Ontario Bill 109 brings planning changes
At Tuesday, June 7th’s committee of the whole meeting for Perth council, the town’s director of development services Joanna Bowes provided an update on new provincial legislation designed to streamline land use application processes. Bill 109, the ‘More Homes for Everyone’ act that was passed in Queen’s Park in April will require municipalities to process zoning bylaw amendment applications within 90 days or refund the applicants’ fees. She noted that town staff can certainly process these files in that time frame, but if an application involved comments or approvals from outside agencies, delays can crop up that are outside the town’s ability to change.
In addition, Bowes informed council that under the new rules, site-plan applications (a critical step in the land development process) are to be reviewed and approved by staff only with no council votes required. She mentioned there was no ‘bump-up’ option to get council involved on contentious files. The new rules take effect January 1st, 2023.
The Table proposes greenhouse
Joanna Kowalczyk of the Table Community Food Centre made a presentation to council on a proposal to install a passive solar greenhouse in Last Duel Park near their vegetable garden plots. She explained that a greenhouse would allow them to increase production and extend growing seasons to meet increased demands for fresh vegetables. The passive solar design would capture heat during the day and store it for use overnight. The greenhouse would be 40’ by 20’ in size and would have an earthen floor for ground-level planting beds as well as traditional raised beds. The Table is in the process of applying for grants to offset construction costs and required a lease agreement with the town for the use of the land. Council wholeheartedly approved their request in principle.
Perth aces water test
Ever since the Walkerton municipal water tragedy of 2000, where 7 people died and hundreds were made ill from contaminated drinking water, the Ontario government has been very diligent and strict when it comes to water treatment systems’ inspections. Getting a passing score is hard enough, but Perth scored a perfect 100% in the latest report presented by the Town’s director of environmental services Grant Machon. It details the compliance status of the water treatment system and outlines any events during the reporting period that may have caused the system to be out of compliance with provincial legislation. The report also reviews annual quantities and flows of water intake and supply to the Town, and provides an overview of water treatment capability and deficiencies. There were no occurrences with the water system which impacted the health of the public during 2021 and the overall rating given to the Town of Perth was 100%.