“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.


Water and Wastewater Rates

On Council agenda is a Staff recommendation for water and waste water rates for 2019.  The average  blended bill (i.e. water and waste water) for a household using 250 cubic meters of water /year is $158.56, 11.8% .  It is a big increase; logic for such is as follows.  1.  Consistent with previous 4 years the 9% increase in the whole sale rate from York Region is being passed on.   The increase is a direct result of York Region’s Financial Sustainability Plan which includes a 9%  increase annually through 2020.  The latter responds to Provincial legislation that all municipal water and wastewater systems operate on a full-cost recovery rate structure in order to ensure that there is financial capability to properly maintain and ultimately replace infrastructure. 2.  King has its own need to ensure that user rates support operational requirements and that we don’t have an underfunded water and wastewater system.

As indicated in the report our reserves are in a deficit position and it is  forecasted that the annual increases are going to continue to be in the 11% range until  York Region’s 9%/yr increase Plan ends which is 2020.  But what comes after that?  A positive note on how capital is being spent is incluoded in the report:  the automatic/remote meter reading solution has been implemented which enables real-time review and detection of unusual consumption.  I will be asking status of households being able to access data to better enable conservation.


KeeleOne Development Application

On Council agenda for December 10 there is report recommending approval in principle of zoning bylaw amendment for the KeeleOne project. It has been 2 years since the public meeting was held for this development.  I continue to be excited by this proposal and am relieved to see that the concept has not changed substantially.    Many of the concerns identified earlier have been addressed: size of units has been reduced and amount of commercial space reduced.  Both these changes decrease amount of parking required. Very importantly  the impact on the streetscape continues to be very positive; architecture is not like the late 19th century style on Keele further north but it is in harmony.

I do have questions and comments about the parking:  need to control access to site parking as frustrated GO train users will be attracted to it; stated opportunity for off peak hour parking on street will only “work” if there is enforcement.  I also want to hear more about the noise assessment and mitigation.  Finally, given its location and roof lines there is surely opportunity for solar.


Parking Exemptions

On Dec. 10 agenda there is Staff report recommending a significant change in how to respond to requests for exemptions to the bylaws restricting parking, particularly the restrictions during the winter months.  I think the recommended plan sounds excellent:  focused on customer/client need, uses technology, cost effective.

Parking By-law For Heavy Trucks

Here is Staff report proposing an amendment to our parking by-law to address the problem of heavy trucks parked on municipal roadways.  I think the recommendation to prohibit such across the Township is sound.

Trees of Giving

From November 24-December 15  there is a diverse exhibit of trees decorated for the Christmas season.  There is such a variety as each has been decorated by various Community Groups.  I encourage you to drop into the Heritage & Cultural Centre to see them and vote on your favourite tree.  One dollar is one vote.  This year all proceeds go directly to the King For Refugees.