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King Township Council Meeting - May 13, 2024

Monday was a big night that covered several important topics including the province's omnibus Bill 185 and proposed changes to the Provincial Planning Statement.


Quick Links


You can watch the video for the May 13th meeting here, but remember it will only be live for two weeks.


Mayor's Comments

• Thank you to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for providing council with Love for all and Hatred for none boxes in celebration of Ramadan.

 

• The Easter Seals National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day is support of accessibility, inclusion, and equity is May 29th. Take action and show your support on May 29 by wearing red on Red Shirt Day.

 

• May is Museum Month and King Township invites everyone to a Journey Through Time at the King Cultural & Heritage Centre.

 

Nobleton Victoria Day – Monday May 20th – The parade begins at the Nobleton Library at 11am. The fireworks are the largest publicly funded show that relies on donations, click here to donate.

 

Fireworks bylaw - Fireworks can only be set off on Canada Day, the Victoria Day holiday and the third day of the Diwali Festival. They are also not permitted to be set off on any public lands or roads.

 

Taste of Maine Indulge in enticing flavours from Main Streets finest cuisine with seven participating restaurants! The event truly has something for everyone. Diners will be able to enjoy breakfast and lunch options at both cafes, and delicious lunches and dinners at the remaining restaurants. Dine in restaurants have also each created unique signature cocktails to commemorate the event. Learn more here.

 

Food and Drink Fest on Saturday June 8th - In celebration of the 10th anniversary, we've expanded the menu. This year's festival will feature some of the best food and beverage vendors in the area, non-stop music, kids zone, and much more! Tickets are on sale now! 

 

Green Yards Program - Take a step towards greening your yard this spring and supporting pollinators by purchasing a wildflower kit, rain barrel or backyard composters. Registration runs May 1-31. Click here for costs and to register.

 

Apiary Tour - This guided Cold Creek Apiary Tour will take you into the beehive to open and inspect a colony of bees. Learn to identify the queen, brood, larvae, nectar, pollen, propolis and different types of bees in the hive. Learn how bees forage for food and water and what plants are important to them throughout the year. We will talk about native pollinators and their relationship to the environment compared to European honeybees and the challenges they face today. The tour will be led by third generation beekeeper André Flys. Tickets are $25/person and you can register here.

 

Agenda Highlights

York Region Vision Zero Traffic Safety Plan

The foundation for York Regions plan is based on an international road safety strategy called Vision Zero. The goal is to reduce severe collisions by 10% in the next five years which will be tough since most are caused by driver behaviour or human error. The 10% reduction is a first step toward the aspirational goal to end all severe collisions resulting in severe injury or death.


The Vision Zero strategy was first implement in Sweden in the 90s and has been able to reduce traffic deaths by about 70% since inception. As a result of this success, the program has spread across Europe and North America to other cities who have also seen reductions including New York City which has had a decrease of 30% since 2014 and Edmonton which has had a 50% decrease since 2015.


In 2024, York Region will be introducing the following automated enforcement safety measures in King Township as follows:

  • Mobile Automated Speed Enforcement from January to March on Highway 27 at Nobleton Public School. York Region has three cameras that are rotated on a quarterly basis but plan to acquire 60 cameras by 2026. 

  • Semi-Fixed Automated Speed Enforcement on King Road at King City Secondary School.

  • New Red Light Cameras at 15th sideroad and Dufferin Street. Existing cameras are installed at:

  • 18th Sideroad and Bathurst St/St John’s Sideroad

  • Keele St and King Road

  • King Rd and Bathurst St

  • King Rd and Dufferin St

 

Though primarily a safety initiative, the initiative has a $12 million budget and estimates about getting $2 million in revenue which will be allocated to the program and traffic safety. If there is extra revenue, the treasury officer will look at allocating that to safety initiatives and policing and other safety measures.

 

King's 2023-2026 Corporate Strategic Plan

In June 2023, Council adopted the 2023-2026 Corporate Strategic Plan and this week we heard the Year One (2023) Annual Progress Report. The Plan focuses on four Priority Areas that each have two main Objectives which are each achieved through various Key Results.



Staff report that progress has been made on all 29 Key Results included in the plan. Overall, (19) Key Results (67%) are proceeding as planned, (6) Key Results (20%) are not scheduled to start until 2024, (3) Key Results (10%) are being monitored, and (1) Key Result (3%) has been completed.



Following is a list of each Priority, Objective and Key Results


Priority: A Greener Future

Objective 1: Develop environmentally sustainable solutions to reduce King's footprint and mitigate against the impacts of climate change.

Key Results:

  • Adopt and Begin the Implementation of the Community Climate Change Action Plan 2026.

  • Reduce Corporate Emissions by 140 Tco2E (tonnes of carbon dioxide).

  • Develop a Green Development Standards Incentive Program by 2026.


Objective 2: Promote Tree Canopy Growth and Enhance Natural Lands

Key Results:

  • Inventory all Township Natural Assets by 2026.

  • Develop an Invasive Species Management Strategy by 2026.

