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Starbucks in King City

On Council agenda for April 1 there is Staff report recommending approval of application to build a coffee shop (Starbucks) with drive-through at southwest corner of intersection at Springhill and King Road.  As reported a number of issues/concerns raised at the May 2018 public meeting have been addressed.  After much reflection I am not comfortable with the proposal:  to me the.proposal is a creative way to use a piece of land but that does not make it right.

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Kettleby: a request for demolition

On 2/25 Council agenda there is a report recommending that Council give notice to designate a property at 446 Kettleby Road in Kettleby.  The report is lengthy which is appropriate given the importance of the issue.  As reviewed the Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) of which I am a member has recommended designation.  This recommendation is in essence a response to the fact that the property owner has applied to demolish the property; upon consideration, including assessments by heritage professionals HAC determined that the property has cultural heritage value and meets the criteria of the Ontario Heritage Act for designation.  Here is the staff report and here are the numerous attachments to the report.

Its a very serious choice for Council.  As reviewed HAC is of the opinion that the property merits designation because of its contextual value, its historical value and its architectural design.  Per the Act designation requires only that one of these three criteria need to met; 446 Kettleby has value in all 3 categories to some degree.  Page 80 of 94 in the attachments elaborates on this but briefly:  i) The property is  important in defining and maintaining the character of the the historic hamlet.  ii) It was built in 1868. iii) It was occupied by one of the craftsmen in that early village, namely a carpenter.  As was typical of the time he lived and worked on his property but to clarify his workshop is no longer there. iv) Its vernacular architecture  is still very evident.

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Bill 66 Section 10: why its bad for communities

Since my first post about Bill 66 which, if passed as currently written, enables municipalities to pass an “open-for-business” by-law, I have been learning more.  I am now even more concerned.  As written this Bill can impact every municipality in Ontario if the local Council so chooses; and those Councils who decide to implement such a by-law can do so without any notice to their citizens.  This by-law enables development in areas currently forbidden because of threat to drinking water and environment; and it allows disregard for  sustainable land use planning criteria.   Many people are already voicing their opposition to current Bill 66 by signing petitions prepared by Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and Ontario Nature.  I encourage you to consider adding your voice. (more…)

“Open For Business”: putting our community at risk

I am extremely concerned about Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act which has recently been introduced by the Province.  I believe it puts our community at risk, as it allows municipalities to bypass planning policies and clean water regulations in our communities, including by-laws that override Greenbelt Act prohibitions. (Schedule 10 of Bill 66 is particularly concerning.)

If municipalities adopt the “Open For Business”zoning by-law as proposed in Section 10 developers will be exempt from:

  • Giving public notice about their development;
  • Consulting with the public or local Councillors about their developments;
  • Appeals to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) about their developments; and,
  • Greenbelt, Clean Water Act, Growth Plan or Great Lakes Protection Act Regulations.

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Development Proposal North of Dennison on Keele

Wednesday December  5 there is a developer hosted meeting for a proposed development on Keele St. south of Dennison for 56 townhouses.  Here is the notice with details. This an excellent opportunity for the public to understand the proposal, to ask questions of the developers and to make comments.  There will be the formal public meeting as part of a Council meeting in 2019.  This is not the first development proposal for this land; in 2016 there was a very different proposal involving a portion of the lands included in this application.  Since the 2016 application there has been change of ownership twice.