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Essex Council Notes for April 1

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

by Sylene Argent

Mayor Larry Snively welcomed the Town’s newest Youth Council Rep, Cameron Soucie, at the beginning of the Monday, April 1 meeting.

New Youth Rep welcomed

Essex Mayor Larry Snively officially welcomed Cameron Soucie to the role of Essex Youth Council Rep.

  Soucie joins Ehva Hoffmann at the municipal decision-making table to provide a youth perspective to municipal issues. They are non-voting members.

Soucie is a grade nine student at Essex District High School and is passionate about volunteering. He is hoping this role will help him give a voice to youth issues and encourage other youths to get engaged with the community and involved with volunteering efforts.

  He said when he learned of the role, he was interested right away and is excited to get to work.

A&W in the works for Essex Centre

Essex Council gave three readings to and passed Bylaw 1781, being a bylaw to enter into a Site Plan Control Agreement between The Corporation of the Town of Essex and the Canadian Tire Reinvestment Trust Incorporated.

  Council also received the Planning Department’s report “Canadian Tire Corporation Site Plan Control Application Essex Centre” and also approved the rezoning of lands to permit the construction of a drive-through restaurant on the Canadian Tire property at 300 Maidstone Avenue West.

  In the report to Council, it notes Canadian Tire Corporation requested Site Plan Control Approval to permit the construction of an A&W drive-through restaurant on the Canadian Tire site.

  A&W Restaurants is seeking to construct a 1900-square foot drive-through restaurant on the northwest corner of the property. The restaurant and required parking will replace a portion of the parking area provided for the Canadian Tire store.

  The report, which Policy Planner Jeff Watson submitted, notes the subject lands are designated “Highway Commercial Corridor” in the Town of Essex Official Plan. Under this designation, big box retail commercial and drive-through restaurants are permitted.

  Mayor Larry Snively said this is good news for the Town of Essex. “We should be proud,” he said.

  Watson said it is hoped the drive-through restaurant is built as soon as possible.

Essex Centre Sports Complex parking lot to be completed

Council received a Community Services Report Director of Community Services, Doug Sweet, prepared. The report recommended Council appoints the engineering firm of Haddad, Morgan and Associates Ltd. to provide engineering services for Phase 3 of the Essex Centre Sports Complex parking lot.

  This is the same engineering firm retained during the initial construction of the Sports Complex in 2009.

  Phase 3 of the project would replace the front third of the parking lot, where the old Essex Memorial Arena was removed.

  As this firm currently has the preliminary drawings for Phase 3, it was recommended that the Town retain its services to complete the Essex Centre Sports Complex parking lot.

  The motion carried.

Refund of securities for Dillon Consulting

Council received a Planning Report Policy Planner, Jeff Watson, prepared. This was is regards to a request for a partial refund of securities for Dillon Consulting, on behalf of Townsview Estates Developments, which is the subdivision located off of Maidstone Avenue.

  As part of subdivision approval, monetary securities, such as a letter of credit, are given to the Town to ensure municipal facilities are installed to the satisfaction of the municipality during the construction of new developments or subdivisions.

  After a period where the facilities are deemed to be satisfactory and reliable, Council may release a portion of the security deposit.

  For this request, the Town has deemed the street lighting in the subdivision has been satisfactory.  Dillon Consulting has requested the release of $15,816 from its original security deposit of $416,561.

  The motion carried.

Leamington-Kingsville-Essex-Windsor Transit Route

Council received correspondence from the Municipality of Leamington regarding an update on the status of the proposed Leamington-Kingsville-Essex-Windsor transit route.

  Under funding through the Municipality of Leamington and a pilot grant program provided by the provincial government, starting this July, if approved, Transit Windsor will provide a regularly schedule transit route through Leamington, Kingsville, Essex, and Windsor until the pilot program ends in March 2023.

  A request was also made for Council to send a letter of support to the Ontario Highway Transit Board (OHTB), so Transit Windsor will be allowed to provide the transit service. A letter of support is required by the OHTB in order for Transit Windsor to operate within Essex.

  “This is a very good thing, this is a great project,” Mayor Larry Snively said. “I think, in the future, this is going to expand. And, I think in the long run, it will cost each municipality money, but it’s going to be well worth it as far as I’m concerned.”

  In the letter of support for the initiative, the Town of Essex believes this service will provide much needed transportation opportunities for residents experiencing transportation barriers, such as seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals on low incomes.

  The motion carried.

NoM: Sign bylaw revision

At the previous Council meeting, Councillor Joe Garon put a Notice of Motion forward to have Council consider having administration look at the current sign bylaw to include possible amendments that would require a commercial property owner to remove or conceal signs within a reasonable amount of time, following a closure.

  Garon said a few weeks back, Council members and administration participated in Walk-About events in Harrow and Essex Centres to get a visitor’s-eye-view of the downtown corridors. At that time, he noticed there were signs that implied a business was still there, but wasactually no longer in operation.

  He said it would be nice to see a blank sign, rather than a sign advertising a business that has been closed for ten-years.

  Councillor Steve Bjorkman used to be the Chairperson of the Essex Centre BIA. He said there were discussions about this in the past. He said he does not disagree with the sentiment of what Garon would like to accomplish, but it needs to be looked at carefully as blank signs stand out.

The motion carried.

NoM: Colchester Commercial Rezoning

Mayor Larry Snively put forward a Notice of Motion at the previous Council meeting that Administration prepare a report outlining processes and steps in a detailed plan to move forward with rezoning Colchester Centre from residential to commercial.

  “I was approached, along with Deputy Mayor Meloche, we did meet with groups of people that are interested in seeing Colchester Centre,” Snively explained about potential interest in development along the main stretch of Murdoch Street in Colchester.

Adding that there would be concerns among some area ratepayers that would not want to be included in a rezoning, the Mayor suggested that there might be some way of allowing the change so that the residential part of it is not affected by a tax increase.

  “We’ve had some people, that I would say are shakers in our municipality, and the one interested party, I think if we did move forward on this, that we would see a big development, I think, in Colchester, which would benefit all of us,” Snively said.

  Echoing the Mayor’s sentiments was Councillor Sherry Bondy, who said the addition of more unique or boutique shopping options in the area would be a great fit in the heart of Colchester.

  “I think it’s a great idea, and I support the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s work on this,” Bondy commented. “Let’s just see where it goes, as long as if you’re residential and you don’t want to move, or become commercial, you’re allowed that opportunity. I think there’s some businesses out there that would take advantage of this.”

NoM for discussion at next meeting

Councillor Sherry Bondy put forward a Notice of Motion at the April 1 meeting. She hopes at the April 15 meeting to have Council consider giving direction to administration to come up with an affordable housing strategy.

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