Currently Browsing: The Issues

215 Main Street Schomberg Development

On Council September 23 agenda there is a report for a site plan development application in Schomberg at 215 Main St.  From my reading there are some very positive aspects to this application:  4 purpose built apartments of which 2 are intended to meet the York Region threshold of being affordable; and the report indicates that there will be adequate parking for both the residential and the commercial.  In addition it sounds like this application will set the stage for resolving the ambiguity of the Lions Park boundaries which will then allow for the park to be properly developed.  The proposed architecture indicates that this project will be a valuable addition to the historic Main Street but I do wonder about the height; I think it could be improved if something was done creatively with the glazing e.g.  transom windows to break up the wall of glass at street level.  I will be asking questions about the process that this application has gone through to date; for example I don’t understand how the development has already been granted a couple minor variances.

Budget 2020 Begins

At September 9 Council there is a staff report reviewing timelines and process for the 2020 budget. For the 2019 budget  was, for the first time, a multi year one for the operating expenses; 2019 was approved and for outyears it was a forecast.  For the 2020 exercise, only the 1st year will be approved and for out years forecasts will be update.  The Staff report includes a review of budget pressures and potential mitigation opportunities.  As indicated in the report one of the pressures is our declaration of a climate emergency and our approval of an aggressive energy conservation and demand management plan and our direction to Staff to develop a Climate Action Plan.

Climate Emergency

At July 8 Council there will be a debate on a resolution put forwarded by Mayor Pellegrini and seconded by me re: declaring a climate emergency. I believe this declaration is appropriate.  As reported in the media, as we see already consequences of global warming and as identified in the resolution there is a threat to our planet, to all human kind.  Humans have contributed to this situation because of green house gases (GHG).  All, including King, needs to participate in the effort to reduce GHG.  This resolution does not define how we are going to do that but it does say that it is going to be, henceforth, a priority for us.  We need a action plan to engage all our community along with reducing the municipality’s contribution to the problem.  Some question use of the word “emergency;” I believe it is the right word as the definition of emergency includes the concept of taking action in response to the problem.  Importantly the resolution also indicates the need to  consider how to mitigate and adapt.

Energy Management Plan for Twshp

On Council July 8 agenda there is a very important report:  a draft plan for how the Township will reduce the green house gas emissions (GHG) generated by our facilities & fleet and reduce our consumption of energy (natural gas, electricity).  The report is important.  1st, the severity of climate change is human influenced by GHG emissions. 2nd, we know what needs to be done but we need to agree that it is important and we need to follow through with the necessary investments.    We have not been building a “climate change war chest” to fund this although as reviewed in the report we have done some good projects already.  How much we want to do will be a critical input to the upcoming 2020 budget work.  The report proposes 2 targets:  I believe we need to aim very high, (more…)

Bill 108: risks as to how we grow

On May 27 agenda there is Staff report reviewing the implications of the Province’s proposed Bill 108 called “More Homes, More Choice Act.” This Bill, if passed as is, has significant impact on how our communities evolve:  what is built, how it is built. More specifically, density, services, amenities and property taxes for both current and future residents.  In addition the enormity of the proposed changes to current legislation the Bill is very concerning as there is such limited time for feedback and there has been such limited consultation. I strongly urge you to at minimum read the Staff report; here is link to the Act.   Its my opinion that
this Act seriously undermines good planning which could deliver strong inclusive communities, a healthy  environment and (more…)