Currently Browsing: Debbie in the Community

MZO’s Refused in King

I maintain this blog for the express purpose of alerting readers to issues coming before Council before the Council makes a decision so that public can engage, if interested.  This post is different: its a brief report on decisions made at Council December 14. Council voted unanimously to refuse a request to endorse a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) in Nobleton.  Council voted 6/1 to refuse a  MZO request for Marylake in King City; the dissenting vote was Councillor Cober. Further below I identify my rationale for my decsions.  I am happy that King Council has refused both of these.  And, I am thrilled at the loud outcry from the community at large.  I have read more than 140 emails expressing the hope, the expectation that Council will defend our planning decisions and our environmental principles espoused in both the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Acts.  Council heard more deputations than we have ever. And I am particularly thrilled that many people got engaged who have lived in King City <4 years.  I dearly hope that the latter will increase their involvement in their new homes as communities are best when people are involved.

The rationale for my decision on both cases is same:  we have just completed an Official Plan for the township; it was just approved by York Region in October 2020. An OP provides the direction and a policy framework for managing growth, land use and infrastructure decisions through to 2031. Our OP, Our King, is the outcome of a 3 year process in which citizens throughout the Township engaged.  A MZO renders an OP to be trivial.  Both of the MZO’s implied locating growth outside the current urban boundaries of the respective villages.  The Marylake one had one further critical factor:  the property is in the Oak Riges Moraine and a significant portion of the intended activities are not permitted in the ORM; furthermore no environmental assessments had been done although the plan was described as having no negative impact.

No one should read this post and think that the file is closed.  The proponents may choose to submit their requests without Council endorsement.  Minister Clark (Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing) may decide to grant one or both.   Both of these requests are for properties in the Greenbelt (GB). On more than one occasion when challenged by Opposition Parties about the extraordidnary frequency of granting MZO’s Minister Clark has said very clearly that the Greenbelt is protected and there will be no MZOs in the GB.

So..we will see.  Right now I am proud to be member of King Council.  And I am happy that there is strong interest in a task force working with the AFOI to figure out how to respond to their financial need such that Marylake can continue to be the special place it is without degrading the environment.

15th SDRD Closed Keele-Dufferin

There is need for emergency culvert replacaement.  15th SDRD will be closed between Dufferin and Keele starting Dec. 14. Here are the details.

Christmas in King: maps for the light tour

 

Maps for the Christmas in King Holiday Light Tour are now available for just $10 at christmasinking.ca. The fee is a donation to King Township Food Bank!

 

Nobleton MZO Request

On Dec. 14 Council there are 2 reports providing background  to two requests for Council endorsement of requests to Ministry of Municipal Affairs for MZO’s.  I have earlier commented on the one for Marylake.  The second one is for property on Hwy 27 south of the current Nobleton urban boundary.  I am irritated about this request as the proponent has apparently registered an appeal to our recently approved Official Plan; the latter is the “right” way to address their belief that their property should be in the urban boundary of Nobleton.  But rather than waiting to argue their case at the LPAT they want to cicumvent the process with a MZO.  MZO’s have existed in the Planning Act long before the current Government; but until recently they have been rarely used.  They are now being used as a means of “cutting red tape.” Indeed “red tape” is cut: no studies by the professionals who know the science. Along with no studies there is no public consultation.  There is no public meeting at which citizens can ask questions, identify concerns, express objections. There is no opportunity to assess whether this really is the right location for a senior’s rental apartment building.

Site Alteration and Movement of Fill Bylaw

On Monday Dec.14 at 5 pm there is a working Council meeting which the public is able to observe as it is live streamed. Attending this session is valuable as the topic is complex; creating a new bylaw to manage the importation of fill, the alteration of the grade of our land, the movement of fill is critical.  When it is poorly controlled there is significant risk: at minimum it can be troubling to those in proximity and in worst case our landscape, the acquifers providing drinking water can be contaminated.  In the Council report good background is provided as to the valuable new provincial legislation regulations under the Environmental Protection Act when have addressed soil quality and transportation aspects.  The proposed new Bylaw will build on this but the specific limitations of amount of fill permitted in King needs to be determined,  And very importantly the process for permitting fill and change of grade i.e. site alteration needs to be established.  As reviewed in the report there are plans for public consultation. I am very pleased with the work done to date. Visit speaking.king.ca to register to be alerted when there is action on this file.