  • Plant 50,000 trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

 

Priority Area: Sustainable Asset Management

Objective 1: Develop asset funding strategies which ensure long term fiscal sustainability.

Key Results:

  • Implement a Stormwater Charge by 2023

  • Finalize and Implement the Asset Management Program by 2025.

  • Create and Implement an Asset-Funding strategy by 2025.

 

Objective 2: Improve our capital assets (transportation, environmental, facilities and parks) for continued community use and enjoyment.

Key Results:

  • Implement a Stormwater Monitoring and Maintenance Strategy by 2026.

  • Establish the levels of service for all capital assets by 2025.

  • Develop an Asset Disposition Strategy by 2025.

  • Update (5) asset-related Master Plans & Strategies by 2025.

 

Priority Area: Complete Communities

Objective 1: Implement regulatory changes to manage growth which best serves King’s unique landscape.

Key Results:

  • Complete the Official Plan review and update (to 2051) by 2025.

  • Update Urban Zoning By-law within 1 year of the OP update.

  • Explore opportunities for Commercial Licensing and if approved, implement programs by 2026.


Objective 2: Enrich community well-being and make King the ideal place to live, work and play.

Key Results:

  • Enrich Community

  • Develop and implement a streamlined program that consolidates all existing municipal funding, grant programs, donations, and in-kind contribution requests by 2024.

  • Develop an Action Plan and begin implementation to become an “Age-Friendly Community” by 2026.

  • Represent King’s interest in major external developments within the Township.

  • Develop and implement an annual Traffic-Safety campaign that runs for (1) month annually.

 

Priority Area: Service Excellence

Objective 1: Increase data-driven decision making to improve organizational performance

Key Results:

  • Develop and evolve a Corporate Performance Accountability Program by 2026

  • Develop a Digital Transformation Framework and implement Phase 1 by 2025.

  • Publish (4) new open-data sets


Objective 2: Enhance citizen service experience.

Key Results:

  • Develop and implement a Customer Experience Strategy by 2025

  • Launch (2) new ServiceKING locations for expanded community use and access.

  • Reduce “Information Only” Citizen Cases by 30%.

 

You can read the full report here:


King Corporate Strategic Plan 2023 - PRINT - SPREADS updated May13_2024
.pdf
Download PDF • 28.81MB


ThinKING Sustainable Development Standards

A great achievement for King to require more environmentally friendly standards for new builds. While the province has removed the ability for municipalities to enforce these standards for development proposals where no more than ten residential units are proposed, the Standards do apply for Site Plan Applications for commercial, institutions, industrial, on-farm diversified users and 11+ residential developments. 

While Staff cannot mandate that applicants adhere to the requirements of ThinKING Green, such as the minimum score requirements, meeting the requirements of ThinKING Green would be strongly encouraged as a Council adopted Program. Submission of the Program Table would be required as part of a Complete Application for Site Plan and Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications even if the applicant does not meet the minimum score requirements to ensure that uptake in the Program is being effectively tracked. Staff note that since the current Program came into effect, all Site Plan Applications have met the minimum score requirements.


• Bill 185 & the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement

Once again, King's Planning Staff have done an outstanding job in reviewing and summarizing the many changes proposed by the province as well as highlighting the impacts on King Township.


The province has named Bill 185 "The Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act" to which I object. “Red Tape” is defined as excessive bureaucracy but none of the proposed changes address any actual “Red Tape”. In fact, the proposals weaken government policies that are designed to protect our environment, give citizens the opportunity to participate, and ensure municipalities expand responsibly. Moreover, I have to believe changing the goal posts for developers, not to mention the municipal staff who have to keep pace, is a real burden. As noted by the Aird Berlis report, “In a context where land use law and policy can move both forwards and backwards, it is difficult to actually 'plan' for anything.”

The Bill does propose a couple of good updates:

  1. The Use it or Lose it policy – This requires developers to take action within a specific timeline on approved units. As previously noted, King has 2500 units that have been fully approved by the township that have not moved forward. Creating a timeline will help the township and developers better plan and won't tie up precious water allotment resources with delayed projects.

  2. Bill 185 will reverse the financial impact to Development Charges that had been part of Bill 23. In addition to some other improvements, Bill 185 will now allow for growth related costs to continue to be funded by growth and not existing tax payers.

There are, however, a number of areas of concern. Following are a few:

  • Repeal of Community Infrastructure Housing Accelerator (“CIHA”) and new Ministerial Zoning Order (“MZO”) Framework This proposal suggests that an MZO could be used to support development of provincial priority (i.e., LTC, hospitals, schools, housing priorities, economic development, manufacturing, etc.) on the Greenbelt with Council approval or strong Mayor powers. I'm particularly concerned that these permissions would extend to such facilities even if they are NOT included in the Township’s Official Plan. Since Official Plans are the guiding document for any municipality and include a town's vision for long-term community and infrastructure planning, disregarding this document would be poor planning. Suddenly permitting such massive investments in areas where they have not been planned for adds to urban sprawl, increases the need for expensive infrastructure, and erodes the integrity of the Greenbelt.


