Last month I joined Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Coun. John Gazzola in attending the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference. Both Coun. Gazzola and I attended a session on the transition of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). It’s only been a few months since the transition took place in the spring and already they are backlogged with applications and have issues to deal with.
Last month the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made a decision regarding the proposed student housing development in Lower Doon. The proposal was for 47-unit stacked townhouses in the middle of a triangular, vacant piece of property surrounded by mostly single detached dwellings owned by individual home owners backing onto the subject site. There were also a number of single family dwellings already occupied with student housing owned by absentee landlords.
The applicant appealed Council’s decision and took the matter to the OMB. The residents argued of the high density of the project using my quote. I had argued against this proposal and supported the residents at Council as this was an overdevelopment of the lands.
Last week City Council debated the winter sidewalk snow clearing maintenance options presented by staff. It was suggested that a pilot project be tried in a cluster area of 1,500 homes with the City clearing the sidewalks at a cost of $758,700. Initially councillors accepted staff’s suggestion, however, after further review Council opted instead to increase enforcement proactively by hiring four temporary officers for $177,000.
We received numerous replies from residents both equally for and against spending $0.75 Million on this trial pilot. Many thought it was good and just a many stated it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Summer is here and it’s time for our weekly Monday evening cruise nights at the Shops on Highland. The boys and their sweethearts who will bring their old vintage cars – the Edsels, Desotos, Thunderbirds - are back at the Highland-Westmount plaza along with the 50s and 60s music. Come down and enjoy seeing these cars and oldies music, win some door prizes all starting on Monday, June 4th and running every Monday till mid-September weather permitting. I’ll be there when there’s no City Council meetings.
I have serious concerns about how the Committee of Adjustment handled citizens who appeared at the Apr. 17th meeting were treated by the committee members which I attended.
Many residents were objecting to the proposed severance application to create four new single family lots at 883 Doon Village Rd. This application was initially heard on Feb. 20th by the Committee and deferred to receive additional heritage information. The committee chair that day, Adam Head, stated that we needed to hear from the residents.
At the meeting of Apr. 17th, only five residents appeared to speak. The chair stated that since there were so many objectors that he would impose a 5 minute time limit on each speaker.
I have serious concerns about the waste of taxpayers’ money to build a $7.6 million pedestrian bridge across the Conestoga Parkway from the Chandler/Strasburg area to the Avalon/Southmoor area.
Regional Council approved the construction of this bridge unanimously supported by the four Kitchener regional councillors (Tom Galloway, Elizabeth Clarke, Geoff Lorentz and Karen Redman) notwithstanding that I appeared before the Regional Planning and Works Committee to argue against it. The Environmental Assessment has now gone through its public process and everything was carried out properly by all parties and due diligence was done as I see it. I read over the lengthy report that was available for public review and have no objection to the EA process.
I appeared before Regional Planning & Works Committee on behalf of some dozens of residents who signed a petition opposing the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Conestoga Parkway from Chandler/Strasburg over to Avalon/Southmoor. The residents had concerns about crime infiltrating their neighbourhood from the south side of the expressway.
And here is the rest of the story not reported in the local media papers.
And here is the rest of the story not reported in the papers.
Council approved a tax increase of 1.6% just below inflation. Looks very good. However, when combined with the utilities which incudes storm water, water and sanitary sewer wastewater, the overall increase in 4.06%. Ouch!
In addition, Council also decided to give a grant of $300,000 to Communitech to continue on with their start up companies. We’ve been doing this for a number of years. Iain Klugman when he appeared at the Public Session of the Budget night stated all the glowing achievements that have been taking place in Communitech and the exponential growth with many companies in the tech area exploding here in Kitchener. Wow. Great.
The City of Kitchener has been growing at a steady rate since the formation of Regional government. Its growth has been outward with new subdivisions in the suburbs as well as upwards with tall apartment buildings.
There was a very strong apartment development in the 1970s when the baby boomer population was leaving home and wanting to live in a starter home usually an apartment building. Many apartments were built and some as high as 20 storeys at certain nodal points like around Fairview Park Mall as it was called then, the downtown and elsewhere throughout Kitchener.