Meetings Meetings Meetings

Good Thursday afternoon everyone.  Lots of meetings coming up that will be affecting residents in Wards 1, 6, 7 & 8 and its a lot to tweet so I thought this would be a good spot to post them all.

First off Union Gas is going to be holding an open house to discuss the expansion of the Hamilton to Milton pipeline that will run across Milton.

https://www.uniongas.com/HAMILTON-MILTON

union gas pipeline

From the UG website:

“Starting in early May 2016, Union Gas is constructing a 20 kilometre, 48-inch diameter steel natural gas pipeline through an existing corridor that already has three operating pipelines. Specifically, work will take place between the existing Union Gas Hamilton Valve Site (located near Highway 6 and Carlisle Road) and the existing Union Gas Milton Gate Station (located south of Derry Road between Ontario Street and Third Line).

Our planned construction completion is the end of October 2016, with restoration and clean up through to the summer of 2017.

We invite you to speak with Union Gas experts at our Neighbourhood Information Sessions in April about what to expect during construction and how to connect with our dedicated Community Liaison, Susan Cudahy, for assistance throughout the project.”

These information sessions are to be held tomorrow at the Milton Memorial Arena (on Thompson Rd beside the Centre for the Arts) starting at 5:30 pm to 9pm.  I will be attending this one as the next one is Saturday April 23rd at the Milton Sports Centre from 2pm to 5pm (Miranda is having her birthday party at that time)

If you have any questions, please let me know.

NEXT MEETING….future elementary school

On Monday April 25th at Milton Council meeting there will be a public meeting regarding lands located at Ferguson Drive and Louis St Laurent (south side immediately across from Craig Kielburger SS) to apply for re-zoning from FD (Future Development) to a site specific institutional Minor (1-A*XXX) zone for a future elementary school.

You can read the report here. 

This is the beginning stage of meetings and reports so no decision will be made and we value the public’s input on this.  If you have any questions, send me an email mike.cluett@milton.ca and I can let you know how you can speak at the meeting or I can forward your comments to staff.

AND finally, also at the April 25th Council meeting, staff will be presenting a report on the re-zoning application for the property 10180 Derry Road (Mattamy Sales Office) and recommending that it will be approved.  From what we have been told by the property owner, there arent any changes planned for the immediate future and it will remain a sales office for Mattamy Homes but changing the zoning now gives them options to when they do want to make changes.

10180 derry rdThe report can be found here.

The changes to the zoning can allow for the following permitted uses:

artist’s studio, bank, commercial school, convenience store, day nursery, dry cleaning depot, medical clinic, office use, personal service shop, restaurant, restaurant (take out) retail store, and veterinary clinic.

As the report says, the site will remain largely as it its exists in its current form, with some modifications to the parking layout to increase spaces as well as an addition right in/right out entrance onto Derry Road.

Again you can delegate at the committee meeting and say comments or ask questions or you can send them through me at my email address mike.cluett@milton.ca

 

Downtown Milton Condo Proposal

Much has been talked about recently with the proposal for a condominium development in downtown Milton.  Recently the Town had held a Public Information Centre (PIC) to discuss it as well as get feedback directly from Milton residents.

I, along with a number of town councillors, attended both sessions which had over 80 people come out both times.  The Milton Canadian Champion has done a good story on the development today, so please have a read.

There will be public meetings held at Milton Town Council in the future, so stay tuned to my social media feeds to find out the details.  We want to hear from residents not only in the downtown core, but from all over Milton.  One of the biggest issues we face as a municipality is the development and improvement of our downtown core.  Recently Milton Town Council has also finally launched our Downtown Improvement Study to address these very concerns.  What will our downtown look like in the future?  How can we improve the quality of life in downtown?  We need to address a number of concerns to help breath life into our downtown core and public input is vital towards that process.

I think we can agree that something needs to be done in our downtown core.  Where the challenges lie is in the details.  Opinions range from total opposition to any kind of development in the downtown core to those who would like to see these kinds of changes made.  This is where we as a community need to come forward and have our say.

When council approved the recent downtown study several weeks ago, I remarked that we have to go about this with an open mind.  We all agree something needs to be done.  Business owners tell me that downtown Milton needs “feet on the street” to become vibrant.  We as a town and as a community need to come to a compromise and set a plan and move forward.  This will be very challenging and decisions wont be made hastily.  But we need to do something so I hope that everyone in Milton will take part in these discussions.

