Currently Browsing: The Issues

Becoming More Accessible

The 2016 Accessibility Status Report is on 2/27 Council agenda. This results reported herein is the result of a very productive team, the Accessibility Advisory Committee.  The report documents measures undertaken in King to improve accessibility in the community and the progress made to support the goal of Ontario being accessible by 2025.  As reviewed the AAC is providing valuable feedback on how to “build in accessibility” (e.g. reviewed design proposal for new Town Hall); and they are doing necessary documentation to meet standards of Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.  I know that the 14 members of the AAC are truly working as a team and they are quick to say than any accomplishment is team work.  But…I do want to thank specifically  the 6 volunteer committee members  for their dedication to this important work.

Metrolinx Interested in Hearing From You Online

Want to engage in the Metrolinx expansion?  To date there have been public open houses and information sessions; now there is an online opportunity to provide your input.  Specifically, Metrolinx is developing a Community Charter which will define its relationship with residents and communities through a series of promises and service standards.  It wants your input on  6 themes:  public safety, fiscal responsiblity, courtesy& respect, public input, timely information, connecting communities.  To participate click here. 

 

Speeding Up the Internet

As reported previously King is applying for funds to increased broadband capacity across the Township.  An accurate picture of current capability is required.  If you haven’t tested and reported your download and upload speeds please do.  Final deadline is February 24.

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.

Development on Station Road: information session

Wednesday, February 1 from 7-8PM there is a information session hosted by a developer with property on north side of Station Road in King City.  This is an opportunity for the public to learn about the application and aske questions, make comments directly with the developers and/or their agent.  This is NOT the the statutory public meeting which is chaired by the Mayor in Council; this meeting will be in next month and will be advertised in local paper.  The February 1st meeting is at the King City Arena, 2nd floor in the Lions’ Den.

 

 

Speeding Up Internet in King

As you may be aware internet service has finally been declared as an essential service (as important as electricity and water.) Federal Government has funding; we want to apply as much of King has limited to no service.  As part of our application we want to include an accurate map showing current internet infrastructure in King. We need to know what kind of service you get today from your home, your business in King. If you know your download & upload speeds you can immediately report; if you don’t go here to do the test.  Email to [email protected] or phone 905 833 4020.  Need to report your speeds (upload/download), name, address and your internet service provider.  Here is information page with all the details.

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…)

2017 Budget With 2018 Capital

2017 Budget will be on 1/23 Council agenda for approval by Council. The draft budget includes a property tax increase of 2.98% on the Township portion; when blended with the York Region increase (2.86%) and the expected 0% increase for Education the blended increase will be 2.32%. For a residential home assessed at $664,000 (average assessed value in 2016) this amounts to an increase of $143/yr. Given anticipated increases in the other YR municipalities King will continue to be in the mid point in terms of tax rate. This budget is particularly important as it includes, for the first time, approval for capital projects over the next two years (2017 & 2018). Here is a link to all the documents of the draft budget. And below is my perspective on important issues and decisions in this budget.

First, I believe there is reason for taxpayer to feel that Township Staff is working with a mindset to reduce cost, to be efficient. With no additional services or program changes expenditures are up .75% which is well below inflation.

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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!

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Small Cell Technology with Bell

On 12/12 Council agenda there is a staff report about Bell installing small cell technology on municipal land and facilities.  The latter will improve cellular broadband connectivity at no incremental cost.  In fact, Township will collect some modest revenues.  I am interested to learn more from the presentation which is scheduled to be made.  I am interested to know if they are approaching private property owners which would  improve connectivity further.