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Planning Act Changes….Bill 73

There is an informative Staff report on Council agenda 2/6 reviewing particularly relevant changes to the Planning Act under Bill 73 which came into full force July 1, 2016.  For those who have become involved with development applications some of the changes will be of interest.  I will be asking for clarification on how we will go about determining whether King wants to establish a Planning Advisory Committee; upper tier municipalities are required to do so under Bill 73 whereas for lower tier it is an option.  Intent of these committees of which the composition includes at least one citizen is to facilitate greater collaboration between Council and the public on planning matters.  I am interested to hear from you if you think such a committee would be valuable.  

As reviewed in the report Bill 73 does include some important changes to OMB.  Reading about them reminds me that about the review of the OMB itself which is in process.  I do hope that there are some meaningful changes made but we will have to wait.

Zoning By-law Review

The best tools we have for protecting the character of our established neighbourhoods are the two updates, in process, for the King City and Schomberg zoning by-laws and the Official Plan. (For the zoning by-law amendment we are building off the effort completed for Nobleton in 2015.) I hope that residents will take some time to review the draft zoning by-law for King City and Schomberg which is now available for review and that they will provide feedback. As the subject matter is pretty dry and the documents are lengthy see below for my suggestion on how to direct your efforts. Deadline for providing your feedback is January 31st. (more…)

Early progress on new recreational facility

On Council agenda for 12/12 there are two reports dealing with the announced Township recreation centre on the grounds of Seneca at north west corner of Dufferin & 15th Sideroad.  One report is a recommendation to Council to amend the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between King and Seneca covering the negotiation between the two parties over the ground lease for the 25 acre parcel of land.  The amendment would extend the MOU through till end of 2017.  The second report covers a much broader topic but includes the basis for a significant financial contribution by the King City East Developers Group (KCEDG)  to the building of this recreational centre.

The latter report covers resolution of the outstanding appeal against our Development Charges by the KCEDG and the agreement by KCEDG to make a $15,000/dwelling unit contribution to the building of the recreational centre. Given that ultimately there may be 1,000 units this is significant!


Stop Scary Sprawl!


Monday, October 31st is the last day to tell Premier Wynne that you are opposed to any of the Protected Countryside being paved over.  You can easily send a message; click here and sign the petition asking Premier Wynne and Minister Mauro to protect the Greenbelt.

Greenbelt or….swiss cheese?

The review of the Growth Plan and Conservation Plans is coming to a close.  I have written about it several times.  Last week shocking news was released; in addition to considering policy changes the Province has received 650 requests from developers and municipalities to remove lands from the Protected Countryside of the Greenbelt.  The number is shocking but also is the fact that the Province may make decisions to approve without quality public consultation; the public should not have to comb through the Environmental Registry to find requests in order to communicate concerns to the Province.

Here is map showing some (1/3) of the requests.  There are at least 20 requests from land owners in King Township to take 520 hectares out of the Protected Countryside.  (I say “at least” as only 1/3 of the (more…)

OMB Reform

The Province has initiated a review of the OMB and are seeking public input.  The closest one to us is Tuesday October 18th in Newmarket at Trinity United Church 461 Park Ave.  To learn more about the review process etc. see here.  Changing the scope of the issues open to OMB decision making needs to be significantly reduced.  I will be writing more about this later.

You will see that RSVP’s about intent to attend is “encouraged.”  I can appreciate why a perspective on how many will attend is a reasonable preference; but, if you think you can’t or won’t and at last minute you decide to go, do go!  Its important that the Province hears that we want reform.

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.



4 Plan Review: Township Feedback

On 9/17 Council agenda there is a Staff report recommending what feedback the Township should give to the Province in response to the amendments proposed for the 3 conservation plans and the growth plan.  You can see here my initial assessment of the Province’s amendments. The subject matter is significant both in breadth and complexity and reading the Township’s comments has triggered me to look at some of the provisions again.  I encourage you to review the Staff report; I am very interested to hear what you think.  At time of writing there are several areas I would like to hi-light for you. (more…)

Open House for Development on Keele north of King Road

There is open house for the public to see the development proposal for 13165 and 13175 Keele St., King City on September 13th 6-8 PM at King City Library.  Here is the notice.

This open house is hosted by the developer.  In contrast to the Public Meetings which are held at Council, this is an informal meeting at which the public can look at drawings, talk to the developers and their agent(s).  The purpose is to hear the community’s response to the proposal.  After this open house there will be a Public Meeting in Council; timing for this meeting is not fixed but is usually relatively soon after the open house unless the developer decides to modify their plan in response to what they have heard at the open house.