Currently Browsing: The Issues

Property Tax Increase: questions and answers

As evident from letters to the editor in our local paper and from the phone calls & emails I have received a number of residents were very unprepared for the magnitude of their 2017 property tax increase.   I suspect all of us were very aware of the significant increase in the selling price of properties in King, but few of us considered the impact of such on property taxes.  As 2017 is the 1st of the 4 year roll out of the new assessment values  we are seeing for the first time the impact of such on our property taxes.  Communication on this important issue has been poor to date; I apologize for that as does Staff.   A fact sheet about the tax increase has now been prepared.  Here it is and you can also find it on the website. 

The average assessment increase across the Township was <6%; but in Wards 1 and 5, in particular, there are people seeing assessment increases upwards to 15%.  And accordingly, they are seeing increases in property tax up to 15%.  As King property owners, the value of our investment has increased significantly as a direct result of the core attributes that make King a preferred community to reside.

King is particularly affected by significant increases in residential property prices as our tax base is 94% residential with only 6% being commercial/industrial.   As 99% of Township is in the Greenbelt and a major portion of that is protected by the more restrictive Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan there will not be a substantial increase in our industrial base.  The Township is an important steward of aquifers and natural heritage systems. Although there have been studies identifying the substantial economic value of protecting these systems, including the land where our food is grown, we do not receive financial credit for this.


New Trees and Maintenance

On Council 6/12 agenda there is a report recommending service providers for supplying new trees to replace damage done by emerald ash borer.  Report also includes contract for ongoing tree maintenance.  Our 2017 budget included $225,000 for tree replacement.  I want to know more about this topic and will be asking questions.  i)  Species being purchased.  ii)   Our overall status in replacing trees. iii)  Protocol for planting the new trees.  I know from conversations with York Region Project Manager for the landscaping at the roundabout at Keele/Lloydtown Aurora Rd. that there has been significant improvements in planting trees effectively.  Previously YR had a success rate well below 50%; it is now up to 80-90%.

Moving Laskay Hall

On Council COW agenda there is a Staff report recommending the re-location of Laskay Hall to the Heritage Cultural Centre.  This is a significant, major decision for the Township. As reviewed  the decision has only been made after careful thorough assessment of alternatives and community engagement.  For me, the only rationale for doing so is the vision of Laskay Hall being a venue for community events for the next 100 years. In its current location this would simply not occur as an unused building deteriorates quickly.  Its true that there is no unanimous endorsement to the plan; importantly the Hall Board is very supportive.

The reasons for not maintaining status quo is covered in the report and in previous posts I have made. As we do not have many designated heritage properties in the Township, particularly ones which are municipal property, I do regret that a re-location is required.  But, as our Heritage Advisory Committee believes strongly that it is important for our heritage properties to be part of the “living community” as opposed to being museum-like properties which are almost frozen in time,  re-locating the Hall is a variation.  Its use & purpose is being maintained; but is location is being changed. The annual events for which it is known (e,g, Raspberry Social, Christmas Turkey Dinner) will continue; its stage will be there for the theatrical types to use and entertain the ~100 audience.

King City GO Train Survey: Updated Web Link

Updated GO Train Survey

To access GO train survey regarding changes to train station in King City here is the link.

As I said in an earlier post, this survey is important given the magnitude of changes to come.  I have heard from readers that links provided earlier did not function.

More GO Trains Impact Everyone: what are your choices?

The upcoming changes to level of service of GO train in King City are very exciting and significant.  Frequent trains (every 15 minutes), both ways, all days means that the jobs and the cultural offerings in Toronto will be accessible without the challenging drive on the 400.  To implement this breakthrough in public transit there will be changes which will impact everyone in King City.  Please participate in the Metrolinx survey.  The survey asks your input on issues such as the “look” of the GO train station, different formats for additional parking, services at the train station.  Here is link.  

Metrolinx made a presentation to Council in April.  I suggest you look it over;  it does include some King City specific information.



Metrolinx at Council on April 3rd

Metrolinx is on the April 3rd Council agenda; title of their deputation is “Creating Connections in King City.”  I think this will be a very interesting presentation.  Here is what I am looking for:   electrification schedule for the GO trains; noise assessment and mitigation; whistle blowing protocols for all day both ways frequent service.

LED Street Lights…for everywhere

On April 3rd Council agenda there is report from Staff recommending a plan for converting our street lights to LED.  I very enthusiastic about the proposal as a means to reduce electricity consumption.  Report indicates that reduction is in order of 40%.  It is a significant capital investment ($1.5 million) which appears to have a good payback but I do have a couple questions to ensure that I understand it correctly.  I also want to know if the lights are dark sky compliant.  And where we have decorative light fixtures now I want to understand what the replacement is.   We are far from the first to enter into this kind of retrofit so I am confident that this can be executed well.






How Big Is Our Tree Canopy?

Too true that all we read about is bad news; here is some great news.  From 2012 to 2015 the forest canopy in York Region has grown 725 hectares and 502 hectares of that growth (i.e. 69%) is in King.  Trees are vital to mitigate climate change as it sequesters carbon; and they reduce air pollution.    YR has bold goals to increase the canopy from current 23%  to 30% by 2031 and 40% by 2050.  King’s woodland coverage in 2015 was 26%.  And if you are not persuaded that trees are important how about this statistic: the consultants who did the Urban Forest assessment indicate that the YR canopy’s impact is equivalent to removing 60,000 vehicles off the roads!  Here is the report. 

Steps Towards Connectivity

Important steps have been taken to improve connectivity (i.e. reliable access to broadband) in King.  In January there was the funding announcement of $1.68 million (Federal/Provincial 50/50) to support the plan by Vianet to deliver services to residents and businesses who are able to connect with the fiber which was laid along Jane last year.  And now there is the application for funding from the new Federal program called “Connect To Innovate” (CTI).  This application addresses gaps in connectivity across the Region; for King, specifically there is a proposed fiber route including Schomberg and Nobleton.   Our application is as robust as it is because of the download speed data points provided by many Township residents & businesses.  Report at 3/20 Council reviews the application for CTI.


Mary Lake Subdivision: questions answered

As reviewed in an earlier post the development of the Marys Lake subdivision is progressing.  In that post I voiced uncertainty on my part as to what is happening at the far north western sections.  Having got answers to my questions I am satisfied that the issues identified earlier about the environmental risks with development in that area have not been forgotten and that the then proposed “solutions” are being respected.  Specifically, further development in that block (identified as block 88) have significant hurdles to overcome as that block is essentially land locked; there is no access to a public road.