The new year starts off with two committee meetings this week, Admin & Finance and Planning & Development. The content may not be meaty, but there are always a few good tidbits hiding in these meetings.
Monday, January 8 – Admin & Finance Committee Agenda
- The Fire Safety Plans for the Carnegie Building have been updated to reflect the recently completed renovations.
- Since the 2018 budget has not yet been finalized, the Municipal Act allows the Town to calculate interim tax levy instalments based on 50% of the prior years’ levy. The due dates will be March 2 and May 4.
- A number of property tax write-offs (one big one is the Fifth Wheel property, due to the partial demolition in 2016).
- The Town is consolidating all the municipal user fees and charges into one bylaw (and repealing all the previous old bylaws) to provide an easily accessible single point of access (through links on the various department websites) for the consumers of Town services. User fee schedules include: ANIMAL CONTROL; BUILDING; BY-LAW ENFORCEMENT; BY-LAW ENFORCEMENT- POA; CEMETERIES; CLERKS; COMMITTEE OF ADJUSTMENT; FINANCE; FIRE SERVICES; GRIMSBY REGIONAL TRAINING CENTRE; PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT; PUBLIC WORKS; RECREATION FACILITY RENTALS; RECREATION PROGRAMMING; LIBRARY; ART GALLERY; MUSEUM; WATER.As we mentioned in a previous post, some penalties seem to date back to issues of the 60’s. Here are a few examples worth the read:
$150 – Shouting, yelling hooting, whistling or singing (editor: no more Christmas carolers or hockey win celebrations)
$150 – Make unusual noise or noises likely to disturb inhabitants (editor: ie. no flatulence in public)
$150 – Attempt to knock over a blue box (editor: if only we could charge Mother Nature Wind for this one)
- A number of new Finance fees and charges are also proposed for setting up new tax accounts, changing tax account ownership, and moving overdue water accounts to property tax recovery.
Tuesday, January 9 – Planning & Development Committee Agenda
27 John Street – Zoning Amendment
This zoning amendment is to change the property at 27 John St (Brite Developments Inc) from Neighbourhood Development (ND) to Residential Multiple 1 with site specific exceptions (RM1). Currently the site is approved for 40 stacked townhomes, in three buildings, each three storeys in height. This is the same builder of the RISE condos at 39 Robinson St N (at John). The site will require extensive remediation and “the applicant may be eligible for active incentive programs”.
The report explains the shared parking proposed:
“The proposed parking compliment of 63 parking spaces for 40 units exceeds the minimum requirement of 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit. However, 18 of the parking spaces will be exclusively for 9 units (garage and tandem spaces at Building ‘A’). That leaves 45 spaces for the remaining 31 units which is a rate of 1.45 spaces per unit. It is staff’s opinion that this is adequate considering that some of the 9 exterior tandem spaces at Building ‘A’ will be used by visitors of those units and the future availability of 6 to 7 on street parking spaces abutting the site on Robinson Street North and John Street. The maximization of available shared parking in multi-unit developments is an important consideration in staff’s opinion. It is therefore recommended that the amending zoning by-law include a requirement of a minimum of 0.45 shared visitor parking spaces per unit.”
Dec 12 GO Transit Station Secondary Plan – Public Meeting Minutes
If you attended this meeting, please review these posted minutes. No word yet on when Planning will call the next public meeting.
OMB Decision – 560 North Service Road (LJM Waterview Phase II)
After a year of intense research and preparation for this appeal, we are disappointed with the outcome but rewarded in knowing that we raised some key concerns regarding the accuracy of information provided by Planning staff to Council.
The actual OMB decision does not adequately detail our three days of examination of the Town’s planner and hired planner or outline our arguments regarding the 2014 Secondary Plan, Waterfront Master Plan, compatibility issues and heights and transitions established for this neighbourhood.
To it’s credit, the decision does recognize that when we presented the Region’s Official Plan Amendment (ROPA 8-2013) for Grimsby’s greenfield phasing target, the Town’s planner did not know that the Region had set the Town’s target at 390 units (to 2031 build out) and that this target had already been significantly exceeded some 15 years ahead of schedule.
Regardless of the outcome, we stand by the position that it is NOT good planning to put a 15-storey building in a medium density neighbourhood zoned for 6 storeys, next to two storey townhomes.
When high density 12-storey height maximums become 18 and 20 after “bonusing’ and “let’s-make-a-deal planning” collide with extensive public engagement and consultant’s reports that set a neighbourhood vision that is affirmed by the community and Council as an “official plan” – an expectation, a promise to the community – is broken.
Yes, the Province is demanding growth and intensification. Yes, Grimsby has to keep moving forward. A new GO Transit Station Secondary Plan is in draft (as per our previous post here) and every neighbourhood in Grimsby will be facing infill intensification. YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD COULD/WILL BE IMPACTED.
If you are interested in knowing more about the OMB decision and our position, please feel free to privately message us.
For those who may be new readers living in the Lakehouse development or other new developments in the area, we urge you to contact Town Hall and ask what is being planned around your new residence, you might be surprised what Council has already approved for your area before you could even have a say.
Be informed. Be involved. Be vocal for what your community really wants.
Don’t settle for the status quo, the old “we’ve always done it this way” or let developers call the shots in your neighbourhood.
Be sure to VOTE for change in October, 2018.