • South Canal Bank Road (Hwy 9 to Davis Road
  • Woodchopper’s Lane (Jane to Keele)
  • Keele (Kettleby Road to 19th)
  • Kettleby Road (Jane to Keele

For the top 10 , see page 11 of the Report.

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