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.
As previously reported there is a public meeting at the start of Council on Monday February 8th in response to an application for an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and a zoning by-law amendment which, if passed, will lead to a consent/severance application. You can read the Staff report here. In addition to the very important question of a severance in an established 30+ year old subdivision which does not meet the Community Plan’s lot size requirement, there is also a request to amend the definition of how lot size is calculated. I do not understand fully the implications of the latter but it does worry me; I will be asking Staff about this. I find the application to be very problematic as lot areas of the two lots is well below the minimum.
The public meeting is a necessary step in dealing with the application. As is usual,there is not a Staff recommendation for Council. This is the opportunity for public to learn more and to express their support or opposition. As evident from Appendix A-F there has already been a lot of thoughtful public input.
At 2/8 Council, there is a Staff recommendation to approve an application, which if successful, would permit all retail businesses in King Township, at their discretion, to remain open on the 9 statutory holidays. As reviewed in the recommendation the latter is now forbidden under the Retail Business Holiday Act; what is proposed is to apply for a Tourism Exemption. On a personal level I regret that our society has moved to a 24/7 mentality but it has. (To clarify…the recommendation is not about moving to 2 hour access; but I see it as being part of the same trend.) I can appreciate that it is a competitive disadvantage for some to be closed on these statutory days and for sure I can see that it is a missed opportunity for some business as there is flow through traffic on these days.
I applaud the Chamber of Commerce bringing this forward; if the municipality makes the application, the individual businesses who are interested do not need to spend the effort and expense of applying individually. The cost is minimal for the Township.
Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC) and Minister of Natural Resources are participating in a workshop about coyotes. In 2014 TWC presented a couple workshops on different topics; the sessions were extremely well done and informative. I have no doubt that this one will be equally so. Its at the Schomberg Public Library on Wednesday, February 10 at 6 PM with presentations beginning at 6:30. In the interim, here is some information.
Metrolinx is hosting public meetings as part of the assessment process for the expansion of GO Trains service, specifically the network electrification. The line going through King City (the Barrie corridor) is in the study area. The nearest meeting is in Aurora at St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic HIgh School, 278 Welling St. East, Aurora on Wednesday, February 17 6:30-8PM. Here is the formal notice which reviews all the locations and times.
My blog has been silent for several weeks due to a series of computer, internet problems & challenges. I hope that all has been truly solved and that I will be able to resume making my posts to keep you aware of important issues occurring in King and what I want to see happen.
On Saturday I dropped in on the open house for Tecking 6046. I left with a new feeling of optimism about the future. Tecking 6046 is King City Secondary School (KCSS) rookie robotics team which is building a robot to compete in First Robotics competitions (FRC). The team is intent on being an inclusive team with an emphasis on getting more females involved in the Science, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The competition is particularly cool as it incorporates many subject matters: in addition to building the robot and getting it to do the required tasks, there is marketing, speeches and web design to be done. The students have 6 weeks to deliver their product to the competition; the open house was at the half way point which explains why my photo does not feature the complete end product! KCSS is the first school in York Region to take up the challenge. To learn more and follow their progress go to their website www.tecking.ca