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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council Notes for Tuesday, September 21

by Sylene Argent

Fury Training Grounds request approval to set up tent to accommodate fundraiser

Essex Council approved Dave Cassidy’s, owner of Fury Training Grounds, request to put up a tent in the parking lot of the adjacent Essex Centre Sports Complex for a fundraiser in October.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche suggested Cassidy work with Jake Morassut, Manager of Parks and Facilities, to make the arrangements, including having the area blocked off. Council passed that motion.

Council approves name requests

for streets in Parkland Estate

Walter Branco from Noah Homes, which is working on the Parkland Estate in Harrow, requested the main street be named after the Pereira family, who owned the family farm that used to be on the site.

  “When we purchased that site, we thought in the legacy to the family and what they have done in the community, we would like to name the main street Pereira Drive.”

  He also requested the cul-de-sac closest to the parkland be named “Manuel Court,” after his father, another Fatima Court, after his mother, and Michelle Court, after his wife.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy had no problem approving the names as she thought the street name requests were fitting and touching.

  Councillor Morley Bowman asked if it was known if there were duplicate names in Town. Rita Jabbour, Manager of Planning Services, said there were not.

Council approved the request.

Nominations made for Lieutenant

Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards

  At the September 7 regular meeting, Council received correspondence that requested nomination be sent for the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award through the Ontario Heritage Trust, which recognizes individual, group, and project-based achievements in four categories for Youth Achievement, Community Leadership, Lifetime Achievement, and Excellence in Conservation.

  Administration recommended Elise Harding Davis be recommended for the Lifetime Achievement Award; the past and present members of the Town of Essex Municipal Heritage Committee for the Community Leadership Award; and the Friends of the John R. Park Homestead for the Excellence in Conservation Award.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek thought the recommendations were excellent choices for the nomination for the awards. Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche said those who put together the list of nominations chose well.

  Council moved the recommendation.  

COVID-19 Update re: Town facilities

CAO Doug Sweet spoke to the Provincial regulations that came into effect last Wednesday. Most of the new regulations affect the recreation centres, such as the Essex Recreation Complex, the Essex Centre Sports Complex, and the Harrow & Colchester South Arena.  

  Jake Morassut, Manager of Parks and Facilities, explained over the past few weeks, as soon as the Provincial government announced it would mandate checking vaccination status at recreational facilities, staff started working with user groups to make this as successful as possible.

  There are some exclusions and age categories that affect this, he explained, as well as medical and religious exemptions.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy wondered who is responsible to check vaccination status and if additional staff need to be brought on for that. Morassut said that will be staffed internally and staff will be working those extra hours. Quite a few hours need to be added at the recreational facilities to have that staffing, especially at the arenas.

  Sweet said the Town is hoping for additional funding from upper-levels of government, and the Town is tracking the additional costs.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek wondered if the restrictions are expected to increase or is a temporary measure. Morassut said as of now, there is no indication the regulation will be changed. The user groups are governed by higher-level organizations. All those organizations, excluding Skate Ontario at this point, have given dates where each participant has to have a first vaccination and a second vaccination. At that point, the facility will not deny entry to those following provincial guidelines, but the user-groups may deny participation in those sports, due to their stricter regulation.

  Councillor Joe Garon asked about arena capacities and how to socially distance when one game ends and another begins. Morassut said the capacity is set up to 1000 people, which is 50 percent of the fire rated capacity. He added there is signage throughout the facility to help with social distancing.

  Councillor Chris Vander Doelen asked if people already recovered from the “flu” would be allowed entry or if they could take a test as some may want to see just one big game. Morassut said the restrictions set out are from the provincial-level, the answer to both questions is no.

  The Town has installed cameras at the rink facilities, so people can watch remotely on the Town of Essex website.

  Vander Doelen suggested a roped-off area for those who don’t need or don’t want to be vaccinated.

  “I’ve heard this over and over that this is the provincial demand that is coming down from above, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with it or that anyone else has to agree with it; and I certainly don’t. I think what is happening here is a really severe loss of human rights. We are creating two tiers of citizenship and rights here and it is unnecessary. There are other countries in the world that are doing fine, even better than us, without these rules, and I think we should be following their lead and not succumbing to these fearmongering requests from our central control, which seems to be more in control and more central all the time,” Vander Doelen said.

  Vander Doelen voted against receiving it, though he understood why the report was brought forward, but he felt the need to stand up to it.

  The reminder of Council members present at the meeting received the report.

Approval for the removal of holding zone

restrictions for Phases 1 and 5 of the Essex Town Centre Subdivision

Essex Council received Planning Report “Request to Remove Holding Zone Restrictions for Phases 1 and 5 of the Essex Town Centre Residential Subdivision” and passed By-Law 2064, being a by-law to remove the holding zone restrictions for Phase 1 and 5 of the Essex Town Centre subdivision.

  The Report to Council notes the Essex Town Centre subdivision, located south of Maidstone Avenue, east of South Talbot Road, is currently being developed for the first two phases of construction.

