Here are no surprise decisions reported in the minutes of last week’s council meeting. A few notes on the minutes:
2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment Z/20/03 – 9 Church Street.
This item received a little more attention than I thought it would. I expect that it will be approved.
7.2. – Minutes of Settlement – School Board.
This relates to the Town’s opposition of the French School’s temporary location at Canadore. I have no idea what was settled but the Town was arguably out of line in their opposition to the School’s original request. I think the Town should release the settlement agreement for public review. Town of Parry Sound Staff and Council work for us, they should not be permitted to ‘bury’ their mistakes. We all need to learn from them. There is no obvious issue of confidentiality for individuals. If Council screwed up and a settlement was required we need to know about it. Council, for all of the civility and openness they project have a habit of hiding things. There have been other settlements in the past that would reflect poorly on them. They need to ‘own’ their decisions, good and bad. That this is a pervasive issue is reflected in the Closed Meeting Report (9.1.1).
9.1.3 – Delegation to AMO.
This is strange. It seems that the Town wants to be removed from the area Planning Board (9.1.3 – by removing the Town of Parry Sound from the Parry Sound and Area Planning Board) for reasons that are not clarified in the agenda report or minutes of the meeting. This is another one of those ‘hide and seek’ approaches used by Staff and Council where the reports, if included, do not outline the reasoning and need for the recommended action.
b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees, (applications for Fence Viewers);
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board, (Minutes of Settlement – Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario);
f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, (Minutes of Settlement – Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario).
Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof
1.4.1 – Councillor Keith Declared Pecuniary Interest on item 9.1.3, as she is Chair of the Parry Sound Area Planning Board, receives remuneration, and is therefore not able to vote on a resolution which calls for delegating at the AMO Conference to remove Parry Sound from the Planning Board.
1.4.1 – Councillor Horne Declared Pecuniary Interest on item 9.1.3, as he is a member of the Planning Board, receives remuneration, and is therefore not able to vote on a resolution which calls for delegating at the AMO Conference to remove Parry Sound from the Planning Board.
Neither member participated in discussion nor voted on the matter.
2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment Z/20/03 – 9 Church Street ((Matt Ryan on behalf of Oleg Gromov) to amend C1 zone to permit a mixed use commercial and residential building.
Council held a public meeting to consider a proposed Zoning By-law amendment under Sections 34 of the Planning Act, as amended. After the Mayor adjourned the regular meeting and declared the public meeting open, the Clerk advised that notice had been given by prepaid first-class mail to the required prescribed agencies and property owners within 120 metres, posted on the property and placed on the Town’s website.
Manager of Planning & Building Services Taylor Elgie advised that the proposed Zoning By-Law amendment would amend the C1 zone to permit a mixed use commercial and residential building. Ten residential units are proposed above the main floor commercial space with the following specific exemptions included: increasing the maximum height from 10.5 metres to 18 metres; reducing the rear yard setback from 6 metres to 3 metres; providing an exemption to the cumulative residential floor area cap; requiring a minimum of ten underground parking spaces; and reducing the minimum parking space size from 3 metres by 6 metres to 2.79 metres by 6 metres.
Matt Ryan, on behalf of the owner and architect located in Italy, responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in favour of the proposed Zoning By-law amendment. Mr. Ryan noted that this innovative building will be built of cross laminated timber construction which is meant to be a showcase for Mr. Gromov ‘s manufacturing facility of cross laminated timber north of Parry Sound. Mr. Ryan said that he believed the development fits the Town’s Official Plan, as it focuses development within the central business district and strengthens the central business district as a prime location to live and work where services are readily available. Mr. Ryan noted that this is not new development on a green field site, but rather is re-development on a brown field site. Mr. Ryan expressed the opinion that there is a need to build higher density housing to help address effects of climate change and reduce dependence on the automobile. Projects like this are an important step in building and creating liveable, walkable communities.
Brenda Tabobondung responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in opposition to the proposed Zoning By-law amendment. Ms. Tabobondung said that the proposed multi- level structure will be out of character with the rest of the single-family residences in the neighbourhood. It will increase the need for parking; with more on street parking in summer and winter, it will be dangerous for sight lines if backing out of the driveway in addition to the problem of snow-banks. The size of the building will block light on the south side of her building. It will be a big building like the one on River Street, which looks out of place in relation to adjacent structures in the area.
