Improving Our Regulatory By-laws

Our working session 4/16 was on regulatory by-laws.  What I heard overall is that there is a work plan for 2012 which includes education & improving communication and updating a number of current by-laws including fence, kennel, animal control, noise, right to discharge fire arms, sign, parking, heavy truck and fill.

Why these particular by-laws?  Some are out of date in terms of addressing our contemporary issues as they were established 10+ years ago.  Some are poorly crafted in that there is ambiguity and in some cases there is inconsistency between by-laws where there is overlap.

The education & communication element is important.  We are experiencing significant growth; our new residents need to be aware of the by-laws and how to effectively register complaints.  We need to be efficient, effective and transparent in responding to complaints.

All by-law revisions are reviewed by Council.    Public feedback is very much welcomed.  Stay tuned.

Mary Lake Estates–public meeting

April 30 there is a public meeting re: the Marys Lake development. As this  application is already appealed to the OMB some might wonder about the purpose of this meeting.  It ensures that all the interested public is aware of the latest details of the application.  And, it is another opportunity for public to provide their input so that Council, Staff and the developer are aware.

The final Staff report will be presented to Council in June and Council will vote.

As usual the Staff report for the 4/30 public meeting should be available on king.ca on the Wednesday before (4/25).

York Region Public Transit (YRT/Viva)

This past Wednesday York Region Transit hosted a public information centre to review changes to services in 2012 and to solicit input for the 2013 plan.

For 2013 I asked about services down Keele from the 15th Sideroad.  And I raised the need for a service between Nobleton, Schomberg, King City and the KC GO to meet trains.  The Mayor arrived soon after me and quickly started his own list which was dominated by the need for service amongst the villages.

After hearing about the comprehensive services provided by Mobility Plus I enquired about offering a fare subsidy for intellectually challenged; this had been raised as a request last year by at least one constituent last year and had not been addressed.  Rationale for such being that the latter merit support as much as the physically handicapped receive given that they are often only able to earn minimum wage and are unable drive.  Hence public transit is very important for getting to their place of work etc.  Full fare eats up alot of their income.

King Sustainability Plan Approved

Council has voted unanimously to approve the Sustainability Plan.  Now the real work begins! Pending creation of the terms of reference, critical next step will be appointing the members of the Sustainability Committee who will guide the implementation of the Plan.  Having reached this milestone I have distilled down to a couple points why this Plan is important.

1st, we have an updated vision of what we want to be.  This is very powerful; when someone walks into Planning and wants to talk about a development idea, the first feedback for them will be to look at our Sustainability Plan to see how they are going to fit in and how they will help us to realize our vision.

2nd, our Plan encourages “silo busting.”  Engineering looks after its challenges.  Finance has theirs etc. The same occurs within the advisory committees:  EDAC has proposals; KEAC has ones etc.  Each Council member has his/her own agenda.  In contrast our Plan was developed with 4 pillars:  finance, economic, environmental and socio-cultural.  As we go forward we need to be paying attention to all 4 or we will not achieve our vision.

This is not a theoretical benefit; just the process of developing the Plan has changed “the conversation” as demonstrated in recent reports.  E.g.  At the April 2nd public meeting regarding transfer of 36 hectares (90 acres) from private ownership to the Nature Conservancy there was acknowledgment of the property tax hit; this is important because if we are not conscience of it we are certainly not going to develop a strategy to compensate.  (It turns out that in this specific case the impact is insignificant.)  Previously this data was not included.  E.g. when determining user fees for our recreational services we are now asking ourselves how much subsidy do we want to provide.

3rd, as we move forward we can be proactive in terms of our tax rates. Rather than simply passing a tax increase to meet the need of the day we  can make that decision with the knowledge of what is required over the next 10 years given the projects we want to implement, the anticipated new developments etc. etc.

4th, because of the process we will be using, as we move forward we can leverage the community’s energy, creativity and deep commitment to King Township to either change some things OR simply to accomplish things we have not done before.  Any group in King…a Faith based group, a rate payers group, a citizens group can decide that they want to implement a Sustainability project; they submit the idea to the Committee who assess it against the Alignment Tool..  If it is approved they can proceed knowing that they will have the support of the Township as defined in their application.  This empowers people to make a difference in their community.

I do want to acknowledge that comments/questions about the draft Plan were received; some changes were incorporated into the final version.  At the April 2nd Committee of Whole when the Plan (final version) was before the Council one King Township resident made a deputation expressing disagreement with one of Financial Pillar’s actions, specifically “1.1 Develop a financial model based on regional growth targets.”

The deputant argued that King should make their own growth targets.  Council did not accept the argument.  We are part of York Region.  The targets were not deployed without input; for example whereas Province deployed 40% intensification, our target of 920 units is only 20% (which means other municipalities will make up the difference.)   Where we need to put our energy is on determining and working against the financial model.

If you haven’t done so already, do review the plan.  Its available here on the King sustainability website.  Hard copies are in libraries and can be purchased at the Township Office.  As an individual or as a member of a group I hope you will get involved.

Finally…I want to thank very much the 4 Ambassadors who gave so much time and energy over the last 10 months to lead their working groups.  Specifically, Brent King led the Financial pillar, Rick Kloepfer led the Economic pillar, Nancy Belo Gomez led the Socio cultural pillar and Susan Lloyd Swail led the Environmental pillar.

 

 

Raising $$ for Southlake

Sunday, April 29 is the A&B Courier Run or Walk for Southlake .

It would be wonderful if  you made a donation to support the King Marsh Muckers team’s effort to raise  $5,000 for Southlake.    Even better, join the team too.

Background

Every spring over 1000 walkers, runners and families gather to support Southlake. The 3rd annual A&B Courier Run For Southlake (formerly the Hartwell Challenge) offers walkers and runners a local event in support of Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Last year  Mayor Pellegrini and Councillor Eek and their families participated.  This year there is a King Township team—the King Marsh Muckers.  Councillor Mortelliti & family and my husband and I have registered to join them.  I hope other members of Council and residents will join us.

Probably we each have a different reason for participating.  Personally, I had registered before my accident at home; but now, as I make my visits to the fracture clinic at Southlake, my motivation to fund raise is not so abstract!

Click here to register as a runner or walker.

Click here to make a donation online.  Or, you can send a cheque made out to Southlake Regional Health Foundation  and mail it to me at the King Township Office, 2075 King Road, King City, ON  L7B1A1