Okay, it’s time to get back to regular town business with the boundary adjustment proposal officially dead, and no signs that there will be any last minute miracles with the 2012 budget. With the big things pretty much out of the way, except of course for the Parry Sound Power Gen project (it’s a secret, no wait it’s a surprise), some of the less critical issues will get considerable attention and create some friction. The two bigger issues that come to mind after reading the upcoming meeting package are the rezoning of 9A Belvedere to permit in-fill development, and the salt on the Smelter Wharf. More on these issues below. But of course the big item to be approved this week is the property tax rate increase for 2012.
Interesting and Notable Agenda Items
Item 2.1.1 concerns a public meeting held just prior to the regular council meeting to discuss a rezoning of 66 Emily Street. The rezone will permit the development of a duplex, semi-detached or single family dwelling on the site. It is currently zoned for a triplex. I don’t expect this will be a controversial issue.
Items 4.4, 4.5, 4.8 & 4.9 are all letters from town residents requesting that council not approve the rezoning of 9A Belvedere to permit in-fill development. They will be disappointed by council’s decision this week, see Item 10.4.1 below.
Item 4.7 is a letter of concern that Sifto, who lease the Smelter Wharf, is planning to leave salt on the dock for the duration of the summer. The Granite Harbour developers feel that this is in contravention of the lease agreement and has a negative impact on property values and the environment. This issue is addressed by a proposed direction to town staff in Item 9.4.3 below.
Item 9.4.1 is a resolution to approve subdividing the property at 18 Belvedere to permit a second residence to be constructed. This seems to be non-controversial and requires the removal or relocation of a garage structure that currently straddles the planned property line.
Item 9.4.3 is a resolution supporting the rezoning of portions of Louisa Street from Rural to Restricted Industrial Holding. This is unlikely to create any controversy. It relates to property on the southwest side of Louisa Street, just before Louisa takes a sharp turn when heading north west.
Item 9.4.3 is a direction to staff to monitor that the storage of salt at the Smelter Wharf be in compliance with the current lease agreement. Apparently the lease with Sifto to inventory salt at the Smelter Wharf allows them to maintain bulk salt on a certain portion of the wharf all year round. For the winter season, starting September 14th, this area expands to cover essentially the whole of the wharf. Consistent with the letter noted in Item 4.7, this direction will ensure that salt storage does not impinge on the “Public Area”. As a side note, the town received about $75,000 in 2011 for the use of the wharf by Sifto. This is an issue that’s worth revisiting as part of the 2012 and 2013 budgets.
Item 10.4.1 is a resolution permitting the rezoning of 9A Belvedere to permit in-fill development. The council package has a lengthy and well-written analysis of the situation. There are many more issues involved than I certainly understood, and I believe the local residents understand. I suggest anyone interested in the matter head to the town hall or the library to read the analysis and recommendation. I would also suggest that anyone potentially facing the prospect of in-fill development in his or her neighbourhood consider purchasing the property in question to prevent such development. The current town plan and provincial regulations make it difficult for the town to arbitrarily reject development that increases density and makes better use of existing infrastructure.
Item 10.5.1 is the tax increase. It will be voted upon at this meeting. See my earlier posts or press reports for further information. It’s a done deal.
Item 10.6.1 is a by-law confirming the proceedings of the March 5th, 2012 Parry Sound Hydro Corporation board of directors meeting. The attached minutes are a work of art in how they convey little or no information about their operations that might be of value of the taxpayers of Parry Sound.
These are the key issues to be covered on Tuesday; the agenda lists a number of additional items that may be of some interest to you, here is a link to the latest agenda. Take a look. I will be at the meeting.