Town Amends Zoning By-laws to Protect Oak Ridges Moraine
The Town of Richmond Hill continues it commitment to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine by approving Zoning By-laws 128-04 and 129-04, which implement the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan in conformity with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001. Recently, two Public Open Houses and a Public Meeting were held to inform the public of the content and effect of the proposed amendment to the by-laws. The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan sets out four land use designations; natural core areas, natural linkage areas, countryside areas and settlement areas. The Town proposes six zoning categories consistent with the designations and land uses permitted including: Natural Core, Natural Linkage, Countryside, Hamlet, Pit and Urban, affecting certain lands within the Town of Richmond Hill. These amendments will help to preserve and protect the Oak Ridges Moraine and help to ensure the preservation and proper management of the natural environment by incorporating the fundamentals of the Provincial legislation into the Town's Official Plan. The Zoning By-laws will be forwarded to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval. Contact David Collinson, Director of Planning, at (905) 771-8800 ext. 2420 (From Council Public Meeting held on May 19, 2004, Staff Report SRPD.04.120).
Town Requests Property Tax Exemption on the 407 ETR
The 407 ETR is currently owned by the Province but leased to a for-profit organization. No property tax or payments in lieu of tax are currently derived from the 407 highway by any municipality along its route, despite the fact that feeder roads bear increased traffic flows and maintenance requirements. Richmond Hill Council has adopted a resolution requesting that the Province of Ontario make the necessary legislative and regulatory changes to provide local municipalities with the ability charge Highway 407 property tax at the commercial rate or require the payment of an amount equivalent to property tax be paid from 407 ETR toll revenue. Contact Dan Elliott, Commissioner of Finance and Treasurer, at (905) 771-2497 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on May 17, 2004, Staff Report SRFIN.04.043).
Richmond Hill Recognized
At the May 17 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Mayor and Members of Council received thanks from the York Region Firefighters Calendar Committee for their on-going support and financial assistance of their annual fundraising calendar. With the Town's help, the Fire Fighters have been able to distribute thousands of dollars to charities throughout the Region. At the same meeting, Pathways - Home Base Youth Drop In Centre also presented Council with a plaque recognizing the Town's on-going contribution to youth and families of York Region. Contact Robert Prowse, Town Clerk, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 2511 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on May 17, 2004, Presentation).
Public Input Will Be Sought for Naming of Parks and Open Spaces
In accordance with the Town's "Policy for Naming and Renaming Town Parks, Open Space Lands and Recreation Facilities," a proposed list of names for parks and open spaces was approved by Council. The policy requires the Town to ensure that parks and open space names will endure over several generations, as well as reflect historical context, park design theme and neighbourhood location. In addition, the policy requires the Town to seek input from the public, providing up to 30 days for submission of comments regarding the proposed names. The naming process promotes citizen involvement in specific Town projects as well as enhancing effective emergency response by specific identification of parks and open spaces. Contact Lynton Friedberg, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Culture, at (905) 771-2242 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on May 17, 2004, Staff Report SRPRC.04.28).
2004 Final Tax Levy
Council adopted the tax rates for the 2004 tax levies and authorized the billing and collection of taxes and local improvement charges. Council also established tax installment due dates for residential and non-residential properties. For those not enrolled in the Town's monthly pre-authorized payment plan, residential property tax for 2004 will be due July 21 and September 22 and non-residential property tax will be due October 20 and November 17. Based on the average residential property assessment of $384,000, the impact of the Town portion of the property tax bill is approximately 4.74% or $44 for the year. This translates into 12 cents per day for all services provided by the Town including libraries, water and waste water, roads, garbage and recycling, and fire prevention and protection. The Town is in a strong financial position to meet the future and continues to be debt free. Contact Debbie McKinnon, Director of Revenue at (905) 771-8800, ext. 2538 (From Council Meeting held on May 31, 2004, Agenda Item #7).
Keeping Richmond Hill Free of West Nile Virus
As part of the 2004 West Nile virus control program of the Regional Municipality of York (Health Services Department) and the York Region District School Board, Council supports the implementation of larviciding programs within the municipality. Program components include educational initiatives, surveillance, mosquito control (larvaciding catchbasins) and the elimination of standing water. Larviciding is currently the most effective means of controlling the spread of West Nile virus, however, the Town is also participating in a trial project with the Region to test alternative solutions which may reduce the reliance on larviciding in subsequent years. Contact Bruce Macgregor, Commissioner of Engineering & Public Works, at (905) 771-2527 (From Council Meeting held on May 31, 2004, Agenda Item #20).
Richmond Hill Approves New Taxi Licensing By-law
Council approved a new Taxi licensing By-law (By-law 133-04) which repeals the previous By-law passed March 29, 2004. This new By-law was created in response to issues raised by members from the industry and the Town's Legal Department. The By-law deals with the licensing and regulation of taxis in the Town. The approval of the new taxi licensing By-law will improve the quality of customer service to residents and the taxi industry, including the approval of 22 new taxi licenses sequentially from the priority list and changes to the appeal process. Contact Rick McGee, Manager of By-law & Licensing Enforcement, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 2427 (From Council Meeting held on May 31, 2004, Agenda Item #1).
Council proclaimed June 13, 2004 as "Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Day" in and around the Town of Richmond Hill, to help improve the quality of life of people living with spinal cord injury (SCI). A special event will be held on Sunday, June 13, 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park. For more information, call Cheryl Pomer at 905-508-8061. The Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation is a registered charitable organization founded by Rick Hansen in 1987. Rick Hansen came to the world's attention with his legendary Man In Motion World Tour when he wheeled 40,000 kms around the world to prove the unlimited potential of people with spinal cord injury and raising over $26 million. Contact Robert Prowse, Town Clerk, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 2511 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on May 17, 2004, New Business).
Council proclaimed the month of June, 2004 as "Brain Injury Awareness Month" in and around the Town of Richmond Hill, to raise awareness of the effects of brain injury. Every year in Canada, over 11,000 people die as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury, with over 4,000 people perishing in Ontario alone. The leading causes of traumatic brain injury are falls, motor vehicle crashes, bicycle crashes, and sports related injuries and is the leading cause of death and disability among children. Non-traumatic brain injury occurs when oxygen flow to the brain is disrupted as in strokes, aneurysms or during cardiac arrest and near-drowning. The brain can also be damaged from tumors, hydrocephalus and substance abuse. Contact Robert Prowse, Town Clerk, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 2511 (From Council Meeting held on May 31, 2004, Agenda Item #18).
The next Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 7, 2004 at 4:30 p.m. and the next Council meeting is Monday, June 14, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers.
This document was produced by the Communication Services Division staff at the Town of Richmond Hill. The contents of this summary are intended to be for information purposes only. The actual text of Council resolutions can be found on the Town's Website, www.richmondhill.ca. Copies of staff reports and other correspondence can be obtained from the Council Support Services/Town Clerk Division.