Council is back in Chambers for their first regular meeting under the “Committee of the Whole System” aka COTW. If you aren’t familiar with COTW, essentially the old Committees have been dissolved and now all of Council will consider most matters together.
Their first agenda is quite full, 408 pages worth of material to be considered and as with any new change in governance structure, there may be a bit of a learning curve with the new Procedural By-Law that was passed earlier this week.
Let’s dig in!
Niagara Power Incorporated General Meeting
Unlike previous Council which kept most hydro dealings out of public eyes, Council will be holding a corporate general meeting for Niagara Power Incorporated in a public session. In pursuit of Council’s priority of openness and transparency, it is good that these meetings will now be open to public scrutiny. The agenda, linked at the end of the post, contains some of the material to be considered at the AGM.
If you live on/near Magnolia Crescent or Elizabeth Street, there is some upcoming changes to street parking to improve road safety
Land Surplus Review
Town Staff have proposed four Town owned properties as surplus and are recommending their sale. The most significant property on the list is the North-East quadrant of land that sits nestled between the QEW, Casablanca Boulevard and North Service Road/Winston Road. The site is just across the road from the former “Fifth Wheel” property, denoted by the “star” below.
That parcel of land has a long history in that it was never properly transferred to the Town from the Province/Region. This paperwork is apparently still underway but it will eventually be in the possession of the Town. Now what should and will happen to this land?
Flashback to 2018 when the GO Train Station Secondary Plan (GTSSP) was being put forth by the Town’s Planning Department who wanted then-Council to designate this area as “Mixed Use – High Density”. A member of the Planning Committee at the time remarked that area “should not have that pimple in it”, meaning another tall building.
At a February 20, 2018 meeting, then-resident and former GCFRG contributor Dorothy Bothwell made her case for this parcel before the previous Council. As this site noted:
“Dorothy Bothwell appeared as a delegation to speak regarding the northeast quadrant parcel and height bonusing. In addition to the comments provided in the agenda package, she reaffirmed that the parcel within the Winston Secondary Plan following extensive public engagement, had been identified in the 2014 Waterfront Master Plan as public beach access “green” parking and should be protected as Town property. Once public lands are gone, there is no recouping them. Sharing beach access parking with high rise condominium developments (Losani) with interior on-road parking as suggested by Planning staff, will not work.”GCFRG Notes: Council – february 20, 2018
Here is the relevant excerpt from the consultant’s study:
As a result, the parcel was not included in the GTSSP.
Now, despite the recommendations in the Waterfront Master Plan which was an extensive study conducted by outside consultants, Town Staff is recommending that this parcel be sold and developed with part of the rationale being:
“This particular parcel, although in the vicinity of the public waterfront area, is not viewed as a preferred location for parkland or parking for parkland.”TOWN OF GRIMSBY STAFF REPORT PRO20-01
If the crowds and parking issues this summer at Grimsby beaches are any indication of future trends, then the analysis method used to arrive at the above statement might need to be re-worked.
Keep it or sell it? If you want to make your opinions known, feel free to contact your Ward Councillors at this link here.
Losani / Fifth Wheel Redevelopment
The massive development (1,287 units, up to 22 storeys) proposed for the Fifth Wheel lands by Losani Homes will lay before Council who will make a decision on whether it goes ahead as proposed, denied in full or sent back to the drawing board for further refinement.
There is too much material to cover in a post, so you can read the developer’s Powerpoint and this link here and the Town Planning Report recommending Council give it’s approval at this link here.
Didn’t have the opportunity to speak at any of the public meetings and want to make your views known? Contact your Ward Councillors at this link here.
Watch via Live Stream
With Town Hall still closed to the public, your options to watch the meeting are via the Town’s Live Stream at https://vimeo.com/grimsbycouncilchambers or the GCFRG simulcast on Facebook Live.
Although the meeting will start at 5:30 PM on Monday, if you only want to watch the Fifth Wheel matter, it is towards the end of the agenda.
You can find the full meeting agenda at this link here.