Here is the link to the article below from Melanie Hennessy at the Milton Canadian Champion.

Milton Canadian Champion

The downtown Milton skyline may soon look very different if plans for a twin tower condo are given the green light.

A group of numbered companies has put forward its plans for a condominium development consisting of an 18-storey west tower and 13-storey east tower with a combined 190 units on lands that front onto Mill and Main streets, west of Martin Street. The proposal also calls for almost 570 square metres of space for businesses that would be accessed from Main Street.

In order for the development to proceed, a number of approvals are needed, including one from Conservation Halton, as the lands fall within a regulatory floodplain.

The proposal was recently the subject of two public open houses, with each drawing about 80 people, said Town Director of Planning and Development Barb Koopmans.

“They were very well-attended,” she said, noting, “The purpose of the open houses was to make sure clear information is available on the proposal, not gauge public sentiment.”

Residents will soon have a chance to make their voices heard at a Town public meeting on the plans. A date has yet to be set, but it’s expected to take place this spring (details will be posted at www.milton.ca, and those who attended the open houses will be notified).

Following that, Town staff will complete its evaluation of the plans and comments received. They will bring a report to council with a recommendation to approve or deny the proposal.

The developer will also need to receive a permit and approval from Conservation Halton to proceed in a regulatory floodplain. The application will be subject to the Province’s “One Zone” concept, which treats an entire floodplain as one unit and restricts or prohibits development.

With two levels of above ground parking proposed for the base of each building, plus a mechanical penthouse on top of the structures to house equipment, the west tower will actually appear equivalent to a 20-storey building, while the east tower will look like a 15-storey structure.

To make way for the development, two Main Street and four Mill Street buildings would have to be demolished, including the Mill Street Coin Laundry, Bumpr’s Restaurant and the building located immediately west of the eatery, which is currently on the Town’s Heritage List.

The proposal comes at a time when the Town is undertaking a Downtown Study that’s examining the current state of Milton’s core and identifying opportunities for revitalization and redevelopment. Town staff is currently conducting a market analysis and anticipates bringing an interim report to council this spring.

“The completion of the study will be critical for the technical review of the (condominium) applications,” according to a fact sheet from the Town’s Planning and Development department.

The plans call for 190 parking spaces for those who live in the buildings, including 164 resident spots and 29 visitor spaces, spread over two storeys of above-ground parking that would be accessed from Main Street.

But the Town’s zoning bylaw currently requires a ratio of 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit, plus an additional 0.5 spaces for designated visitor parking. Based on this, the buildings would require 285 parking spots to service the residents, plus an additional 48 visitor spaces.

Public parking with access points on Mill Street and a total of 132 spaces has also been proposed.

The town must approve Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments before the project is given the green light. Current zoning of the lands permits a maximum building height of four storeys.

Along with its application, the developer has submitted a variety of studies to the Town, including reports on air quality, heritage impact, noise feasibility and traffic impact. The municipality is awaiting the submission of an urban design brief, shadow impact study and tree preservation plan.

For more information, including copies of the studies, visit www.milton.ca/en/Build/DMOldMilton.asp#MillStreet.

Next Step In Regional Representation Review

Halton Region MapDuring the last election campaign I spoke to many residents in Milton about the importance of “Fairness For Milton.” You can read those ideas here.

Recently the Region passed a notice of motion to ask Halton municipalities (Milton, Oakville, Burlington & Halton Hills) to provide a report on their support for changes to the make up of regional council.

Right now the make up is as follows:

Oakville (7)

Burlington (7)

Halton Hills (3)

Milton (3)

The additional member is the Regional Chair Gary Carr and he is elected across Halton.

This coming Monday, Milton Town Council will be discussing a staff report ES 15-15 to review our ideas and options to bring to Halton Region.

You can find a link to that staff report here (its 15 pages long, but still an excellent read)  Milton staff report highlights a number of different options, including one to move to weighted voting where each municipality has a number of votes based on its population.  I’ll discuss more in a later blog.

