King Township Council Meetings - September 25 & 26, 2023
This is a double report as we had a regular Council meeting on Monday night followed by a special meeting on Tuesday night dedicated to the new Official Plan Review. Monday’s meeting introduced King’s new Service Inventory which is a valuable tool for residents to see what level of service they can expect from the town. The report details services offered by each department and at what standard they are expected to be delivered. We also saw a presentation of the final draft of the Village Design Guidelines. The meeting on the Official Plan Review reviewed the multi-year process of updating our Official Plan to be in compliance with the many upper tier documents that have changed.
• Ontario Road Supervisors sent a letter congratulating Jonathan Thompson on becoming a certified Road Supervisor
• The board of the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer's Association, a non-profit association representing municipal law enforcement officers in Ontario, sent a letter confirming the certification of Conrad Drag & Ryan Costigan.
• King Bible Church – This past weekend the King Bible Church celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a Fun Fair and special service which were well attended.
• Christmas in King Fundraiser hosted an evening of comedy with YukYuk's at King Bridge Centre which was great fun.
• Dufferin Marsh hosted their craft and corn roast afternoon which was also well attended.
• King is swabbing its water mains as part of its water distribution maintenance program. Half of King City including King Rd and all water mains to the south will be swabbed for one week. This is routine maintenance and the most effective way to remove accumulated sediment from the distribution piping.
• Mayor's Youth Action Team – Applications are now being accepted for anyone 13-18yo who would be a good advocate for youth issues in King. Members of the team act as an advisory body to the mayor and council on matters which have an impact on youth in King. Find out more here.
• Sip & Savour - Tickets are on sale for the King Food Bank’s annual Sip & Savour event which will be on Thursday October 26th from 6pm to 9pm. This year the event will be hosted at Magna Hall at Seneca and the theme is Casablanca
• Saved by the Beep - September 28th is Ontario's first Test Your Smoke Alarm Day. Ontario's Fire Marshall reports that there were 133 fire deaths in Ontario in 2022, the highest in 20 years.
• Youth Dance – a video dance party for kids aged 9 – 13 at the Nobleton Arena on October 13, 2023 from 7:30pm – 10:00pm! Tickets to be sold at the door. Cash only. Snacks and beverages will be sold at an additional cost. Video and Dance Music provided by PYNX production. Township of King staff and a York Regional Police Paid Duty Officer will be on site to supervise participants.
• Senior Programs – Members of the King Seniors program (55+) can participate in a variety of recreational programs and services throughout King for seniors. These programs allow seniors to stay fit, improve cognitive ability, create new friendships and much more. By becoming a King Township Senior member you will have access to all three senior locations.
• Fall Programs at Cold Creek - Group Walk & Woof every Sunday in October from 10-11am. Bring your four-legged friends to walk the trails with other dog owners. There are also evening hikes on Oct. 4th and 11 from 5:30 – 6:30pm. Click here to register.
• Project of Heart – September 26-30th at King Heritage & Cultural Centre - King Township and the King Cultural Centre are commemorating Truth & Reconciliation this year by participating in Project of Heart, a national initiative to seek truth about the history of indigenous people in Canada. Come and create your own Project of Heart tile while learning about the ways in which residential schools impacted Indigenous children, families, and communities; and, of the social justice endeavors in motion today to change our present and future history as a community.
• King’s Terry Fox on September 17th raised $2,000.
• The King City Library is now open on Friday from 10am to 5pm.
1) Service Inventory This is a very impressive project that reviews all the services offered by each department in King and their associated standard of delivery. King is the first town in York Region and one of very few across the province to have completed this extensive review which will help increase transparency, improve accountability, and provide a foundation for continuous improvement. You can access the full review online and see the full list of services that King offers, their associated governing legislations, service levels and standards. This will be the baseline year and staff will report back with a performance report in Q2 of 2024.
You can also watch this short video from King’s Park division which gives an overview of all their responsibilities. More videos from other departments will be forthcoming.
*Not related to the service inventory, but you might also be interested in this video put out by the Finance department to describe how your tax dollars are used.
