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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Continued Essex Council Notes for Monday, November 19

by Sylene Argent

Community Services’ Programs

Essex Council received the Department of Community Services’ report, “2018 Program Successes and Growth-Recreation and Culture” for information.

  Jason Jolicoeur, Assistant Manager for Programs, said tremendous growth has been noticed in the Town’s programming, especially in Essex Centre. The Department is also running programs in Harrow and Colchester Centres. There has been a huge growth in birthday party packages. Also, March Break, summer, and Christmas day camp programs have been going well.

  The Report to Council notes with the hiring of a part-time Facility Coordinator position, there has been a larger emphasis put on developing programs in Colchester Centre and Harrow Centre.

  “The biggest thing, we are listening to our participants and we keep adding more and more options for them, and that is going quite well,” Jolicoeur said.

  Doug Sweet, Director of Community Services, gave credit to the staff members in the Department for their work. He said there is competition from fellow municipalities, but they are noticing the fruits of their labour.

  The Report to Council notes Essex Community Services schedules several events throughout the municipality to increase overall participation in recreation programs for participants of all ages. This is a way to contribute to their quality of life and showcase the facilities and amenities the Town of Essex has to offer.

  The Report to Council then goes on to highlight programs and accreditations associated with the Town of Essex’s Community Services Department, including the HIGH FIVE® Accreditation, which verifies the quality standards organizations are achieving. The Town of Essex is the only municipality in Windsor and Essex County that has achieved HIGH FIVE® Accreditation.


Appointment of an Engineer for the relocation of Rush Drain

Essex Council received the report, “Appointment of an Engineer; Relocation of Rush Drain for the Essex Town Centre Development,” and further appointed Dillon Consulting Limited to develop the Rush Drain Relocation report.

  In the Report to Council, it notes the Rush Drain commences at the corner of Maidstone Avenue and Allen Avenue, then drains through the private lands of the Essex Town Centre development to its discharge point on the south-westerly side of Highway #3 into the 14th Concession East Drain and Branch.

  In 2006, an engineer’s report was developed for the drain to design the relocation of the Rush Drain to accommodate storm water flows from the Town of Essex and the developer at that time. The property has since been purchased by a new developer, who requires modifications to the current design, which requires a new engineer’s report, the report notes.

  The estimated schedule includes an onsite meeting in December through to construction in likely May of 2019.

  The Report to Council notes the cost of the report relocation of the drain will be borne by the Essex Town Center Development.


Site specific Rezoning for 1466 County Road 13

Councillor Sherry Bondy put forward a motion to table the Planning Department’s report “Site Specific Rezoning for 1466 County Road 13 (Ward 3).”

  It was up to Council as to whether or not the report would be received and/or adopt Bylaw 1759, which would amend the comprehensive zoning bylaw for the Town of Essex.

  There were also several letters of opposition included with the report.

  The Report to Council notes an applicant made a request to rezone 1466 County Road 13, in the former township of Colchester South, Ward 3. It is requested that a site-specific rezoning be granted for the vacant 3433 square metre property to permit as an additional use, for the development of a medical office.

  The subject property is presently designated “Rural Residential.” It is located immediately south of the Harrow Dental Clinic and west of the Harrow Health Centre and Harrowood Senior Community Living. The properties located directly south of the subject lands, and on the west side of County Road 13, are also designated “Rural Residential”

  A statutory public meeting was held on Tuesday, September 4 and an additional meeting was held on Tuesday, November 6 to permit Council to hear and receive public comments and submissions. Comments heard at the September and November public meeting were both in support and opposition to the proposal, the report notes.

  Councillor Steve Bjorkman said he was not in favour of changing the zoning as the area is zoned residential.

  “I think we need to take into effect the wishes of the residents of the area,” he said, noting those who own property there, made the purchase believing they were buying next to residential property. He said there are other properties in Harrow that could accommodate the request.

  The owner of the property is looking to have the zoning change, then solicit interest from other businesses to move in. When there is a business prepared to move there, it can be looked at then.

  Councillor Larry Snively said he understands the concerns of the neighbours. He does not want to see a stop to development. He claimed residents would support the change if certain recommendations were put into place. He said a plan has not been seen, and he would like to see it before supporting it.

  Councillor Randy Voakes had a different opinion, noting he, and fellow Councillors, has strived for 15 years to get people to come to Town. He didn’t think not having a plan was reason enough to not move forward with the file at this point.

  Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche agreed more info was needed before moving forward. The difficulty is that the property abuts a residential area, he noted.

  Bondy asked that the motion be tabled as there were still unanswered questions. That way, administration can work through the file with the applicant.

  A majority Council vote carried the motion to table the file.


Essex Town Centre Limited Rezoning approved in principal

Essex Council received the Planning Department’s report, “Essex Town Centre Limited Rezoning Application.” It also approved in principal the zoning bylaw recommended revisions to bylaw 1037 for these lands. Council further directed administration to bring a final report and proposal amending bylaw to the first regular meeting of Council in January of 2019.

  Council also approved having representatives of Essex Town Centre Incorporated meet with Town administration to determine the distribution of dwelling unit types and total dwelling unity density over the entire subdivision to create an updated development and servicing plan.

  The Essex Town Centre subdivision is located south of Maidstone Avenue West, east of Highway 3.

  The Report to Council notes the zoning revisions requested are related to future commercial uses and to the mix of dwellings and their design within this large residential subdivision of potentially 400 to 600 dwelling units.


WECHU urged municipalities to ‘opt-out’ of having cannabis retail stores

  Essex Council received correspondences from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Board of Health, noting that “increased density and clustering of cannabis retailers may result in increased access, consumption, and increased risk for chronic disease, mental illness, and injury,” and because of that, “the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health encourages all Windsor-Essex municipalities to ‘opt out’ of the cannabis retail model as proposed by the provincial government.”

  In the correspondence, the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health encourages the provincial government to establish limits on the number of retailers in a geographic area to prevent clustering and reduce retail outlet density, to set additional regulations with respect to the proximity of retail outlets in relation to areas which may unfairly target vulnerable populations, and provide local public health units with dedicated funding for education and health promotion activities as well as the enforcement of cannabis-related regulations under the Smoke-free Ontario Act.

  The Windsor-Essex County Board of Health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit encourages all Windsor-Essex municipalities to amend existing smoke-free by-laws to include “cannabis” in the definition, and expand spaces where the use of substances is prohibited.

NoM: Cost recovery for contracted towing companies

Councillor Randy Voakes brought forward the Notice of Motion he made at the November 5 meeting. He wanted the Town to create a policy for accident cost recovery for local towing companies, including for towing cleanup.

  Voakes wanted this policy developed before the end of this Term of Council, however, the Monday, November 19 meeting was the last.

  Council moved to carry his motion that administration come back with a policy on this matter, for the Next Term of Council. 


NoM: Proxy voting

At the November 5 Council meeting, Councillor Sherry Bondy put for a Notice of Motion to discuss proxy voting. The item was deferred from the agenda as it is currently under legal review. It notes in the agenda that the item may return for Council consideration at a later meeting.


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