Frequently asked questions
What is your position on multi-unit housing development in Schomberg?
I am in support of the concept of multi-unit housing in Schomberg. In order to achieve a “Complete Community” that will provide diverse and affordable housing we need to consider increasing density through the introduction of granny flats and garden suites, infilling on vacant lots, additions of a third storey on existing buildings and development of multiunit residential structures in areas that are designated and appropriately zoned. The catch is that it is done with sensitivity to the character of the existing neighbourhood, especially in our heritage neighbourhoods, and sensitivity to the adjacent natural environments.
What is your position on multi-unit development at 326 Main Street?
I am not in support of a 6 plus storey high density condo development on these lands. The lands are currently designated and zoned for multi-story multi-unit residential development to a maximum of 3 stories. Regardless of whether it is 3 or 6 stories there are several hurdles that the developer needs to address to ensure that the development is compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood and in compliance with the vision set out in the Official Plan: maintaining heritage character; addressing vehicle and pedestrian traffic concerns on Main Street; respecting neighbour’s properties; mitigating impacts during the construction phase; protecting the features and functions of on-site and local sensitive environments. There are other opportunities for multi storey/multi-unit development in Schomberg that would be less problematic.
What is your position on single lot development of housing, for example allowing out of character homes to be built?
I think that each proposal needs to be looked at on a site specific basis. However, at this time, we do not have the tools to ensure a certain style of structure is built despite the fact that the Official Plan speaks to maintaining the character of neighbourhoods. The best we have are the Village Design Guidelines which give a vision and general guidance for the design of structures but have no authority under the Planning Act or the Building Code. The Zoning Bylaw sets the rules for placement, footprint and height of structures on a lot. In neighbourhoods where there are large lots and smaller homes the introduction of a large home that complies with the zoning requirements can be a bit jarring. I would advocate for a more incremental change in a neighbourhood and a focus on building smaller homes/units to diversify the housing stock. I am prepared to work with the community, Council and staff to determine the best mechanism to achieve this.
What is your position on individual residential owners and their ability to reno their properties?
For landscaping, pools, sheds etc., each property owner has the right to improve their lot subject to the zoning bylaw which dictates things like the percentage of hard surfaces and setbacks for accessory structures. A permit, such as a building permit, a pool permit or a permit from the Conservation Authority (if the property is in a regulated area) may be required for certain works. In older areas I would advocate that property owners retain as many mature trees as possible on their lot. Trees contribute to the character of the neighbourhood and provide many mitigative climate change functions. The Zoning Bylaw sets the rules for placement, footprint and height of structures on a lot. In neighbourhoods where there are large lots and smaller homes the introduction of a large home that complies with the zoning requirements can be a bit jarring. I would advocate for a more incremental change in a neighbourhood and a focus on building smaller homes/units to diversify the housing stock. I am prepared to work with the community, Council and staff to determine the best mechanism to achieve this.
Are you planning to introduce or support any bylaws? Which?
At this point I am not considering introducing or supporting any new bylaws until I fully understand the bylaws that are already in place, what each community wants to achieve and what is needed to help solve local concerns or issues
Do you have any plans to make Main Street lively and pedestrian friendly?
We are so lucky in Schomberg to have a Main Street. I would support and promote: • more pedestrian events; • trail/pathway connections through the community to encourage walking/cycling; • more effective use of the available parking (ie: the old arena parking lot); funding to upgrade the street; and • more staff and funding to the Economic Development Office. I care about Main Street and have been involved in many groups that have discussed and planned the future of Main Street including the recent Main Street Revitalisation Committee (which was coordinated by the Township of King). I also founded a small production company called “Unplugged on Main” that does concerts and events at the church on Main Street. The most recent event was a live reading of “A Christmas Carol” (2019 – darn COVID). Recently the Township sent around a survey showing different redesigns of the street that would make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. This would activate the street which in turn would be good for existing and new businesses. The Zoning Bylaw sets the rules for placement, footprint and height of structures on a lot. In neighbourhoods where there are large lots and smaller homes the introduction of a large home that complies with the zoning requirements can be a bit jarring. I would advocate for a more incremental change in a neighbourhood and a focus on building smaller homes/units to diversify the housing stock. I am prepared to work with the community, Council and staff to determine the best mechanism to achieve this.
Car speed in Schomberg is becoming an issue on Main Street and Dr Kay. As a councillor, is there anything you can do to help?
I acknowledge that speeding poses a safety concern on both Main Street and Dr. Kay Dr. With regard to Main Street I would promote the introduction of multiple cross walks and perhaps a stop sign at Ben Boy to slow down the traffic and to assist pedestrians to safely cross the road. In addition, a new road design being considered for the core of Main Street is designed to slow down traffic. There are many good reasons to slow down traffic on Dr. Kay Drive. I think there needs to be a formal pedestrian crossing at Cooper Drive which is the only location pedestrians are likely to cross. To slow the traffic otherwise I would support some kind of traffic calming measure such as speed bumps.
The Schomberg Fairgrounds: how do you see this as being used in the future?
It has long been recognised by many people and by the Township that the fairgrounds sit idle for most of the year and that they would be a great resource for community infrastructure and events in Schomberg. However, the fairgrounds are privately owned by the Schomberg Agricultural Society so any use requires careful negotiation and partnerships and must address questions of legal liability. Personally I think it would be great to get a formal walkway from the parking lot to the bridge and a new bridge. I will be investigating this opportunity.
How do you define “Complete Communities” and what will this mean for Ward 4?
In Practice, a “Complete Community” is a community that strives to provide all the resources needed for every individual no matter their age, economic status, political ideology or cultural background. This is accomplished through land use planning that addresses housing, transportation, economic development, food security, health services and employment needs and often results in a more compact urban form. A Complete Community provides a more walkable vibrant lifestyle by providing employment, services and commerce closer to home. It is a low-carbon community that reduces climate change impacts, protects green space, promotes physical activity and builds community connection. All of Ward 4 including the rural areas, Lloydtown, Pottageville and Carrying Place can benefit from this planning philosophy. At the door, youth and older adults are asking for good local public transit, affordable housing and accessible spaces. People with young families are asking for reliable internet connection and safer/cleaner streets. Schomberg is a heritage “15 minute community” which is walkable, connected, vibrant and full of green space. It already has several elements of a Complete Community. We can build on the existing denser urban form by maintaining small houses, increasing housing density, and developing the commercial and employment sector. Schomberg is the “market town” for the adjacent communities and would benefit by having safe routes for cycling to connect them. Redevelopment must give regard to concerns of traffic, pedestrian safety, natural and cultural heritage protection and flooding hazards. There is an opportunity to consider local electrical energy generation. Pottageville is a quiet residential community and a great place for outdoor recreation. To approach a complete community Pottageville would benefit from enhanced pedestrian access across Llyodtown Road and east/west along the north side; controlled traffic along the Lloydtown Road; reliable internet access; and, a focus or centre that will act as a meeting place/business hub. The quaint Village of Lloydtown is proud of its history and has developed creative interpretive signs and monuments that speak to its past. The village protects the important pioneer cemetery. Connected to Schomberg by a sidewalk the village would benefit from maps/signage to promote the historical displays and active transportation. Reliable internet would support those choosing to work from home. “Community Building” will be the key to the future of Ward 4. That is to say that the future direction and change will be led by the community and accomplished through discussion and building consensus.