The Tuesday night meeting lasted until just a little past 10:00, and there was little time wasted. All-in-all the meeting was informative and arguably entertaining. Come on out and take a meeting in. Why watch it on ‘tape delay’ when you can catch it live? Unlike attending a Maple Leafs game, at Parry Sound Council meetings the home team never loses.

Key Points – Questions of Staff & Councillors Reports:

  1. Formal construction on Wakefield/Dufferin will start once Union Gas has completed some remedial construction.
  2. The Forest Street project will hopefully start by the end of July when necessary Provincial approvals are received.

2.1 – Open Meeting regarding the rezoning of 2 Avenue Road. This took a good 45 minutes with the applicant making a pitch for the allowance of a change from single-family residence to a duplex. The reason? Separate residences for her parents and herself and her fiancé. In opposition to the rezoning were a half dozen residents who felt that they have been consistently misled by the intentions of the owner to the detriment of the neighbourhood. What was originally agreed to by neighbours as a variance to permit an 1,100 sq. ft. home is now a 4,500 sq. ft. castle, and what was supposed to be a single-family dwelling is currently a multi-apartment building. Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice? No, not this time it seems.

A twist in the rezoning was raised in a short deputation by John Jackson, a planner, who noted that recent provincial regulations no longer permit a municipality to limit any area to single residence buildings. This is one of the Province’s approaches to addressing a housing shortage in the province. In theory at least the Town would need to permit the requested rezoning so long as the application met all other requirements regarding a second residence on the lot. Mr. Jackson did suggest that the Town had significant evidence to reject the request on the basis that the applicants do not have ‘clean hands’ and the building as it exists does not fulfill the terms of the original application and approval.

This is the residence that was the cause of an earlier Council discussion and decision on a surface water erosion issue. I expect Council will turn down the application. Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice – no we won’t give you the chance. But it’s not clear what will happen if the applicants choose to pursue the issue with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), but that will take months to play out and be resolved.

So if they turn it into a duplex will they have two separate water and electricity meters, or will they split the bill and save some money? There is an argument to be made for keeping it as a single family residence. What are they going to do with the boarders/renters/roomers when Mom and Dad arrive? There seem to be layers upon layers of obfuscation in this matter.

9.1.3 – Resolution. A cash in lieu of parking for 34 Seguin Street. [CARRIED] See my post of yesterday for a review of this issue.

9.2.1 – Resolution. Tender for the replacement of the fire hall retaining wall. [CARRIED] There was some discussion but it seems Council has accepted that it needs to be done regardless of the cost and the ‘injustice’ of the situation.

9.3.1 – Resolutions. Lot Drainage Isabella / Marion Streets.
– [WITHDRAWN] Shared costs 50/50 for drainage repair.
– [CARRIED] Any further issues regarding drainage issues will be considered a civil matter between the parties and not involve the Town.
– [CARRIED] The Town would investigate and make the necessary repairs and revisions required to solve the surface water problem at the Town’s expense.

This was another long discussion that went back and forth. I was impressed by Council. It seems most Councillors, if not all, had visited the site and understood the issue first hand. Their sense was that the problem arose from surface water running down the street from the Kristen Heights development that was previously not an issue because the empty lot at 47 Marion Street basically just ‘sucked up’ the overflow. Now that the lot was being developed, with necessary changes in elevation to suit the building site, the surface water problem was very obvious. Council in the end decided the Town would take the necessary steps to resolve the surface water issue and declare any remaining issues that might arise from grading changes a civil matter to be addressed by the effected parties. A reasonable decision based on doing the homework. Bravo.

9.5.2 – Resolution. Ice resurfacer, Bobby Orr Community Centre. [CARRIED] Not much discussion as time was short.

10.1.2 – By-law. Repeal of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DDMJ Construction. [CARRIED] Again not much discussion as 10:00 was seconds away.

A suggestion – set the clock in the Council Chambers to the correct time. It’s about 2 or 3 minutes fast. Not a big deal, but it means meetings might well start before the actual time (for example the Parry Sound Hydro Corporation AGM yesterday).

There was more. If you have three hours and a Cogeco cable TV subscription check it out. For the rest of you who weren’t there until the end on Tuesday night, that’s all of you (except certain Staff, all of Council, and James King from Moose-FM) check out the minutes and the original agenda at the Town of Parry Sound’s website for the background and the outcomes.

Water Runoff – Properly Managed (Parry Sound in Black & White)