Mr. Elgie advised that he had received the following three letters with regards to this matter.
From Al Downing, a letter of opposition citing that the proposed development would be almost doubling the height and rear yard set-backs, and he noted concerns with the location of commercial parking. Mr. Downing purchased 7 Church Street and made it into a parking lot to accommodate parking required for his apartment buildings. Mr. Downing reported that neither he nor his tenants wanted a 60′ high apartment building looking down into his apartments.
From Nikeeta Tabobondung, a letter of opposition and concerns
From Michael Reeves owner of 43 and 45 Seguin St, a letter of support
The Mayor advised that Council, at its discretion may approve the proposed Zoning By- law amendment and if so, must either circulate notice of passing of the by-law or give notice in the local press. Objections to the passing of the by-law will be received by the Clerk within 20 days from the date such notice is given, which objections will be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. If an appeal is submitted and the appellant has not provided Council with an oral or written submission before the passing of the by-law, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal may choose to dismiss the appeal.
Questions of Staff
3.2.1 – In response to a question from Mayor McGarvey regarding the reporting of COVID-19 stats, Director of Development & Protective Services Dave Thompson reported that COVID-19 cases are reported within the District Health Unit of the patient’s permanent residence, therefore the number of reported cases in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit may be lower than the actual number of cases that are currently being tended to in the area. This is standard across the province, and may be of concern, because it doesn’t give the public accurate information on what is going on in the area. If a case is in the area that is being reported through another health unit, that health unit does contact other health units to follow up with contact tracing as necessary.
Direction(?) – That staff be directed to draft for the Mayor’s signature a letter to the Premier and Deputy Premier, (who is also the Minister of Health) to express the Town’s concerns regarding the system of publishing statistics for communicable diseases including COVID-19 cases between District Health Units, and inquire as to what can be done to correct the situation.
3.2 – In response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry regarding potential grant application for Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program for the Isabella Street crossing previously identified as unsafe in a delegation to Council, Director of Finance Stephanie Phillips noted that more research may be required as an initial look at the application criteria indicates that funding does not seem to deal with road conditions at the rail line.
Director of Public Works Mike Kearns responded with a commitment on behalf of himself and Ms. Phillips to take a closer look at the grant program to determine whether the rail crossing at Isabella Street could fit into the eligibility criteria.
3.3 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding pavement line painting, Mr. Kearns reported that Town staff looks after turn lanes, while the majority of pavement lines are completed by a third party contractor, and it is not unreasonable to expect that the job could be completed by the end of the month.
4.1 – Lori McDonald, Director of Corporate Services/Clerk, Town of Bracebridge. Resolution of support to lobby provincial government for financial assistance to support municipalities in offsetting the financial impact of the COVID-10 pandemic.
Resolution for consideration under item 9.5.1 on the agenda.
Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda
7.1. – Appointment of Fence Viewers.
Resolution 2020 – 059
That the following be appointed as Fence Viewers to the end of Council’s term November 30, 2022: staff members Taylor Elgie, Allison Kreuger, Forrest Pengra; and members of the public Wyatt Gray, Ray Hachigian and Lee-Ann Turner.
7.2. – Minutes of Settlement – School Board.
By-law 2020 -7051
Being a By-law to authorize the execution of Minutes of Settlement with Natalie Davis, Denis Labelle et Conseil scolaire public du nord-est de l’Ontario regarding the École élémentaire publique de Parry Sound.
Passed, Signed & Sealed.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Closed Meeting Investigation Report 8.
That Council receives the Closed Meeting Investigation Report attached as Schedule A.
9.1.2 – Appointment of Mayor & Council Member as Shareholder Representatives to Lakeland Shareholders.
Resolution 2020 – 061
That pursuant to Section 3.7 of the Lakeland Shareholders Agreement, Council of the Town of Parry Sound appoints Mayor Jamie McGarvey, and as alternate, Councillor _____________________________ as Shareholder Representative for purposes of providing any consent or approval required by the Lakeland Shareholders Agreement or by the Business Corporations Act, for the term of Council ending November 30, 2022, or until such time as new members are appointed.
The following amendment was proposed.
That Councillor Borneman be appointed as the alternate Shareholder Representative in Mayor McGarvey’s absence.
