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

King Station Streets get a top coat!

Finally…… the King Station community will see their road infrastructure improved with the topcoat  and as required repairs to curbs and sidewalks.  Council approved the award of contract with a total net budget of $855 thousand at July 11 Council.  People living on upper Burns Blvd, Langdon Drive, Findlay Ave., Denis Drive, Walkington Way have been patient:   top coat should have been applied when the sewer installations were done more than 6 years ago.  Work will start any day.

Feedback for Growth Plan and Conservation Plans Review

We, all of us in King and anyone who is concerned about food security, climate change & water, have until September 30th to provide feedback to Minister Mauro (Minister of Municipal Affairs) about the Province’s proposed amendments to the Growth Plan (Places To Grow) and the 3 Conservation Plans.  Your help is needed to encourage the Province to continue to place priority on better protecting farmland & sensitive natural areas (e.g. at-risk water sources), and pushing municipalities to build transit friendly communities with greater housing choices. The proposals include a number of valuable improvements. but there are some serious gaps which should be addressed.    There are many ways to provide feedback; easiest is to sign this petition.    Its important as you can be sure that those who do not put priority on protecting farmland, water sources, natural heritage features will be encouraging Province to ease up on the proposed restrictions.    (more…)

Happy Valley Forest Hikes

The Nature Conservacy is hosting/leading 4 hikes throughout the month of July in Happy Valley.  Here is where you can get the specifics of each hike and registration details.  They are on Sunday 7/10, Saturday 7/16, Thursday 7/21 and Sunday 7/24.  These are “five star” activities from my perspective:  minutes from King City, unique old growth forest, great guide.

Project MOVE

I am really looking forward to the staff report at July 11th Council agenda on project MOVE (i.e. relocation of the municipal office.)  I am very pleased with the design choices being considered as they are very forward looking.  Design priorities are bold including “zero impact on the surrounding environment.”  And, it evident that there is strong consideration of the need to be fiscally responsible.  In addition to the report there will be a presentation of concepts.

I like the process that is being used to manage this project.  At the 7/11 meeting Council is being asked to approve a design concept and to confirm which features they want included in costing out the design prior to tendering the project.  I see this as a good way to avoid “add on’s” later or regrets on what was not included upfront.  The latter is what escalates final project costs and can cause delays.

We are off to a good start in terms of cost:  per the report Staff have obtained a very favourable bid for managing the demolition , removing old septic system.


OPA for NE Quadrant of King City

On 7/11 Council agenda there is a staff report recommending approval of an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) covering the development south of 15th Sideroad west side of Dufferin.  This is very important to King City given its size (land size of 204  hectares,nearly 1000 residential units). Since the May 2nd public meeting there have been important modifications to the plan in response to public and Council feedback.  At time of writing my support for the proposal is much higher than before although I still have questions which I will be following up on.

I am very pleased to see that the diversity of the housing make up has been increased.  There is now “townhouse dwelling types.”  The report says that the revised OPA includes “townhouses, sem-detached, and other similar dwelling types including seniors-oriented housing as permitted uses.” I don’t understand this enough but it is in the right direction.   From the development concept map it looks like along the 15th SDRD there will continue to be only single detached; I question this.

Less diversion from the King City Community Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is being requested; specifically the minimum vegetation protection zone (MVPZ) variances have been reduced.  I want to understand this further but again, its in the right direction.


Clean Yards By-law–draft for approval

As I have expressed earlier I think I welcome the regulatory changes being made to establish and enforce private property maintenance.  With the new clean yards by-law it will be far easier for someone to understand the expectations, the standards; and it will be more efficient to achieve compliance when violations are identified.   The Staff report identifies changes made to the draft by-law as a result of feedback received at the May 30th meeting.  As indicated on the report, Council is being asked to approve the new by-law at the July 11 Council meeting.  I urge you to review the new by-law; if you have questions or concerns please let me know.

As I said above there have been modifications, additions as a result of the public meeting.  Two particularly jumped out at me:  natural gardens and light pollution.  I think both of them have been effectively dealt with.

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