  • Flexibility for Protected Major Transit Station Areas Bill 185 would prevent municipalities from requiring parking near the King City GO Station. This would limit the ability to have development provide for its own parking needs, the onus would fall upon the Township to do so which would result in significant costs.

  • Broadening the framework for Additional Residential Units (ARUs) The proposed change would allow the Minister to pass regulations that would limit or remove other zoning provisions such as minimum setbacks, lot coverage and height. Changing or removing these provisions could mean ARUs would be constructed in a manner that is not keeping in the existing character of a neighbourhood and may cause negative reactions from neighbours.


  • Exempting certain forms of development from the Planning Act In King, this means that within the Greenbelt Plan Area new community service facilities such as schools, public Long Term Care homes, and hospitals would be exempt from the requirements of the Planning Act, which includes zoning provisions such as height and lot coverage, but also includes whether or not the use was permitted by the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law. This change has the potential to impact the Township as it appears to permit new community service facilities to be located outside of the Township’s Villages and Hamlets, and be located within the Protected Countryside and Natural Heritage System of the Greenbelt Plan Area.


  • Further elimination of third-party appeal rights Bill 23 has already amended the Planning Act to restrict the ability to file appeals for decisions on minor variance or consent applications to only the applicant, the municipal authority, the Minister, or a “specified person” such as utilities, rail operators, and other similar public/private enterprises. Now, Bill 185 proposes to extend this limitation on appeal rights to any Official Plans, Zoning By-laws, and their Amendments approved by the Township, regardless of whether a person made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to King.


  • New appeal rights for settlement area expansion applications Bill 185 proposes a change that would allow a private applicant to appeal the approval authority’s refusal or non-decision to expand or alter an in-force settlement area boundary. This proposed change does not apply to any lands within the Greenbelt Plan Area. As all the Township’s settlement areas are within the Greenbelt Plan Area, the proposed change would not impact King.

  • Revisions to the municipal pre-application process King introduced a Pre-Consultation Process in response to Bill 109 which changed the timelines associated with the review of development applications, and introduced mandatory fee refunds. Bill 185 proposes to change the Planning Act to make pre-consultations optional, rather than mandatory. If this change comes into effect, it could result in incomplete submissions to the Township as pre-consultation would not be required, so the applicant would not necessarily provide all the required information at initial submission.


In addition to Bill 185, the province has suggested several changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) including the following:


  1. Settlement Area Expansions The PPS would allow a settlement area expansion to be contemplated at any time and includes a new policy which provides that planning authorities may identify a new settlement area only where it has been demonstrated that infrastructure and public service facilities to support development are planned or available. Bill 185 proposes to introduce new appeal rights to allow for a private applicant to appeal the municipalities refusal or non-decision of a request to expand a settlement boundary so long as the proposed boundary expansion does not include any lands within the Greenbelt Area. Staff are unclear as to whether the proposed policies apply within the Greenbelt Plan Area. While Bill 185 limits the appeal rights within the Greenbelt Plan Area, it is unclear if the policies of the Statement permit settlement area expansions within the Greenbelt Plan Area or if there are any limitations on the ability of landowners on applying for an expansion.

  2. Employment Lands The change would permit planning authorities to remove lands from employment areas at any time only where certain criteria are demonstrated. I'm not a fan of converting employment land to residential. My understanding is that King has plenty of available employment land but that the owners are choosing not to develop. As with the new Use it or Lose it policy for approved development, the province should implement policies for those who choose to hold employment land and not build.

  3. Agricultural Land I’m pleased that the province has backed away from the previous draft which would have made it easier to build more housing on prime agricultural lands, but I am concerned that it not longer requires municipalities to use the provincially mapped Agricultural System. On the one hand, this will make it easier for municipalities to make adjustments at their discretion, but I worry that this will lead to discrepancies in how different municipalities assign these lands creating confusion and further loss of our farmland. Moreover, this proposal would actually add a layer of complexity and expense since municipalities would need to complete the necessary studies themselves.

  4. Alignment with the Greenbelt Plan The province has indicated that they are proposing an "administrative amendment" to the Greenbelt Plan. The amendment, however, has not been released for public review and comment so it is impossible to determine what impact the change might have.

  5. Sewage, Water and Stormwater The PPS proposes to modify existing policies to provide that partial services may be permitted within rural settlement areas, where new development will be serviced by individual on-site water services in combination with municipal sewage services or private communal sewage systems. Staff request clarification from the Province as to whether this change is intended to apply within the Greenbelt Plan Area, as it may impact the Township’s hamlets, particularly Pottageville.


New Business

Ward 1 - Asked staff to do some extra tidying of the Nobleton parks in advance of the Nobleton Victoria Day celebrations.

Ward 3 - Reminded residents that fireworks are NOT permitted within 1km of livestock without the written permission of those residents.

Ward 4 - The Schomberg Fair is May 23-26. There is also a Bird Walk on May 26th at 6:30am.

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