Public Works Minutes Discussion
Mr. LeRoux presented a few details of the $8M ($5M with “other projects”) Winston Road reconstruction. Costs will be covered through Development Charges (92%), outside contributions ($1.3M) and $600K from the Town. Since DC’s won’t all be received at the time construction starts this June, short term borrowing will need to be put in place with interest payments charged back to DC’s. Potential of 5-8 years to recoup the costs in a “hot” market, and up to 20 years if things slow down (highly probable). Apparently Public Works does not expect too many “extras” and has set aside a small contingency ($100K) for possible overruns.
Winston Road will be reduced to one lane during the day and two lanes at night during construction from June through the end of November. Windward at North Service Road (Tim Horton’s) will see a new left-hand turn lane installed first.
Alderman Kadwell asked if the MTO was considering widening the two Casablanca-QEW ramps, which are one lane only currently, to accommodate the increased traffic. Mr. LeRoux noted that this would be a responsibility of the Town and not MTO, and would be dependent on the results of an ongoing traffic study the Town is undertaking in conjunction with the Region’s Livingston Ave and GO Hub modelling on traffic volume. Future plans call for new signalized intersections and tweaking of existing signalling at:
Existing – Casablanca/South Service Road
This Year – Windward/Winston & Casablanca/North Service Road
Future – Casablanca Toronto-bound Ramp, Casablanca Niagara-bound Ramp, Casablanca/Livingston.
Mr. LeRoux made a point of stating that the Lakehouse retail/office development would be built to the property line. Yet, we seem to recall at the Public Works meeting on Dec 14/16 that he mentioned the Lakehouse development would encroach into the roadway … trusting they got this right on the site plan and registration of title…
Watermain replacement tenders for Central Ave, Park Rd N (Outlet 27 CNR stormwater crossing), Kerman, Karen Cres, Lakeside Dr, have been awarded and the work will be commencing. Alderman Mullins asked if sidewalks could be installed concurrently. Mr. LeRoux stated that sidewalks have to be budgeted for and are not normally done at the same time. Central/Marlow is slated for full reconstruction next year. Nelles/Kennedy Rd sidewalks will be installed this year.
Planning & Development Committee Minutes Discussion
Alderman DiFlavio briefed Council on the Phelps Legacy (Central Ave) development and noted that the committee had deferred back to Planning to again discuss with the developer looping the interior roadways to accommodate fire access, regional waste pickup and snow removal. The Fire Chief had “suggested” sprinklers in every unit, but it is not a requirement – – Council could pass a by-law that requires sprinklers in units (2/3 storey) as long as the by-law requires more than the building code (can’t be less than).
The Park Road North (Tarbutt) development was sent back to the developer to reduce the number of units to 15 (from 18) to meet the Official Plan zoning/density for the site.
GEDAC Minutes Discussion
Alderman Seaborn noted that reps from the Town of St. Thomas had done a “mystery shopper” information gathering visit. They provided feedback which noted positives about downtown: nice arch, highly welcoming community, good parking, clean streets and storefronts, interesting architecture. Negatives: no transit/bus shelters, sidewalks not accessible, and lack of way-finding signage. The committee will be looking at better ways to encourage self-promotion, tourism and way-finding signage. This has been brought up many times over the years and we’re hoping this time it generates steam and moves forward.
By-laws (Noise, Nuisance and other annoying stuff)
A number of by-laws were updated with new short form wording that is supposed to be specific enough to allow on the spot ticketing by police and by-law officers. The Attorney General must adopt these amendments for them to be enforceable. See our previous post on this, “James Bond not wanted”.
If you have a swimming pool, you will definitely want to read the by-law changes.
Fort Erie submitted a letter to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health to state their case that the community cannot wait another 6 years for a new Niagara South hospital to be built. Alderman Mullins and Kadwell requested of the Mayor that Council draft a similar letter emphasizing the urgency for the West Lincoln Memorial rebuild to be moved up. Mayor Bentley was not sure of the value of another letter and noted that in-person meetings with the Ministers were more effective. Following discussion it was agreed that Town staff would draft a similar letter.