Of interest to Ward 3 residents will be the standards for grading, potholes, and ditching of King roads. This website outlines the province’s Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) for Municipal Highways which defines gravel roads as a “non-paved surface”. Roads are sorted into classes 1 – 6 based on posted speed limit and traffic volumes. Based on the latest counts outlined in King’s most recent Roads Needs Study, our gravel roads range from class 4 - 6. The province’s MMS for these roads require patrolling frequencies ranging from every 14 days (for class 4) up to 30 days (class 5/6). Potholes on a gravel road are to be repaired anywhere from 14 days (class 4) to 30 days (class 5/6) only if, they meet the specified threshold (depth of 10-12cm, surface area of 1500cm2 / ~4ft 2” x ~4ft 2” /1.25m x 1.25m). Ditches are essentially stormwater management assets (similar to curb & gutter on a paved roadway) and are not covered by the MMS. Ditch maintenance relates to a number of factors (size, road profile, driveway and cross culverts, encroachments etc.) and generally follow the practices established by the township.
2) Village Urban Design Guidelines
This project started in Spring 2021 and was meant to be implemented with King’s new Official Plan, Community Improvement Plan and Urban Area Zoning By-laws. It would have been a great addition to the town’s ability to direct development and re-development to be in line with the town’s character and community wishes. As a result of the many policy changes introduced by the province, however, these guidelines will have limited effect.
Specifically, Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, amended the Planning Act provisions that allowed municipalities to use “site plan control” to address matters relating to exterior design “including without limitation the character, scale, appearance and design features of the building and their sustainable design”. In addition, Bill 23 also amended the additional residential unit provisions of the Planning Act. The Planning Act now allows for up to three dwelling units in a building or two dwelling units in a primary building and one in an ancillary structure on any parcel of urban residential land (i.e., lands serviced by municipal water and sanitary sewers).
The Guidelines do, however, have value in stating the town’s expectations. If somebody in an established neighborhood, for example, applied for a minor variance the Guidelines can be used to help inform staff as to whether the variance matches the intent set out in the Guidelines. The hope is that the Guidelines can be used as a resource to give developers a clear understanding of what staff are looking for and what would support the success of their application.
Aside from building design, the Guidelines also mention the necessity to preserve mature vegetation several times. This is a nice thought, but King does not have a tree preservation by-law for trees on private property. A very quick review of our surrounding towns reveals that many of them have such a by-law:
I’m really interested to hear from you! King has tried to implement a tree by-law twice in the past but was met with community resistance. Do you think King should try again? What should be part of a tree by-law? Why do you think previous attempts were not successful? Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Extensions of Draft Plan of Subdivision Approval
This was an interesting request that is worth mentioning. You will have heard the provincial and federal governments bemoan the municipal “red tape” that is hindering more homes from being built faster, but these requests tell a different tale! These extension requests by the landowners of 1100+ homes in King City have generally cited construction timing and delays in both internal/external servicing, as well as the sequencing of other landowners’ final design and land conveyances, as reasons for why extensions are needed. The good news is that for these specific examples staff say that completion is close, but that is not always the case. In fact, King has a total of about 2500 outstanding approvals for homes that have yet to be built. King has done its part, the rest is up to the developers.
• Ward 2 - David Boyd - Nobleton's Seniors are looking for more volunteers to share the workload the write columns for Art Society King and King Sentinel. Contact Joan 416-706-9375
• Ward 4 - Mary Asselstine – The Schomberg Scarecrows kick-off celebration is on Sunday October 1st. Come learn to build a scarecrow, face painting, games and more. Plus, volunteers are needed for the Main Street Christmas which is coming up the first Saturday in December. Email email@example.com if you would like to get involved.
• Ward 5 - Debbie Schaefer - Thanked Councillor Eek for her excellent interview about the province's reversal of the Greenbelt decision on CBC’s Ontario Today on September 22nd. Listen here.
• Ward 6 – Avia Eek – A reminder that it is harvest season so if you are behind a tractor slow down and be patient.
• Mayor Pellegrini – Asked staff to work with the police to have scales brought in to weigh the inordinate number of dump trucks travelling along Jane St and King Rd. He notes that as soon as trucks start getting weighed the rest disappear.
2051 Official Plan Review
An Official Plan contains goals, objectives and policies established primarily to manage and direct physical change and its effects on the social, economic, built and natural environment of the Township. King’s OP was approved by York Region in September 2020, but since then a number of changes have occurred at the Provincial and Regional levels that impact how the Township should plan for its future. Specifically, updates have been made to the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), A Place to Growth – The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan), the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP), and York Region’s Official Plan (YROP).
The Township is just starting the review process of this multi-year project which will develop a roadmap to guide this growth. Residents are HIGHLY encouraged to participate so that the town can ensure the new OP reflects residents’ desires. You can learn more here or contact King to share your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org