Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council has three meetings scheduled Monday afternoon. Two, a tax appeals meeting and a planning meeting are public, but Rogers TV only begins coverage at 4 p.m., so those meets will have video available sometime afterward.

The planning meeting starts at 2:15 p.m. to discuss zoning by-law amendments to allow construction of a 7 story condo at the intersection where Laclie Street  and Sundial Drive meet Hughes Road.

The amendments will change the maximum building height from 12.5 meters to 22.8 meters, and reduce setbacks and minimum landscape requirements. It will also change minimum visitor parking requirements from 23 spaces to 17.

Packaged along with the documents are 7 new letters from neighbourhood residents (5 opposed, 2 in favour) to compliment dozens previously received. Building height is the main objection, but not the only one. More traffic and allowing for fewer parking spaces are an issue too. The developer, Saytar Development Corporation, proposes the main entrance will be on Sundial Drive.

This public meeting was rescheduled from January because of the inability of many to attend because of current restrictions. A petition was received to have a public meeting people could attend in person. One of the options council has is to delay approval until a public meeting can be held.

Regular Meeting

Council begins the regular meeting at 4 p.m. The Orillia Museum of Art and History has a presentation about the 2021 operational plan the board has devised. Despite the trials of 2020, OMAH managed to run a surplus on their operating and capital budgets of $85,000.

Their presentation to council is mainly a recap of what happened in 2020. While it’s still too early to predict what OMAH can do and when in 2021, they are preparing some exhibits and programs for the time they can fully engage with the public.

Where Is The Car Parked?

After council ratifies last week’s committee meeting report, they will discuss a report by the emergency management committee, about waterfront parking and the boat launch in Couchiching Beach Park for 2021.

Last year restrictions in the form of parking fees and limitations where non-residents could park at the waterfront were put together very quickly. The City lost $10,000 on parking revenue of $85,000. Staffing ($65,605) and advertising (23,000) accounted for the bulk of expenses. Revenue from fines is not included in the balance.

The management committee is proposing council give direction and approvals for a number of considerations ranging from what the goal would be for 2021, despite the possibility of vaccinations being accomplished by June, to who would be affected by a return of the parking restrictions (i.e. neighbouring municipalities).

The committee is suggesting if council wants to continue with restrictions, a longer period of time will be a factor which was not part of the 2020 plan and expenses would increase, and additional by-law enforcement officers should be hired along with a program manager.

Other Items

Councillor Jay Fallis’s motion for council to oppose Ramara’s request for a minister’s zoning order regarding proposed development on Rama Road along Lake Couchiching is back. Ramara had a delegation appear several weeks ago and said in fact they had not requested an MZO, but were preparing their options in light of county development restrictions and intended to deal with their issues in another manner.

They also said while they want to move ahead to make development possible, there are a number of hurdles the developer needs to clear with the Township and essentially there is no rush which would demand an MZO.

Fallis’s motion wants council to endorse opposition to the province issuing an MZO.

The regular council meeting is a video conference and the chamber is closed to the public. The public can watch it live on Rogers TV.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Images Supplied)


Support Independent Journalism