Heritage Designation of Grimsby Secondary School
A by-law was passed to confirm the designation of Grimsby SS under the Ontario Heritage Act. Although no final decisions on the property or building have been made, this allows the Town a window of opportunity to discuss saving heritage features with a developer prior to demolition. More information on the heritage designation process can be found at:
Alderman Johnston noted she was disappointed an update on the status of the bio-digester was not on the agenda as per her request at the last Council meeting. Mayor Bentley looking a little uncomfortable, stated that an update was provided two months ago and Aldermen had an opportunity to visit the site at any time. When pressed, he said he would ask for an update.
Alderman Kadwell congratulated the citizens on their successful OMB appeal against a new home build at 155 Main Street West where 32% lot coverage was proposed where the zoning is 15%, in addition to a request for additional height. This area is part of the Old Grimsby Cultural Heritage Landscape and abuts a designated heritage home, the “White House”. He noted this is a good news story where “regular folks” can make an impact when these types of developments just don’t fit. He also supported Alderman Johnston’s request for an update on the bio-digester, considering the upcoming provincial May 25 deadline, and looks forward to seeing it on the June 5 Council agenda.
He also inquired if Southward Park has been completed and is ready for recreational use. Mayor Bentley stated that June 3 is the official opening date.
Regional Councillor Quirk commented that Grimsby was the only municipality that did not submit a CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) proposal and missed out for funding this year. Mayor Bentley noted that Public Works has benefited from this program recently (Lake St), is very busy, and will be applying again in the future.
He noted that the Region has established a GO project management office and has approval to staff it.
The traffic study for a proposed crosswalk at Elm and Gibson will be brought to the Public Works meeting in June.
The Region is reviewing its Brownfield Incentives policies and was approached by the builder of the Fifth Wheel site (Losani) to be “grandfathered” (apply old policies, where there may be a loss of benefit in the new policy). They will be further clarifying with the developer to ensure there is no confusion or lack of certainty. The amount of grant money available is sometimes tied to other municipal goals. Grimsby provides a 100% development charge exemption for buildings which obtain LEED certification or three of five Region of Niagara Smart Growth principles. Otherwise, the eligible exemption is for only 50% of development charges payable. We’re not sure what that means… if Losani is in line for some big cleanup cost/development charge breaks… watch for more details. Very interesting reading on the Town/Region’s Brownfield policies on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website:
The Town of Lincoln has put forward a new Community Improvement Plan (CIP) which drills down to property specific details. Usually CIP incentives are on a first-come, first-served basis, so this is a unique perspective. This may open the door for Grimsby to further refine its CIP policies.
A new by-law on Illegal dumping provides for charges to be laid if the source of the garbage can be identified (ie. bills or personal information found in the garbage). Crimestoppers is another tool being used to report and identify suspected violators.
The Transportation Steering Committee is reviewing “way-finding” within municipalities and the Pelham chair is committed to making this a priority (see our note above on GEDAC).
The OMB reform legislation “green paper” will be introduced this month with some significant changes to the way that OMB appeals will be handled. Councillor Quirk noted that it proposes to prohibit appeals of policy instruments that support development around protected major transit station areas, such as GO Train stations and subway stops. He made a point of saying, “within 500m all bets are off, for example, the Fifth Wheel property”, with regards to density and height. A synopsis of the proposed changes can be found at:
Truck traffic issues on Wolverton and Park Rd are being targeted with a greater police presence. Residents are encouraged to continue to report violations.
Alderman Kadwell inquired as to the status of readiness for the Grimsby GO train station and possible extension to Niagara Falls in time for the 2021 summer games (NF is scheduled for 2023). Councillor Quirk noted that the Region is removing all obstacles so that if the province can move the project forward faster, the Region can respond with “yes, we’ve already done that”. He stated that there are no physical restrictions to get Grimsby fast tracked and that the Confederation station is also on track.