Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council meets for the second time this week, this time for it’s regular meeting. It begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, but they also have a public planning meeting at 5 p.m. and a special council meeting following the regular meeting to deal with a legal issue on the sale of Orillia Power Distribution to Hydro One. This meeting is in camera and has no details about subject matter.

The sale transfer date is September 1 and what has been taking place since the announcement the Ontario Energy Board approved the sale is reconciliation of accounts and final valuations of property (which will affect the actual amount of money paid to the City). It is likely the sale price will be somewhat higher than previously announced to account for increased values over time. Earlier in August the City took ownership previously held through OPC into its own possession of 6 properties and accepted cash for the value of a promissory note to the OPC made at the creation of the corporation ($9,860,622.95 plus interest).

The earlier, 5 p.m. meeting is to consider a draft zoning amendment for property at 396 and 400 Memorial Avenue (Mariposa Inn). MHBC (MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson) Planning is representing a numbered company proposing to build at 6 story Hampton Inn on northwest corner of the site.

Proposed Hampton Inn

The new hotel will have 104 rooms. The proposal including both parcels of land is larger than 8 acres. The proposal mentions inclusion of a meeting room with a capacity for 50 occupants, pool, fitness facility, and breakfast room.

Developers want to provide fewer parking spaces than the City’s zoning by-law requires (405 spaces). The argument is Orillia requires more than other municipalities (one space per room and a formula for including
parking spaces to the capacity of meeting room and restaurants). The proposal is for 339 spaces. They also want a change regarding parking at the front of the building along the roadway. Provincial guidelines call for no paring between buildings and roadways. There currently is parking at the Mariposa Inn like that, but the developer is planning for only 17 spaces in front of the new building which is less than exists at the Mariposa Inn.

The application also requires changing the maximum building height from 12..5 meters to 23.5 meters.

Regular Meeting

The report from Monday’s committee meeting contains no surprise, but it is worth noting Mayor Steve Clarke and councillor Tim Lauer will be on the hiring committee for a new City Treasurer. Also, council meetings will continue to be by video conference until the end of the year and meeting times will be at 4 p.m. The public can watch meetings, live, on Rogers TV.

As is often the case the interesting agenda items are in the Consent Agenda. The City is getting $1,770,100 from the province o support operating costs because of the emergency. The City is also getting $660,842 from the province for transit losses during the emergency.

There is a letter from the DOMB asking the current contract negotiations with the OPP include dedicated foot patrols in the downtown during summer months. In another letter, the DOMB informs council Jeff Gilbert of Gilbert Guitars and Carmine DeSanto of Dr. Comics are new appointees to the board to fill vacancies.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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