Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council’s meeting schedule Monday begins at 4:15 p.m. with planning meeting for a draft plan of subdivision, a draft plan of common element condominiums and a zoning amendment related to a waterfront development, and a zoning amendment for Colborne Street property.

Orillia Ventures Inc. is behind the re-development of the former Schacter land opposite Veteran’s Memorial Park and has a formal Elgin Street address. Originally a proposal for 53 townhomes was brought to the City, but concerns over adequate land being available for extension of Colborne Street through to Centennial Drive, and for Centennial being straightened at Elgin, plus easements the City has across the property necessitated reconfiguring the layout of the project. Now 60 homes are being proposed, plus a private club house.

Last year’s issues regarding common element condos were partially resolved with council adopting measures requiring developers notify purchasers differently than in the past. The report to council included a paragraph outlining what those mesausres are:

“Given concerns raised in other Common Element Condominiums developed in the City and as a result of a Council resolution, several conditions have been included requiring the developer to insert a clause into all Agreements of Purchase and Sale warning the purchasers that the road and services are private and not owned or maintained by the City, and that a maintenance fee will be payable to the Common Elements Condominium Corporation, and requiring the developer to provide an infrastructure turnover and commissioning package together with a quality turnover package.”

The second item on the planning agenda is an application by William Thornton to alter plans for a two unit home at 309 Colborne Street West which is currently under construction and allow for three units. Staff is recommending approval.

When the regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. the first order of business is to recognize Ray Fischer and Jeff Noble for “their courageous efforts to rescue an individual from Lake Couchiching.”

Under the correspondence header, Moe Zadeh, the developer of two apartment buildings on Barrie Road on the old Fahramet property, has been planning to build a 162 unit building on land east of the present buildings. He wrote to council asking for a waiver of development charges for the project and property taxes applicable to 15 units. Mayor Steve Clarke’s response was to advise Zadeh the City approved a development charge deferral in 2018 for this project and because of changes to provincial regulations he may want to make changes and apply for a grant from the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan for the development charges.

Taxi By-law Updated

When council gets to adopting the report from last week’s committee meeting, the main item of interest is the taxi by-law. As it stands, they adopted the recommendations to remove the requirement for drivers to have a vulnerable sector screening record check in addition to the standard criminal record check – provided drivers will not be transporting passengers under 18 years of age. This effectively clears the way for Uber to offer service in Orillia. And while it appears taxi companies get the same benefit, the reality is cab companies in Orillia regularly have children passengers and have contracts to take them to school, so those drivers will still have to get the additional record.

Additionally, changes to the by-law will include dropping the prevention of drivers from getting a taxi license if they have Highway Traffic Act convictions in several categories because they will have already been penalized. The cost of licensing to owners will be going down 20% and the requirement for safety certificates biannually for vehicles that exceeded 40,000 kilometers in the prior year is being removed.


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