40 km speed limits

On Council May 10 agenda there is a report recommending that the default speed on all local and collector roads be 40 km whereas it is currently often 50 km.   As reviewed this was a tactic recommended in the Traffic Calming Strategy.  The report says that this lower limit will reduce frequency and severity of collisions; I believe it will also improve the feeling of safey for those walking on the road.  To see both the report and the list of roads for which speed will be reduced to the meeting agenda and scroll down.

Rimrock Development (east of Kingview Manors)

Monday, May 3rd is a Council Public Planning meeting.  One of the applications is to create 5 lots, each with a single detached house.   As the report indicates 4 of the 5 lots are generally consistent with Kingview Manors which is west of the development site. The 5th lot is very different.  Accessing it will be from King Road on a narrow long driveway which is reported to be an extant driveway through an Environmental Protection Area (EPA); to my mind the identified driveway is better described as a trail likely popular with skidoos in winters past.  And as a driveway, it is unusal in that it will be parallel to the backyards and amenity areas of the existing homes on Peter Glass.  Although generally consistent in format to Kingview Manors, Lots 1 through 4 are not perfect as proposed lots as I don’t believe the buffers  to the EPA east of them is 30 meters as required.  As the meeting is being held virtually it is necessary to register by noon on May 3 with [email protected] to make a virtual deputation.  On same timing email comments can be sent to [email protected] so that they are forwarded to Council before the meeting. To access report and all appendices see the agenda and scroll down.

 

52 James Stokes Court

Monday, May 3rd is a Council Public Planning meeting.  One of the applications is for 52 James Stokes Court to create 5 lots, each with a single detached house.   As the report indicates the proposal is generally consistent with Kingview Manors which is on 3 sides of the property to be developed.  To my mind there are two issues which require more consideration as is indiated in the report.  First, two of the lots’ northern boundaries are not respecting our policy requirement for 30 meter buffers for natural heritage features.  Secondly it is proposed that  lot 1 should incorporate the natural buffer for the northern boundary of all 5 lots.  The latter is must unusual and is in contravention of the normal practise of buffers being transferred to either the Township or to the Conservation Authority i.e. TRCA.  (The motivation for this practice is to ensure perpetual protection as private ownership might enable abuse and/or fragmentation.)  As the meeting is being held virtually it is necessary to register by noon on May 3 with [email protected] to make a virtual deputation.  On same timing email comments can be sent to [email protected] so that they are forwarded to Council before the meeting. To access report and all appendices see the agenda and scroll down.

There is an interesting angle to this application which is not relevant to the decision about this application.  The property included in this application and the Kingview Manors subdivision are lands which were part of the James Burns Farm.   James Burns figures prominently in the history of King Township, specifically in the development of Kinghorn.   The most northern “existing house” showing on Appendix B is the Burns home built in 1849.  A Heritage Impact Assessment was done in 2008 as part of the Kingview Manors development.  As Township did not opt to either preserve the house in its current site or to move it to the Museum there will be an interpretive plaque.  One of the interesting facts about Mr. Burns:  he donated the lands for the Kinghorn school which is our Museum today.

Bylaws For Site Alteration and Pool & Fences

On Monday’s Council agenda there is report recommending new bylaw for regulation of site alterations, fill and the administration of permits for pools and fences.  As reviewed in the report there has been extensive public consultation on the new bylaws.  Very importantly the new bylaw for fill meets new regulations brought in by the Province to ensure quality of soil.  But there is far more.  i)  Of value to property owners is the ability to do “minor site alterations” without a permit with such being defined as maximum 200 cu meters (about 25 dump trucks) per hectare.  ii) Conseravtion regulated lands are now subject to our Bylaw.  iii) There will be enhanced penalty system.  The report provides much greater detail.

As noted in the report there will be implementation of a new communications system with the public which enables a concerned person to learn what permit has been granted, type and amount of site alteration allowed and if there is a complaint the status of the latter. i.e. open/active under investigation, order issued, and legal action.  I think this proposed process is valuable as I know that it is frustrating for anyone who has reported a suspected violation to not know what is being done as follow up.  I consider this kind of communication to particularly important in King as >90% of the Township is on the Oak Ridges Moraine; hence we have an obligation to be good stewards of this lands and all its acquifers.

To access the report and all the appendices go to Agenda for the meeting and scroll down.  To register for verbal deputations and/or emailed deputations contact [email protected] by noon Monday April 26.

 

Debt Policy

On April 26 Council agenda there is a report proposing a new debt policy for the Township which defines how the Township decides to take on debt, what the criteria is for such a decision.    I am very pleased that such a policy is being proposed.  As we make decisions on projects requiring capital it is not adequate to simply say “no, we can’t take on new debt” or for anyone to advocate for taking on debt; those decisions should be made by considering the same criteria each time.  The policy includes identification of eligible capital projects; one category is for projects that provide future cost savings or cost avoidance.  I believe that opportunity for climate change action should be added.  As reviewed in the report King’s debt, as defined as a % of annual revenues less debt servicing costs & long term financial obligations, is 4.88% which is far less than the 25% permitted by the Province. It is recommended that the debt ceiling for King should be 10%.  The report reviews the origins of our current debt of $20 million.  Note:   all decisions to take on new debt is a Council decision based on recommendation from Treasurer.

To read both the report and the policy go to meeting agenda and scroll down.  To register for verbal deputations and/or emailed deputations contact [email protected] by noon Monday April 26.

Comfortable Home Without Fossil Fuels

Are you interested in efficiency? Looking for more sustainable methods to heat your home? For a long time, options for heating your home in Ontario consisted of natural gas, propane, baseboard electric or even wood. Climate Action King (CAK) is hosting a new webinar series on the alternative: cold climate air source heat& cooling pumps. CAK’s previous series on electric cars received enthusiastic postive feedback.  This new series will be same format:  1/2 hour presentation and then questions & answers.

Climate aCtion King is a relatively new citizens group in King Township of which I am a founding member.  We want to inspire our community to take action to respond to climate change.