Carried as amended
9.1.3 – Delegation to AMO.
Resolution 2020 – 062
That Council endorse the list of delegation topics at the AMO 2020 Virtual Conference per the attached report.
9.1.4 – Employee Food Drive.
Resolution 2020 – 063
That Council receive the report on the Employee Food Drive for information purposes.
9.2.1 – 2019 Annual Investment Report.
Resolution 2020 – 064
That Council accepts the 2019 Annual Investment Report attached as Schedule A, in accordance with Town’s Investment Policy.
9.2.2 – Municipal Modernization Program Project Deliverable Extension.
Resolution 2020 – 065
WHEREAS COVID-19 and Provincial Emergency Orders have impacted resources, the supply of services, and the ordinary course of businesses in general
NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED THAT the Council of The Town of Parry Sound hereby requests the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing to extend the deadline for the Third-Party Reviewers Report under the Municipal Modernization Program to March 31st, 2021;
THAT Council requests that the other corresponding reporting deadlines for the Interim Progress Report and the Draft of the Independent Third-Party Reviewer’s Report also be extended, and
THAT Council authorize the CAO to retain the appropriate consulting services to expedite the process and report to Council at a future date for ratification.
The following amendment was proposed:
That the words “that the publishing of the final report be on the town’s website, and…” be inserted as new paragraph 4.
The amended resolution was voted on:
Carried as amended
9.3.1 RFQ – Sewer Flushing and Cleaning.
Resolution 2020 – 066
That Council accept the quotation from Municipal Sewer Services Inc. in the amount of $30,962.00, HST included, for sewer flushing and cleaning of approximately 7,700 metres of sanitary sewer and camera inspection and georeferencing of approximately 5,800 metres of sanitary sewer, this quotation being the lowest of three (3) quotations received.
9.4.1 – Temporary Patio Permissions for Restaurants During COVID-19.
Resolution 2020 – 067
Whereas in response to COVID-19, the Province of Ontario had limited the food and drink industry;
Whereas on June 8, 2020 the Province has reduced these restrictions and is permitting new patios or temporary additions to patios to provide more opportunities to local businesses while protecting health and safety, subject to municipal requirements; and
Whereas the Council for the Town of Parry Sound recognizes the need to support local businesses while protecting human health and safety during COVID-19.
Now Therefore be it Resolved that the Council for the Town of Parry Sound supports the Province’s goal of temporarily permitting new and larger patios to assist local restaurants and other licensed establishments until January 1, 2021; and further
That provided any new or expanded patio is on the Licensee’s property, the Town’s Zoning By-law and Site Plan Agreements will not apply to the temporary patio; and further
That any fees be waived for Sidewalk Patio Program until January 1, 2021.
The following direction was proposed
Direction for staff follow-up.
That staff be directed to explore with other stakeholders including the DBA, on how the Town can support the sidewalk patio program potentially through programs such as the façade program.
9.5.1 Establish Municipal Financial Assistance Program per FMC Recommendations.
Resolution 2020 – 068
WHEREAS the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) issued a report titled “Protecting Vital Municipal Services” on April 23, 2020 which included recommendations to the federal government to provide financial assistance for municipalities across the country;
AND WHEREAS the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) recognizes that a collaborative federal-provincial effort is required to provide much needed financial assistance to municipalities and their May 14, 2020 letter (attached) to the Prime Minister and the Premier urges Canada and Ontario to extend their successful collaboration through financial support for municipalities;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Town of Parry Sound joins the Town of Bracebridge in supporting the FCM recommendation and requests that both the Federal and Provincial Governments establish a municipal financial assistance program to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
AND FURTHER THAT the Town of Parry Sound supports the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in lobbying the Provincial Government for financial assistance to support Municipalities in offsetting the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
AND FURTHER THAT this resolution be forwarded to the Honorable Steve Clark, Minister, Municipal Affairs and Housing, local Member of Parliament (MP) and local Member of the Ontario Legislature (MPP), FCM, AMO and its member municipalities, and municipalities in the Districts of Parry Sound and Muskoka.
10.2.1 – Claw Back Percentages for 2020 Property Taxes.
By-Law 2020 – 7049
Being a By-law to Specify the “Claw-back Percentages” in Respect of Properties in the Commercial Class for 2020 Taxation Year.
Passed, Signed & Sealed.