Once this is approved by Milton Town Council, the report will be forwarded to Halton Region staff and await the other municipalities reports.  If 3 of 4 Halton municipalities agree that changes are needed, the process moves forward.

There is a time frame needed in order to make these changes before the next election.  If nothing is done or agreed to by Halton Regional council by 2017, it would be impossible to make the changes before October 2018 which is the next municipal election.

Have a look at the report and let me know what you think.

Good News Bad News Day for Milton

If you’ve been following the news recently, yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster for Milton.

downloadEarlier in the day we found out that CN, despite its assertions to the contrary, must apply to the Canadian Transport Agency (CTA) for approval of their proposed intermodal in Milton.

What does this mean? It means that it isn’t going to be smooth sailing as they thought it would be.  In the grand scheme of things it means it’s another hurdle CN must climb before anything is approved.

You can read about the decision here (Inside Halton/Milton Canadian Champion – Rachael Williams)  Further to that, there is a decision pending to see if CN has to complete a full environmental assessment with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) as part of their plans.  If this is ordered by the CEAA, CN will have yet another hurdle to overcome before anything happens with the intermodal facility.

Is it good news for Milton? Yes it is.  It goes with what Halton Region municipalities have been asking for since day one.  Follow the process any other developer would have to follow in Milton.  Is it perfect? Not at all, but it shows CN that they simply can not make assumptions and they do indeed need to follow a process.

There’s the “good news” for Milton.  Now, to the bad.

mevAfter close to 8 years of planning by the Town of Milton, Halton Region and Laurier University, the Province of Ontario made a decision for a new location of a university campus.  It wasn’t Milton.

The Province announced yesterday that the City of Markham (the municipality that tried for an NHL arena without a franchise) was the winner and approved a new York University / Seneca College campus beating out 12 others including Milton – which was considered a favourite – and Barrie.

You can read about this decision here (Inside Halton/Milton Canadian Champion – Rachael Williams)  Dr Max Blouw, who is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurier University, stated that they will indeed re-submit the proposal to the Province of Ontario in 2016.  The small sliver of a silver lining is that all is not done with new university campuses in Ontario.  They did say that in spring 2016 there will be another bid process opened up and the Milton Education Village has another shot.

I spoke of roadblocks earlier and this is one for Laurier University and the Town of Milton’s plans for the Education Village – located at Tremaine Road from Derry Road to Britannia Road – and potential economic development along with much needed job opportunities for Milton.  The Education Village, along with the Derry Green Corporate Business Park, is one of the keys to job growth and success in the Town of Milton.

In a press release by the Town of Milton (see here) we have committed to forge ahead with these plans and continue our advocacy with the Province to approve this campus.  Laurier University along with Dr Max Blouw willl press on and resubmit their proposal in the spring of 2016.

The question remains is this.  Why not Milton? Milton being the fastest growing municipality in Canada, is a prime location in the GTA for a university campus.  It has the full support of all parties involved including the Town, Halton Region and Laurier University along with their future partners.  The land is ready, available and serviceable.  There is also a facility in place that will be part of the campus up and running – a little thing called the Mattamy National Centre for Cycling which is now being prepared for the Pan AM Games in roughly 50 days.

All the pieces are in place, yet brushed aside by the Province.  These questions will hopefully be answered over the course of time and between now and the next proposal date, I will continue to advocate to the Province of Ontario, our MPP and anyone else who will listen, that the Milton Education Village / Laurier University campus should be approved as quickly as possible.

Jobs, economic growth and not to mention the Province of Ontario’s long time promise of post secondary spaces are keys to success.  Maybe the Province thought that a few token announcement of a couple of additional GO Trains and a quick payment of ice storm funds would suffice for Milton.  Not in my opinion.

Its time the Province of Ontario sees this.  With Milton growing as fast as it is, at the behest of the Province itself, with close to 400,000 residents expected by 2041, the provincial government must recognize that this is a priority area and the right decisions need to be made at the first opportunity, not as an afterthought.

2015 Bell Ringing at Milton Town Hall

It was a little chilly to say the least.  Canada’s Most Famous Hockey Dad Walter Gretzky along with Mayor Krantz and close to 50 others rang in the new year at Victoria Square in front of Milton Town Hall this past new years eve.

Happy New Year Milton!!