OMB Pre-hearing on King City Subdivision

Across from the Villanova College on the 15th SDRD there is a 24.9 hectare (61 acre) property referred to as Mary Lake Estates and/or the Culotta property.  During the last few years there have been a couple unsuccessful efforts by the proponent to receive draft subdivision approval for developing that site.   The proponent, believing the Township has been negligent in dealing with their application, have now made an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  A pre-hearing for the appeal will be held on January 9, 2012 at 10:30.

The proponent’s application is to build about 100 detached houses with lot sizes varying from 50-80 feet and 7 detached houses with a common driveway.  The proposed density is significantly greater than the density of the estate community abutting it to the south; specifically, the new one will be about 5 units/ha  whereas the current community (Kings Cross) is 1/ha; however, its proposed density is consistent with the density assigned to it per the King City Community Plan.  The latter was assigned by the OMB in 1999/2000 when the whole Community Plan was under appeal.

The Community plan, however, is not just about the hard numbers of density.  About a new subdivision at this location the plan says:

along the Keele St. frontage and the Keele St/15th SDRD node [it should be] generally compatible with the existing character of residential development north of the East Humber River

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Interim Control Bylaw—power generation

The Township implemented an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL ) two years ago as part of its effort to thwart the Ontario Power Authority’s effort to have a gas fired generator build in the Protected Countryside in northern King Township.  (One can only speculate whether it would have been effective if the Council of the day had voted to implement it the first time it was proposed one year earlier by Councillor Mortelliti.)

That battle was lost and we got the generator; but there is still reason to complete the ICBL process. Specifically, we want to amend the Official Plan to incorporate specific reference to Energy Generation facilities within the Township and to document expectations as to how  any future initiative should be addressed, if there should ever be one.

Some of the concepts to be included in the amendments.  Small facilities such as <5MW may be permitted on certain lands designated Industrial subject to site specific assessment and rezoning provided the use has demonstrated no adverse effects with a 1,000 meter study area.  Any facility greater than 5MW shall only be permitted by site-specific amendment to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw assuming acceptable site specific studies re: environmental impact.

An information meeting was held on this in December.  Some members of the public questioned why we would bother at this stage.  From my perspective it is appropriate to provide this framework for the future.  Our current OP does not provide direction which only served to increase our vulnerability a couple years ago.

The statutory public meeting to make these amendments to the OP is Tuesday January 10 at 6PM in the Council Chambers.

If you want more background on the ICBL follow this link to the King Township’s website where you will find some documents.

Let’s Dance To Raise That Barn!

There has already been a tremendous outpouring of support in response to the fire which destroyed the Round The Bend barns.  But, the community’s drive to help has not yet been quenched!

Friday January 27th 8PM-11:55 PM at The Manor at Carrying Place Golf Course there will be a dance!

The 13 member R&B band The Thursday Night Jam will perform their danceable blend of entertaining music like they’ve done at no charge for over a decade around York Region. Local businesses and individuals are stepping up to help out too.

Mayor Pellegrini has agreed to be the Voluntary Chair for the event.

Tickets are $50.00/person.  You can book your tickets here.

13400 & 13424 Keele Development Proposal

To my mind the 12/12 public meeting for the application for Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and zoning amendment sets a standard as to how this particular aspect of the Planning Act should be executed: the initial proposal/thinking by proponent is exposed and all parties (public, proponent and Council) had opportunity to express their views.  Mayor Pellegrini as Chair for the meeting deserves kudos for all well he ran the meeting; and all participants deserve kudos for enduring crowded seating and standing conditions for a couple hours.

The public, primarily neighbours to the proposed development, but also others from the greater King City community, clearly expressed their disapproval to the plan.  A couple members of Council indicated that they didn’t find the proposed plan to be right; different ideas/alternatives were expressed. Hopefully the proponent and its agents were really listening and heard not only the disapproval but also the comprehensive background and rationale for that disapproval.  If they were truly listening, we should see a dramatic change in their next proposal.

I admit that prior to this public meeting I was not as sensitive to the fact that we had not completed our Intensification Study.  I considered it regrettable; and I realized that it would have been easier if it were done.  But, I had not appreciated that its lack of completion means that whatever is ultimately implemented at 13400 and 13424 Keele it will be done in isolation in terms of modifying the Official Plans throughout the Township to incorporate intensification.   And even more specifically we will lack the benefit of the “big picture” as to how we will implement greater density in King City.  Having said this, I do not agree that this is a good rationale for rejecting outright the total plan so that only two residences are built on the 1.9 hectare (4.9acre) site which is status quo.  And, I am not prepared at this point to accept 8-10 which would be consistent with the density of the immediate adjacent community i.e. King Heights.  (more…)

Parking at the GO Station

There is progress, albeit slow progress, in providing more parking for GO train station users.

Municipal property at the north end of West Street is currently used by First Student business; they have been advised of need to be looking for an alternative so that the space can be reassigned for GO train commuter parking.

Despite no response yet from York Region to our resolution asking for shuttle bus service we are working with Metrolinx about establishing a bus terminal “drop off/pick up” turnaround at the GO Station Lands.

You can read here the whole report presented to Committee of Whole  Dec. 12th.  The report includes confirmation of intent to not institute parking along Keele Street because of safety considerations.

A Wider Hwy 400

May sound like a train but its not…it’s a wider 400!

If you live adjacent to Hwy 400 it is coming closer….and ….even if you don’t live adjacent you will know that it is coming closer by the noise!  December 6th Ministry of Transport (MOT) hosted an open house to review plans for the next installment for widening the 400.

Briefly:  project area is from King Road to just north of Hwy 9.  Scope is to build foundation and do grading to achieve 10 lanes in total; initially only 8 lanes will be paved.   Of the two new lanes in each direction, one in each direction will be a high occupancy lane.  Intent is to start construction at the north end i.e. from the South Canal bridge just north of Hwy 9 to SDRD 19.   Rough schedule is to finalize design spring 2012 and then commence property expropriation. (more…)