King Township Council Meeting - October 30, 2023
This report includes an update on the Schomberg Heritage Conservation District, King Environmental Action Team, and the Community Grants Program. I was delighted to see so many residents attend last night's meeting to express their views, our community is stronger for your participation.
You can watch the live stream of the meeting here, but remember it will only be live for two weeks.
• Halloween – Please keep the night a fire safe and road safe event for our children. Use battery operated candles or glow sticks for extra visibility. Keep exits clear of decorations for an escape route. Make sure costumes have reflective markings, headlight or flashlight. Make sure costumes are properly sized and mask eye holes are large enough to see out of to avoid trips and falls. Keep decorations away from heat sources like heaters and lightbulbs.
• Saved by the Beep – Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshall had the entire province testing home smoke alarms on September 28th. Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 is Carbon Monoxide awareness week in Ontario. Take the time to install new batteries in all smoke and Co2 alarms. A smoke and carbon monoxide working alarm is the one best investment to keep your family safe.
• Pumpkins – Pumpkins are considered yard waste and should be put at the curb in a paper yard waste bag for curbside pick-up.
• Leaves – Curbside pick-up for leaves goes until the end of November.
• King's 2024 Budget – Starting Wednesday Nov. 1 residents will be able to review King’s proposed 2024 capital and operating budget books online. Learn where your tax dollars go and and ask questions at an in-person budget open house Nov. 15 from 6-8 at the Municipal centre. Click here for more information.
• Winter Maintenance starts November 1st. Public works has been busy gearing up in preparation for winter maintenance and winterizing the equipment. Winter parking restrictions start on Nov. 1 and are in effect until Ap. 15. During this time, it is prohibited to part on the street between 2-6am or anywhere that interferes with show removal or sidewalks. If you have any parking complaints you can reach out to King’s by-law department.
• Remembrance Day Ceremonies – Proudly pause on Remembrance Day to express your heartfelt thanks for the veterans of our land who sacrificed their lives. Four services will be held in King and surrounding areas to commemorate the soldiers who fought for our freedom. There will be two services on Sunday November 5th, one at Kettleby Cemetery at 10:45am and one at the Bolton Cenotaph at 12:30pm. The other two are on November 11th, the Schomberg service is at the Trisan Centre at 10:30am and a service at the Aurora Cenotaph at 10:45am. More information here.
• Nobleton Community Hall – King has posted an online survey that will be live through Friday Nov 15th. Participate here.
• Trees of Giving – starts November 13th and is held at the King Museum and any organization or group can participate. This year’s theme is festive forests.
1. Feasibility of Heritage Conservation District in Schomberg
Staff reported back on their findings on the timelines, costs and the process for establishing this district. The report also included information about the effect on property values and insurance considerations that would be associated with the new district.
There are currently 27 non-Designated (Listed) properties and approximately 66 properties identified as Built Heritage Inventory, for a total of approximately 93 total heritage properties. As a result of the Province’s Bill 23, properties which are not Designated on the Township’s Heritage register by January 1, 2025 will be removed, eliminating any protections on applicant demolition, alterations, removals or other development activities. A Heritage Conservation District (HCD) would enable the Township to manage and guide future change in the District and have control over demolition and alteration of buildings and regulate design for new buildings, structures, and landscapes to ensure that change and growth are compatible with the area’s special character. The development of the regulation criteria would be done with extensive public and resident collaboration and consultation. When a property is designated individually or as part of a Heritage Conservation District Plan, it will be required to go through the Heritage Permit process with the Township to help guide the change and review against the policies for the District.
Establishing the HCD would happen in two phases and would cost $300,000. In the first phase, a study would be done that would research and evaluate the buildings, landscapes, etc. to determine if the area should be preserved as a HCD.
Phase 2 would develop the framewok for ensuring that redevelopment, significant renovations and alterations and new groth within the HCD are consistent with, and do not detract from, the character-defining elements of the area. This Phase would include extensive public and property owner consultation.
Residents had previously voiced their concern about the effect of a HCD on property values. As part of this report, staff included a study done by Robert Shipley of the University of Waterloo that found that 74% of designated properties performed above or at average in price-trend compared to similar but undesignated properties in their communities.
In addition, staff included information from the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism which indicates that a heritage designation does not require the homeowner to restore the building to its original appearance and nor should premiums go up as a result of a designation
There were many deputants at council who shared their thoughts on the proposal. Some were supportive, but many were not and included the following comments:
- Concern that a HCD would make development and renovations even more difficult by adding another layer of permits to seek
- Residents already have the ability to have their home Designated if they choose.
- A HCD would limit the ability to increase density and housing in the area.
- Insurance brokers note that Heritage homes are more expensive to insure.
Ultimately, council received the report with no further action taken.
2. King Environmental Action Team
This new group will be formed shortly to replace the previous Sustainability Advisory Committee which had been dissolved. King’s Environmental Action Team (KEAT) will be established to support municipal and community based actions identified through the Climate Action Plan and other documents to address ongoing climate change, environmental stewardship, and other environmental issues within the Township.
Key initiatives that KEAT will support include:
Tree, shrub and wildflower plantings
Workshops related to environmental projects
Undertake guided hikes across the Township
Participate in monitoring activities
Host a community clean-up
Host a local “green” fair
Partner on grants applications
Participate in circular economy events and initiatives
Host KEAT booths at events to promote the Team and engage with citizens
Assist with projects related to climate change and sustainability issues impacting King Township
Collaborate with other community groups
Staff will now contact all those who expressed interest in joining KEAT and continue recruitment over the next few months. Express your interest here! The first meeting is planned for January 2024.
3. Community Grant Programs
Council approved an update for the Community Grant Program to streamline the approval process, provide more opportunities for applying, and set criteria for evaluating applications. The new policy has four categories:
Special Initiatives – This grant provides money to strengthen internal practices and addressing challenges in organizational effectiveness such as development activities governance, marketing, promotion, strategic planning, training, and volunteer management. Up to a maximum of $1,500
Community Events – Funding for a public event where you add value to the entire community. The event must be open to the public and must be held within the Township. Funding can cover event costs such as marketing, catering, special guests, etc. Up to a maximum of $1,500.
Inclusive Communities – This grant includes initiatives that support healthy, safe, and inclusive community development such as: Education and awareness campaigns; Food drives, food bank activity or community gardens; Support services for various diverse communities. Up to a maximum of $1,500.
Environment King – This grant offers funding to local residents, community organization and schools for projects that address climate change, sustainability and other environmental issues within King. Projects must be undertaken to enhance and conserve the natural environment and support climate change mitigation efforts. Up to a maximum of $5,000.