Provincial Policy Statement proposal

On Oct.21 Council agenda there is report with proposed response to the draft Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The PPS is a high level summary of provincial policy on all matters related to land use and how the land is used.  Having read it over and looked at some of the “reviews” posted on the Environmental Registry my general comment is that consistent with other policy changes introduced in last 12 months the draft PPS does not put priority on natural heritage nor on agriculture but gives priority to development and aggregate extraction.  The latter can provide sustainable value if done correctly; but the draft PPS enables both these activities with less demanding criteria.  Feedback was initially due 10/21 but has been extended to 10/25; feedback from individuals is very much welcomed.

As Staff report reviews the PPS says development in settlement areas with appropriate densities and intensification is important for a variety of reasons including minimizing negative impact on air quality, energy conservation, building & maintaining public transit infrastructure  but then 1.1.3.9 of PPS says the settlement boundaries can be expanded outside a comprehensive municipal review. Staying within the defined municipal boundary is critical for providing a framework whereby infrastructure can be funded, built and maintained in a sustainable way.  The draft policy does not provide adequate criteria for making such decisions.

1.6.6.3 indicates that private communal water and sewage systems are the preferred  form of servicing for multi-unit/lot development where servicing is not available, planned or feasible in order to protect the environment  and minimize risk to public safety.  I think it is incredible that a government policy would say such a thing.  Who has not heard of private systems not being properly maintained?  And even if the municipality does not own a malfunctioning system, I cannot believe that there would not be a liability risk. Development/growth needs to be in the defined settlement areas to access the infrastructure.   I believe we should be recommending the Government to drop this policy.

The Staff report identified the need for more information about “fast tracking” some applications.  I agree that there should be criteria for such.  And I would go further to suggest that, if fast tracking is to be done, I think a criteria would be the purpose of such development.  e.g. an application to develop affordable housing in the “right” place i.e. transit supported would be a reason to fast track; conversely a development for single detached housing outside the current urban boundary should receive no concessions on timing and therefor on assessment.

In policies verb tense is very important:  I fully agree with Staff indicating that “should” is not good enough  in a statement about protecting agriculture.  It should read:  “agriculture, agriculture -related uses, on-farm diversified uses and normal farm practices SHALL be promoted and protected….”

We have lost 70% of our wetlands in Ontario already which is very unfortunate as they are deliver significant value by  preventing floods and filtering out nutrients).  I would like to see that the PPS include a statement that municipalities should endeavor to both maintain and restore wetlands.

 

Model Home application

At Oct. 21 Council meeting there is a public meeting for a zoning bylaw amendment to permit a model home being installed at Carmichael and Keele Road.  If you wish to comment, ask questions there is no need to register ahead of time.

Additional Parking

Staff report at Oct. 21 Council recommends  a contractor to execute plans for additional parking at both the Municipal Centre and the Heritage & Cultural Centre.  As the need for expanding the parking at the former has been well demonstrated I think everyone will be happy to see the contract being made.  Unfortunately I believe some trees will need to be cut down to create the space at the Municipal Centre.  At our Council meeting I will confirm this, and if so will also inquire about tree replacement/compensation.

CDS: expansion and protection of heritage

Monday November 4th there will be a public meeting to address a zoning bylaw amendment application by Country Day School.  I am very interested in the plan as it involves the original school house of CDS; and I am happy to see that the old school is being very respected as CDS plans for expansion.  Here is more information.

 

 

Nobleton Community Open House

October 30 at Nobleton Library there is a community consultation hosted by the developer for a subdivision in northwest of Nobleton.  Here are details.