  It adds the subdivision is zoned HR2.2. Where the prefix “H” precedes any zoning district symbol, no use, building, and construction will be permitted.

  The Holding can be removed when the property is on a registered plan of subdivision; and, full municipal services (a paved road, a municipal sanitary sewer and an approved stormwater outlet) are available or an executed agreement to provide full municipal services is in effect. It is now appropriate to remove the holding restriction for Phases 1 and 5, as requested, through adoption of Bylaw 2064, the Report to Council notes.

   Councillor Sherry Bondy said she welcomes new homes in the community, but is still frustrated with outstanding issues with a new subdivision. She is still getting complaints and had a site-visit recently.

  “We seem to be going full steam ahead – develop, develop, develop – without making sure our existing developments are okay. We as a Council and administration need to provide the residents of existing developments that their complaints are going to be taken seriously,” Bondy said.

  Lori Chadwick, Director of Development Services, said there are protocols and securities in place where a subdivision would not be assumed by the Town, until certain matters are addressed. She said Town staff are aware of the issues at the other subdivision and have come up with a solution and are meeting internally to work out matters and will approach the developer with a proposed solution.

Site Plan Control Approved for 320 South Talbot Road

Essex Council received Planning report “Site Plan Control Approval for 320 South Talbot Road” and voted to execute and register Bylaw 2065, being a by-law to enter into a Site Plan Control Agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and 1954990 Ontario INC, for the development of an equipment sales and rental agency.

  The Report to Council notes this is a development of an equipment sales and rental agency at 320 South Talbot Road. The subject property is around 2.5 acres of vacant property and is designated Industrial Manufacturing District 1.3 (M1.3) for Light Industrial and Business Park purposes.

  It adds that 1954990 Ontario INC. wish to develop the lands for a two-storey, 12,597-square foot industrial building for equipment sales, lease, and rental, in addition to an ancillary parking area to accommodate 32 parking spaces, two of which will be accessible, and loading docks.

  The industrial building will be occupied by Toyota Liftow Limited.

  The M1. 3 zoning district permits an equipment sales, lease or rental agency.

  Councillor Joe Garon said this is another good industrial piece coming to Essex Center.

By-Law passed to submit application, enter into a rate

offer letter agreement for Fire Station 2 replacement project

Council received the report, “2021 Capital Financing” and passed By-Law 2059, to approve the submission of an application and the entering into a rate offer letter agreement with respect to Capital Financing for the Fire Station 2 replacement project.

Building down 186.6 percent in August 2021 versus August 2020

Council received the development overview for August, which noted the total construction value, including all new and expanding commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential developments that required a building permit was $3,118,200. This is down 186.6 percent from August 2020.

  The average home sale price in August was $430,504 in Wards 1 and 2, which was higher than the $409,109 average recorded in August of 2020. The average home sale price in August was $622,723 in Wards 3 and 4, which was significantly higher than the $439,093 average recorded in August of 2020.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy asked if there has been interest in second dwelling units.

  Director of Development Services, Lori Chadwick, said there has been a lot of interest since applications have been able to be accepted through the Planning and Building Department offices.

  Rita Jabbour, Manager of Planning Services, added the Town has received a couple phone inquiries per week in regards to secondary dwelling units, mostly from agriculture zones, but from urban areas, too. Most inquiries are from those who wish to use a secondary dwelling unit for their aging parents or adult children who are having a difficult time entering the housing market.

RFT for Southwest Storm Sewer improvements awarded

Council awarded the Request for Tender for the Southwest Storm Sewer improvement project to Sterling Ridge Infrastructure Inc. in the amount of $3,340,811.33.

  This storm sewer project will take place on Brien Avenue West, from South Talbot Road to just East of Hanlan Street.

  The project is expected to start immediately and needs to be completed by March of 2022 as there is a grant funding deadline. Paving will likely be delayed until spring.

  Kevin Girard, Director of Infrastructure Services, added the Environment Assessment completed for the project is to reduce and mitigate flooding to the area, and surrounding area.

By-Law 2063 to amend the Comprehensive Zoning By-Law passed

Essex Council passed By-Law 2063, to amend By-Law 1037 the Comprehensive Zoning By-Law for the Town of Essex.

  Manager of Planning Services, Rita Jabbour, explained on August 23 a special meeting was held to consider a series of general amendments to the Town’s Comprehensive Zoning By-Law. The amending By-Law will allow home occupations on lots that are at least 20,000-square-feet or greater in accessory buildings, regulations to reduce setbacks between main dwellings and exterior lot lines on corner lots, establish building regulations for lots of one-acre or less in agricultural districts, and will establish regulations for lots not serviced by sanitary sewers by reducing lots from 20,000-square-feet to 10,000-square-feet, in addition to establishing setbacks for accessory buildings from corner lot exterior lot lines that have vehicle entrances.

  This By-Law does not include anything on deck and porch encroachments, as discussed at that meeting. The feedback provided from the public and Council are being considered further and will be a part of another set of regulations, Jabbour explained.

  There is now a 20-day appeal period.


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