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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.

About current Township office property & new Township office location

There were a couple staff reports of particular interest to the community which were on the August 29 meeting.  I regret not being able to alert my readers ahead of time as I was away until Aug. 28 and barely had time to read the reports and prepare for the meeting.

There was a report recommending approval of the zoning by-law amendment for the site of the new Township Office.  It was approved.

And there was a public meeting to address the application by the Township to rezone the lands where the current Township Office is located.  The intent is to rezone to permit a variety of commercial uses within a commercial or mixed multi-unit residential and commercial development.  The staff recommendation to continue work on the application and to consider comments from public was approved.  There were two deputations expressing the hope that the ultimate outcome would be a different type of residential choices than we have currently.  I too have this hope; and indeed the proposed changes are consistent with that in terms of making it possible.  Making this zoning change will set the stage to sell the property; as indicated earlier this is a significant source of revenue for the Township in order to fund project MOVE (the new Town Hall).

You can read the report here.  If you wish to make comment please send your comments to the planner Kristen Harrison at [email protected] and/or to me.

 

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…)

Nobleton Zoning By-law–final draft

On the July 11 Council agenda there is a report with the final draft of the new Nobleton Zoning By-law (ZBL) with a  recommendation to Council to approve it.  As I have indicated in other posts, the zoning by-laws for the Township are in desperate new of revision; Nobleton is the first and in many respects will be the template for the others.  (e.g. same new/updated definitions will be used.) I am pleased that the community has been very engaged in the process:   as to be expected not every proposal from community members has been accepted but rationale for such is provided and in some instances it is indicated that the correct avenue to pursue making the change (e.g. extending the commercial core)  is the Official Plan process.

For each person there will be points which are of particular interest; here are mine.

  • The incorporation of specific zoning for defined mature neighbourhoods such that character of each is protected
  • permeable surface minimum requirements
  • much clearer identification of regulatory flood plains
  • some improvement in facilitating new businesses/commercial in core

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Planning Project Status & Timeline Review

There are two very important planning projects underway:  Official Plan Review and Zoning By-law Review.  Many members of public have been involved in the process to varying degrees.  On 6/27 Council agenda there is a review of status of these projects and the targeted timings for completion.

Zoning By-law Reviews: King City and Schomberg

Open houses are being conducted for the zoning by-law review in King City and Schomberg.  I have been impatient waiting for this to start as this is the means to protect our mature subdivisions.  Specifically, this is where we have the opportunity to effectively influence the inevitable changes in our established subdivisions.  It is not about stopping change which is neither desirable nor possible; but, we can have a much greater say in what the change looks like than we currently have. The first open house for King City is Tuesday, June 14 6:30-8:30; presentation will be at 7.  You can find further details here.

The review has been done for Nobleton; the plan is to re-apply that template to address the specific characteristics of King City and Schomberg.  The benefit of this is that we should be able to accomplish the work much more quickly.  e.g.  The detail work of definitions has been done; the format of the by-law is developed.  As was done for Nobleton  design work shops for each of King City and Schomberg are scheduled and participants were sollicited earlier.   Even though deadline for the latter has passed, if you are interested please contact Sarah Allin at [email protected]  (or 905 833 4066) as there may be room for you.  The King City work shop is June 29; the one in Schomberg is July 12 6:30-9PM.

I hope that there is good attendance to the open houses (for King City it is on  6/14) as this is an excellent way to understand the opportunity before us by getting this review done well.  As I recall attendees at the Nobleton session were every enthusiastic and excited by what they heard.

Severance Application–Warren Road, King City

On Council 5/30 agenda there is a Staff report on the Warren Road severance application.    The technical assessment made by Planning Staff is thorough.  As I personally wrestle with this application I keep coming back to two philosophical points.  i)  Our villages are comprised of mature neighbourhoods and new subdivisions in locations defined in the community plans.  The “look” of the mature and the new is very different.  The former are not meant to be frozen in time; they will get new housing stock in time.  But, the latter needs to occur in a manner which supports the principles behind the original plans.  ii)  I have concerns with an amendment to an Official Plan providing  improvement/benefit to only the proponent (i.e. the individual property owner) and not the community at large.

To confirm process at Council on Monday:  if you want to make a deputation on this report (i.e. to express your point of view) you need to sign in.  (As you enter the Council Chambers you can sign in on the left.) As the report is first on the agenda it will be considered soon after 6 PM.